United Nations grant hurling and Camogie special cultural status
Hurling and Camogie have been recognised by the UN’s cultural body for the significant cultural role they play in Irish society.
UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) have inscribed hurling on the #IntangibleHeritage list which looks to raise the awareness of important cultures worldwide.
UNESCO have described hurling as 'an intrinsic part of Irish culture' and added that it 'plays a central role in promoting health and wellbeing, inclusiveness and team spirit'.
A statement on their website read:
"Hurling, or Camogie (a form of Hurling played by women), is a field game played by two teams which dates back 2,000 years and features strongly in Irish mythology, most notably in the epic saga of Cú Chulainn. It is played throughout the island of Ireland, particularly in more fertile agricultural areas, as well as overseas. Traditionally, the number of players in the game was unregulated and games were played across open fields. Nowadays, there are fifteen players on adult teams and the game is played on a clearly marked pitch. Players use a wooden stick (hurley), similar to a hockey stick but with a flat end, and a small ball (sliotar), with the aim being to use the hurley to strike the sliotar and hit it between the opposing team’s goalposts. The primary bearers and practitioners are the players, known as ‘hurlers’ (male) and ‘camógs’ (female). Hurling is considered as an intrinsic part of Irish culture and plays a central role in promoting health and wellbeing, inclusiveness and team spirit. Today, the skills are promoted and transmitted through coaching and games in schools and clubs. As the custodians of Hurling, the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Camogie Association, both volunteer-led organizations, play a central role in transmitting the skills and values associated with Hurling."
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan welcomed the news and said that it gives “prestigious international recognition of our national game.”