Hurling on the rise

Hurling is overtaking Gaelic football as the young boy’s sport of choice in Liberties primary schools.

Despite Dublin’s historic win in this year’s All Ireland football final, the meteoric rise to prominence of the counties hurling team under Anthony Daly seems to have breathed new life into the game throughout the capital.

While both sports are enthusiastically played in the majority of schools, football had previously dominated both in the playground and on an organised level.

Football enjoyed a substantial rise in popularity periodically in the aftermath of Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton-inspired victory over Kerry in last year’s All-Ireland final. However, it is hurling which has grown most significantly in the last year.

While the ‘small ball’ game traditionally came third popular in past years (after soccer and football), it has now climbed to just below, and in some cases equal to, football as a pastime for small boys in the city area.

The lack of interest was previously attributed to both Dublin’s relative lack of success in the code and also the lack of high profile hurlers in the capital.

All this has changed with the abdication from the football squad of both Shane Ryan and Conal Keaney, the latter of which looked certain to be nominated for Player of the Year last year, before succumbing to injury.

The rise to prominence of hurling can be seen all over the area, with a marked increase in the amount of hurleys visible in both the play-grounds and parks of the Liberties.

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