Experience Gaelic Games http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com Experience Irish Culture in a whole new way! Wed, 24 Feb 2016 10:34:41 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 South American Skills in Gaelic Games http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/south-american-skills-in-gaelic-games/ http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/south-american-skills-in-gaelic-games/#respond Wed, 24 Feb 2016 10:34:41 +0000 http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/?p=6547   It’s a small world for sure. Little did the merchant Edmund Rice know in 1802 when he opened a small school in Waterford in Southern Ireland – that he would be responsible for attracting visitors from South America to Ireland. He would have been more impressed that they played Hurling – the ancient stick...

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It’s a small world for sure.

Little did the merchant Edmund Rice know in 1802 when he opened a small school in Waterford in Southern Ireland – that he would be responsible for attracting visitors from South America to Ireland. He would have been more impressed that they played Hurling – the ancient stick and ball game most closely associated with the small county of his birth. (Kilkenny)

Edmund Rice was a innovator of the highest order- he challenged the existing system where the expression of Gaelic Customs and exercise of religious freedom were actively  discouraged and oppressed.

Despite the oppressive enviroment he faced- he formed the congregration of the Christian Brothers who through their work made education accessible to the majority of the population in Ireland – Their influence on our Nation has been enormous.

We were delighted to welcome to Ireland a group inspired by the missionary zeal of Edmund Rice and his colleagues – Stella Maris CBC from Monte Video in Uruguay.

They were a credit to the Christian Brothers ideals of the positive influence of education. They came they learned of the games, they were intrigued by the cultural impact of our structures, they questioned, they absorbed and then they took part.

They were a joy to have around – Hope you enjoy the video of them too!

 

 

 

 

 

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Three days, three continents, three groups http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/6537-2/ http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/6537-2/#respond Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:23:47 +0000 http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/?p=6537 Three Days and three new groups of Gaelic Games converts from three different continents. Superb group of students from Valenciennes in France representing Europe. They were followed by our first ever student group from Montevideo, Uruguay. The group came from Stella Maris CBC and proudly represented South America. The third of our continents to be represented...

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Three Days and three new groups of Gaelic Games converts from three different continents.

Superb group of students from Valenciennes in France representing Europe.

They were followed by our first ever student group from Montevideo, Uruguay. The group came from Stella Maris CBC and proudly represented South America.

The third of our continents to be represented was North America  – the fifty states of America would have struggled to have found better ambassadors than Clemson University from South Carolina.

We’re dreaming one day that they’ll meet in a global Gaelic challenge!!

They were great fun and we hope they carry the passion back home!!

Great days in Dublin – great thing to do in Dublin and just fun all round !

Check our Facebook page for great video diaries of each visit!

Clemson University

Stella Maris Uruguay Valenciennes

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Montevideo Uruguay

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Double Dutch! Michael Cusack & His Dutch Double http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/double-dutch-gaa-founder-michael-cusack-and-his-dutch-double/ Mon, 16 Nov 2015 13:52:52 +0000 http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/?p=2124 Double Dutch! GAA Founder, Michael Cusack, And His Dutch Double By Brian G. O’Sullivan. Michael Cusack and Pim Mulier never crossed paths during their time on earth; both left lasting legacies to their chosen sports that have lasted the test of time. They had glaring similarities in an era when sport blossomed. Cusack is the...

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Double Dutch! GAA Founder, Michael Cusack, And His Dutch Double

Pim Mulier

Pim Mulier

By Brian G. O’Sullivan.

Michael Cusack and Pim Mulier never crossed paths during their time on earth; both left lasting legacies to their chosen sports that have lasted the test of time. They had glaring similarities in an era when sport blossomed.

Cusack is the father of Gaelic Games. He is credited with saving ancient Irish pastimes from extinction. On the other hand Mulier is the god father of Dutch Football, Rugby, Ice Skating, Field Hockey and above all Bandy. In the 1880s he helped establish all sports in the Netherlands.

Momentous year of 1879

The year 1879 was momentous for both Cusack and Mulier. The Dutch legend helped found his first sporting body when Rugby was introduced to Koninklijke. At the same time in Ireland Michael Cusack was pondering the plight of ancient Irish pastimes. While walking through the Phoenix Park, Dublin, Cusack and another man, Pat Nally, saw no Irish sports being played so they vowed that they would make an effort to preserve the physical strength of the Gaelic race.

