Those crazy mad bastard Celts and their games.

Hello my yankee friends.

 

Top of the morning to ya. And begorra and begosh tis’ wonderful to talking to ye all from the island of yer ancestors.

 

So let’s talk about games with long-haired redhead celts with sticks. It’s something us celts all share and the reason you lads have baseball and ice hockey. You’re welcome by the way.

cu_chulainn_by_paganxiii

So it started with a young lad called “Setanta” who later became Cú Chulainn. Which in English means “Stop translating my name into English. 700 hundred years we had to put up with those feckers” Apparently he found an ash tree on his way home from the pub one night and decided to climb it. As you do with 50 pints on ya. He climbed up to the highest branch, tried to take out a cigarette and didn’t the branch fall? Him with it. Jaysus, Mother Mary, and Saint Patrick himself didn’t he wake up with all merciful hang-over and a sore arse. But low and behold in front of him there was a stick. No ordinary stick. But a Shinty stick. This over time became a hurley stick and off he went hunting for goats. And so one of the most violent sports mankind has ever invented was born.

croke park

 

Picture this: 80,000 culties (What you Americans would call yokels) packed into a big field in the middle of Dublin waiting for two warring factions to beat lumps out of each other. You are thinking “gladiator” right?  Wrong. That’s what we call the All-Ireland final. A bit like your super bowl but with sticks.

 

It’s hard to express what this sport means to the people of the island. It would be a bit like your ideals of freedom and blowing up oil-rich countries. Literally Irish children are born with hurleys in their hands. They come out of the womb ready to fight with their neighbours who play for another club.

6987250

 

It is rumoured that Saint Patrick himself slew a mighty beast in the Donegal Mountains back in ye olde times with a hurley. Locals reported hearing mighty screams of “be gone beast!!!” Followed by a rousing rendition of the classic Irish song “We’re on the one road. On the road to God knows where!!”

 

All of this is the truth.

 

Believe me.

 

 

 

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