GAA

Hair Hurling Balls - new temporary exhibition now open

Hair Hurling Balls - new temporary exhibition now open

20th July 2014

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The GAA Museum today opened a new temporary exhibition, ‘Hair Hurling Balls – Earliest Artefacts of our National Game’, which showcases the predecessor of the modern sliotar. The balls of matted cow hair with a plaited horsehair covering were all found in bogs and are up to 800 years old.

There are 14 of these balls on display as part of the exhibition which was researched and developed by the National Museum of Ireland and previously hosted at the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, County Mayo.

The interactive exhibition invites visitors to uncover stories of the history of the hair hurling balls: where they were found, how they were made and their ages. The exhibition also explores the science behind our knowledge. Visitors can see how these earliest objects of our national game compare with those of today and learn more about their folklore.

Liam O’Neill, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, said “Our Games have a rich cultural and historic legacy and this exhibition is a wonderful illustration of this. We are proud to be able to host this exhibition over the coming months. I hope that all those who come through the museum doors will appreciate what we have to share about our most ancient code of hurling.”

Mark Dorman, GAA Museum Director said “We believe that this exhibition will be of huge interest and relevance to our visitors and will complement our permanent exhibits.  This exhibition will be a great addition to the GAA Museum and of huge interest to our many visitors, both from home and abroad.”

Dr. Raghnall O'Floinn, National Museum of Ireland Director said “This National Museum of Ireland exhibition merges objects from our ancient hurling past with the living tradition in Croke Park. The GAA Museum is a fitting venue for these national treasures.”

Hair Hurling Balls – Earliest Artefacts of our National Game’ will run until April 2015.