Michael Cusack

Michael Cusack

Main Man: Michael Cusack, founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association (Pictured right)

Up and Running

Nally set the ball rolling when he organised a National Sports Meeting in Co. Mayo in September 1879. Five years later, on November 1st 1884, at a meeting held at Thurles, Co, Tipperary, Cusack along with six others founded the Gaelic Athletic Association. Nally would have been at the meeting but for the fact he was in Mount Joy Prison for his involvement in the Fenien movement. Today the GAA’s flagship stadium, Croke Park, honours both men through the Nally Terrace and the Cusack Stand.

Cusacks aim was to preserve ancient Irish sports particularly Hurling. He formulated Gaelic Football which, like all ball playing sports, had different rules in different regions. Athletics was the big draw in the early years of the GAA. This coincided with improving road and rail infrastructures. Sport was no longer confined to local meetings. It is interesting to note that Rugby, Cricket and Football were starting to getting increasing popular though International tests.

Gaelic Rules The Roost

Experience Gaelic Games Not a player See a Match

Hurling – Ireland’s National Sport

Over time Gaelic Football and Hurling became the chosen sports of the populace of Ireland. They remain the most popular pastimes to this day. Hurling is uniquely Irish. An ancient stick and ball game first recorded in 1172BC which warriors would practice leading up to battle. It holds a special place in the hearts of both players and supporters. 82,500 souls pack into Croke Park on the first Sunday of September each year to see the All-Ireland Final.

Away from the madding crowds Hurling is played throughout Ireland in small villages and picturesque townlands. With over 2,200 GAA clubs there is naturally deep rivalry between neighbouring communities! The sense of pride in one’s race comes into being during hurling matches between local rivals. Stand on a terrace in Athenry, Birr, Cashel or Drumbane and you’ll get a fair understanding.This is where the ancient tribal warfare in Ireland is reborn. In a sporting sense at least!

The Dutch GAA

On October 25th 1984, a week before the Gaelic Athletic Association celebrated its centenary, the first GAA club was founded in Sassenhein. Styling themselves as Den Haag, they are one of the strongest clubs in European Gaelic circles winning four Hurling and four Gaelic Football titles. Groiningen GAA, Amsterdam GAC (2003), Maastricht Gaels (2005), Holland Ladies (2008) and Eindoven Shamrocks (2013) have since joined Den Haag to form a formidable Netherlands GAA circuit. Michael Cusack would be proud!

Coming to Ireland and want to immerse yourself in ancient Irish sporting culture, then book a session with Experience Gaelic Games and experience the thrill of Gaelic games.

 

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Banty/Hurling and a vague Gaelic Connection! http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/bantyhurling-and-a-vague-gaelic-connection/ Mon, 16 Nov 2015 13:36:25 +0000 http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/?p=2117 Bandy/Hurling – Stick and Ball, Ice And All By Brian G. O’Sullivan Bandy, or Hockey on ice, may be largely confined to Scandinavia today. There was a time however when the game thrived in Britain and Ireland. Historians place Bandy as the pre- runner to Hockey or Ice Hockey. The fact it was played in...

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Bandy/Hurling – Stick and Ball, Ice And All
1500s Bandy - Hurling on Ice!

Bandy in the 1500’s

By Brian G. O’Sullivan

Bandy, or Hockey on ice, may be largely confined to Scandinavia today. There was a time

however when the game thrived in Britain and Ireland. Historians place Bandy as the pre-

runner to Hockey or Ice Hockey. The fact it was played in ancient times could yet unravel

that Bandy may well have originated as Hurling on ice!

There are some amazing similarities between Hurling and Bandy. Both are Celtic cousins

who are family members of Shinty in Scotland. Which proves every ancient tribe had a stick

and ball game. The Roman Empire sadly crushed many of these. The fact they failed to land

in Ireland saved Hurling. However some people have a fantasy that Hurling would have been

the chosen game of the Romans. Had they found it their empire would never have fallen.

Bandy or Bando, as it was called, was first recorded as an ancient Welsh sport played in the

Vale of Glamorgan where the sandy beaches provided plenty room to play. Interestingly,

Hurling was often played on the beaches of Ireland, particularly in the south east of the

country. Hurling needed the tide to be out for a game to be played. Bandy needed ice, which

meant the participants had to wait for a harsh winter to get a game!

