Tullaroan: A hurling identity
Take the hurling out of Tullaroan and you take everything.
A tiny parish on the Tipperary border, they are the most successful club in Kilkenny hurling history.
They had a presence when the GAA was founded in Hayes' Hotel in 1884 and as club chairman of 20 years Dick Walshe tells, "they organised themselves better than most clubs from then on."
Tullaroan racked up county titles for sport in the early 1900s, with national hurling icons ten-a-penny for 'the Sash.'
Emigration hit hard, as a number of hurlers had to leave for work but they always made the most of what they had. Everyone who can play, will play and that's how Tullaroan are able to compete with the best of them.
Tommy Walsh kept Tullaroan in the news in the early 2000s when he became one of the game's most admired players. His brother Padraig and sister Grace have since followed in those footsteps but as father Michael says, "we never thought of them any different.
2019 was a great year for the club, as they finally won the Kilkenny intermediate championship after some heartbreaking near misses, and they've followed Kilkenny glory with a Leinster win.
Now, they're in hot pursuit of an All-Ireland win. The village will be empty and Croke Park will be green and white.
"Cowboys & Indians... and hurling. That's all we've ever done." 🤠@Tullaroanhurlin were there when the GAA was founded in 1884.
They’re a small parish and numbers are scarce but everyone is together for hurling. 🙌
On Saturday, the place will be empty. For hurling. pic.twitter.com/5RHVd8RbL9
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) January 17, 2020
Hurling will always be the most important thing in Tullaroan.