Hurlers on the page

 

Sir, – Hurl or hurley, who cares? This prolonged discussion of the sports implement is a classic case of Parkinson’s law of triviality. Namely, the amount of discussion given to a topic is inversely proportional to its importance. Enough already. – Yours, etc,

FRANK BRADY,

New York, US.

A chara, – Hurl or Hurley? The solution to this semantic clash, may well rest with the good people of my native Cork...who, if we stick around long enough, would surely plumb for hurlee? – Is mise,

MÁIRE Uí BHRAONÁIN,

Monasterboice, Co Louth.

A chara, – As a Dub (hurley) who has lived in Cork (hurley), Carlow (hurl), Kerry (what’s that yoke) and finally the “home of hurling” (most definitely hurl), my take on it is this. Parts of the country are comfortable with shortening words, or indeed uncomfortable and self-conscious with longer words. It is in this vein that one would be afraid of being laughed at in Kilkenny if you spoke of a hurley. Anyway, roll on the final! – Is mise,

GER MULVEY,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – Of course it’s a hurley, It’s what Christy Ring used.

When growing up in Cork, each holiday morning (the sun always shone) I ventured forth with my hurley. Of course, we played hurling on the nearby waste ground. However, on hot days cricket was played. It goes without saying, there was no such thing as a cricket bat, so the hurley made a handy substitute. On the same waste ground when sport was finished, the cavalry took on the Indians (Native Americans) and the hurley was then deployed as an excellent Springfield rifle. When staging the great second World War battles the hurley was used as the principal rifle by both sides. In jungle warfare, the hurley was also deployed as a machete to cut through the dense undergrowth.

Discussing this with a friend from South Tipperary he shared that the hurley (not hurl) was used as a putter for pitch and putt, a samurai sword, an aid to herding sheep, a way to transgender a ladies’ bike by using it as a bar and as a flagpole for the top of the sandcastle. The latter was important for townies from Clonmel who got to visit Clonea beach just a few times in the year. Tell that to the youth of today. Did the wise men meeting in Hayes Hotel, Thurles have any idea what they were unleashing? – Yours etc.,

GER O’DONOVAN,

Dungarvan, Co Waterford.