Hurling and Gaelic football were played as winter sports in the generations leading up to their

formalisation in 1884. There was a simple reason behind this. The Irish population was

largely rural as urbanisation was slowly setting into the Irish landscape. Being rural every

able bodied man was tied up in agriculture from March to October leaving the winter for

sport.

The Names Bond

There were varying rules and formations styling themselves as Hurling in the mid-1800s. The

standard hurling we know today was much different in certain areas. William Melville, the

man who established, the secret service, MI5 in London – and the inspiration for the James

Bond film series – was a noted hurler in his youth.

Nothing strange about that, bar the fact that hurling is alien to his native Sneem in south west

Ireland. Back in Melvilles youth a stick and ball game styled hurling was played using

narrow sticks cut from furze brushes. It was described in the seventeenth century as a form of

Bandy or ‘back and forth. When the GAA was formed in 1884 such sports disappeared from

the Irish landscape.

Bury Fen’s

Like Hurling, Bandy, continued to be played in different forms for centuries. English outfit

Bury Fen’s claimed to be unbeaten for one hundred years. An astonishing fact, considering

the game was only played when the flooded water of the Fens froze. Which never went more

than twenty years according to legend.

William Shakespeare must have been an avid Bandy man. In his masterpiece Romeo and

Juliet he scripted a scene where Romeo stated to Tybalt and Mercutio ‘The Prince expressly

hath forbidden bandying in the Verona streets’.

Windsor Castle staged a Bandy exhibition match in 1853 when Prince Albert played in goal

as Queen Victoria cheered him on from the terraces. Ninety-nine years later Bandy featured

as an exhibition during the Winter Olympics at Oslo. Sweden defeated Finland and Norway

in a three way series on goal difference. Sadly it never returned.

The game went international in 1891 when James Tebbutt took the game east to the

Netherlands and in time to greater Scandinavia Today there are over 600 Bandy clubs in

Sweden alone, and many more stretching from the Netherlands to Canada and the USA.

Clubbed Together

Hurling and Gaelic Football are linked together under the same governing body, the Gaelic

Athletic Association. Both games are played on a pitch measuring one-hundred-forty metres

long by ninety metres wide. Each team must consist of fifteen players while a game is played

over thirty-five minutes halfs. Goals and points may be scored through an H shaped goal.

Bandy and Football have similar ties with each other. The playing area is exactly the same

–the size of a football field – with one notable exception it has to be frozen solid for a Bandy

game to commence. The game is played over two periods of forty-five minutes, both sides

line out with eleven players. Like Football, the team with the most goals scored wins.

Similar to Gaelic clubs today, Bandy and Football were blood relations. Many clubs had a

Football team and a Bandy team under the same banner. Nottingham Forest FC (England)

and Stromsgodest IF (Norway) were two notable powerhouses in both Football and Bandy.

Norwegian first division side Mjoindalen IF still strive for duel honours in both codes.

Bandy Legged

The term bandy legs originated through the connection between Football and Bandy. Thomas

Tobin’s legs were far from bandy. Legend has it that Tobin attained legendary status in the

game of Caid, a precursor to Gaelic Football in the 1870s. Football boots were almost non-

existed so the local priest bought him a pair, never to see Tobin or the boots in action.

He approached the young man’s father one day stating where was Thomas and the boots?

The team was had fallen asunder without him. The wily father replied ‘that man is too

valuable to be playing, but the boots were ideal in the garden!’

Experience the thrill of Hurling and Gaelic Football and immerse yourself in an ancient

sporting culture through Experience Gaelic Games.

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Our Dublin Centre http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/our-dublin-centre/ Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:04:05 +0000 http://egg.sportsclubservices.ie/?p=2108 In case you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting us in Dublin – we thought that we’d share a few pics of how life looked for us in the Dublin October Sunshine. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be able to welcome guests into the heart of our local community and share with...

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In case you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting us in Dublin – we thought that we’d share a few pics of how life looked for us in the Dublin October Sunshine.

Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be able to welcome guests into the heart of our local community and share with them a passion that’s far greater than just a sport or field game!

Welcome to Ireland

 

Door to funshine!


  

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Dublin Our City in Words- Bleeding Great! http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/dublin-our-city-in-words-bleeding-great/ Tue, 03 Nov 2015 14:42:24 +0000 http://egg.sportsclubservices.ie/?p=2096 http:// We’re a little passionate about a few things at Experience Gaelic Games. Having fun and sharing a laugh are two of our passions. On our serious side we just love sharing insights into our local Gaelic culture. We’re no fans of the “Plastic Paddy” tourism experience. Drunken nights with shamrocks and shillieaghs are not...

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http://

We’re a little passionate about a few things at Experience Gaelic Games. Having fun and sharing a laugh are two of our passions. On our serious side we just love sharing insights into our local Gaelic culture.

We’re no fans of the “Plastic Paddy” tourism experience. Drunken nights with shamrocks and shillieaghs are not our favourite images of Ireland. We’re more fans of sharing how it really is- Raw, complex, post colonial, confusing and interesting.

So when we recently went traveling to Denmark to debate what it means to be Irish with our Viking Cousins – it was a pleasure to be accompanied by a Poet and a wonderful singer/songwriter. (Stephen James Smith and Enda Reilly)

Us gallant three, Poet, Songster and Hurler brought our songs and stories from the Western Isle to Schools, Colleges and Concert halls throughout Denmark and we had a ball!!

We have some lovely stories we’ll share and some we might not 🙂 !

During our trip we talked a lot of Dublin and what it means to us all.

Thankfully – Stephen James Smith the inspirational poet – captured it in words and then a talented creative crew put this superb video together for our city as it is – we just love it!- we hope you do too!

Dublin – dirty Dublin – our home town where Stephen asks – “when did you go from the Clash of the Ash* to exchanging gold for cash”

Clash of the Ash is the sound of two hurling sticks striking each other in battle.

Live it –  love it – life as it is in our former garrison town!

 

http://https://youtu.be/kE30AnPSznk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Experience Gaelic Games- The Most Irish Thing to Do! Officially! http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/experience-gaelic-games-the-most-irish-thing-to-do-officially/ Tue, 03 Nov 2015 14:01:05 +0000 http://egg.sportsclubservices.ie/?p=2092 Over the last few years we’ve been fortunate to host a range of International Press and Media visitors. It’s always great fun to have the pleasure of introducing visiting Media to the phenomena of Gaelic Games. Just recently we had one such visit from Cory Hanson – who writes and blogs on his travel experiences....

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EGG Dublin Visitor Centre

Over the last few years we’ve been fortunate to host a range of International Press and Media visitors.

It’s always great fun to have the pleasure of introducing visiting Media to the phenomena of Gaelic Games.

Just recently we had one such visit from Cory Hanson – who writes and blogs on his travel experiences.

After his visit Cory kindly took the time to share his experience with his followers- please check out the link to Cory’s thoughts on Experience Gaelic Games

 

 

Thanks Cory and good luck with fivesuitcases.com – it’s a great read!

 

 

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Thanks to you – We’re Number One of things to do in Dublin! http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/thanks-to-you-were-number-one-of-things-to-do-in-dublin/ Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:31:13 +0000 http://egg.sportsclubservices.ie/?p=2082 Number One of things to do in Dublin We’re delighted that we’re now ranked Number One of things to do in Dublin on Tripadvisor. Many thanks to all our visitors who took the time to share their thoughts on their time spent with us.It’s because you took the time to share your comments that we’re...

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Number One of things to do in Dublin

We’re delighted that we’re now ranked Number One of things to do in Dublin on Tripadvisor.

Many thanks to all our visitors who took the time to share their thoughts on their time spent with us.It’s because you took the time to share your comments that we’re now ranked number one of things to do in Dublin!

We’ve been having a great time this summer- spreading the Gaelic Gospel. As always our role promoting Gaelic Games to international visitors brings us into contact with some interesting guests. This year we have been blessed to host visitors from all over the planet. Been ranked the number one thing to do in Dublin has it’s benefits!! We’ve had fun with visitors from Alaska, to New Zealand and Iceland to Isreal and all counties in between –

To all our guests we’ve like to say thanks for spending precious time with us. We’ve enjoyed the pleasure of hosting everyone. We’re hoping that you’ll all continue the work, along with us,  of spreading the joy of Gaelic Games to others. No matter where you reside on the planet there’s always an opportunity to enjoy Gaelic games.

If you haven’t been with us – then now is your chance to book!

 

 

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Follow Danny’s Gaelic Days….. http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/follow-dannys-gaelic-days/ Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:10:15 +0000 http://egg.sportsclubservices.ie/?p=2043   Check out a new perspective on Gaelic Games We’re delighted that Daniel Brashear, a student of Sports Management from Drexel University Philadelphia, has joined us for the summer. Daniel will be helping us spread the Gaelic Gospel while helping delivering one of the top things to do in Dublin. Daniel is a native New...

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Check out a new perspective on Gaelic Games

We’re delighted that Daniel Brashear, a student of Sports Management from Drexel University Philadelphia, has joined us for the summer.

Daniel will be helping us spread the Gaelic Gospel while helping delivering one of the top things to do in Dublin.

Daniel is a native New Yorker with a passion for sport. He’s worked previously with the Philadelphia 76ers Basketball Organisation and Philadelphia Union Soccer Club.

He’s got a different take on sports from the standard European perspective.

He’s also got a pretty good way with words…….

Check out his blog – which starts today with his first instalment

Experiencing Gaelic Games and the Start of my Internship

 

 

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Experience the Thrill Of Gaelic Games With GAAGO http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/experience-the-thrill-of-gaelic-games-with-gaago/ Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:16:56 +0000 http://egg.sportsclubservices.ie/?p=2038 By Brian O’Sullivan Coming to Experience Gaelic Games for a session and want to familiarise yourself with Gaelic sports? Then GAAGO is your #1 stop for all the latest GAA action. With less than two weeks gone in the “Official” GAA season armchair Gaelic fans across the globe have been treated to some exhilarating action....

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By Brian O’Sullivan

Coming to Experience Gaelic Games for a session and want to familiarise yourself with Gaelic sports? Then GAAGO is your #1 stop for all the latest GAA action.

With less than two weeks gone in the “Official” GAA season armchair Gaelic fans across the globe have been treated to some exhilarating action. And the best part is things are only warming up! All mind-sets are geared for September; there will be many thrills along the way

The advent of streaming Gaelic Games online, naturally, is a quite recent concept. For many years Irish emigrants had to rely on a phone call or even a telegram from home to find out the how their native team were getting. Today someone in Auckland, Bangkok or Oslo can watch Gaelic Games the same time someone in Abbeyknockmoy, Ballyheigue or Oola.

Things have come a long way in a short space of time. The growth and power of social media has fuelled the advent of streaming Gaelic games to the masses overseas. Since the turn of the millennium the GAA has grown twice over fold overseas. The Millennium Bug was feared when 1999 turned into 2000, thankfully social media grew to such proportions that a Gaelic bug has hit Asia, Oceancia and the Middle East.

Scores of people gather in Irish bars, friends’ gaffs and apartment compounds across Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Washington DC to see the likes of Offaly play Waterford and Dublin tackle Donegal. Like every facet of the GAA, this new initiative gels people together in the love of their native heritage.

Michael O'Hehir

Ireland’s legendary broadcaster Michael O’Hehir

Adapting with the times has always been a core strength of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Radio was the most significant medium that brought the colour Gaelic Games into homes. Up until recent years the only form of catching a National League game was through Radio. Local radio stations such as Cork 103fm, Tipp FM and Shannonside Radio have helped bring the game to its populace, both local and worldwide through the Internet

Be not fooled should you ever hear anyone from Ireland stating that “I watched the game on the radio”. Many a good game was seen on the airwaves. It was a fundamental part of rural Ireland. Scores of people would gather in the home of the person who housed the best radio in the parish.

Moments of life were fashioned through watching a match on the radio. Players became household names before they were recognised in the flesh. Michael O’Hehir was the first broadcasting superstar of the GAA. So much so that many up and coming players hoped they touch the ball in the game because O’Hehir would broadcast the feat to the nation.

GAAGO offers the same thrill and excitement to Gaels overseas. The emotional connection to ones homeland is evident by the growth of Gaelic Games overseas, now newcomers to Gaelic Games can see the stars in action from the comfort of their own homes!

Beaming games worldwide not only showcases the unique treasure we hold in Ireland but it also broadcasts the cultural and natural riches of our land. Witnessing a game means you are observing ancient tribes doing battle for pride and local prestige.

The beautiful and wild nature of Ireland will be evident in the scenic surroundings which often leaves a wonderful backdrop to the games televised. So if you’re planning a session to Experience Gaelic Games and want to get a unique feel for the Sporting heritage of the Games, look no further than GAAGO!

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