Hidden Treasures of the GAA Archive

The treasures of the GAA Archive display seeks to put the spotlight on those hidden gems that the public rarely gets to view. This display will rotate every month with a new archival item available to view within the GAA Museum at Croke Park.

Hurling and How to Play It by An Ciotóg

First written in April 1916 according to its dedication on the third page, It notes that it was written for “the boy hurlers of the North Monastery, Cork…in appreciation of the admirable spirit in which they accepted the joy of victory and the poignancy of defeat.”

The guide was aimed at those in charge of teams and “Players desirous of improving their knowledge and ability in Ireland’s historic and unexcelled game” as stated on its front cover. Topics covered include picking of gear such as boots, hurls and togs, character study as an essential skill, how over-confidence spells defeat and twenty-six don’ts for hurlers which covers such advice as “Don’t send the ball across your own goal” and “Don’t forget a little powdered resin in wet weather.”

The guide also has a small number of interesting illustrations such as how teams should line out, the direction of stroke away from own goal and positions to take when playing with wind. The back cover is an advertisement for Whelan & Son ball makers who provided Eamon De Valera with the ball “at the big match in Croke Park, April 13th 1919.” The dating of this advertisement would suggest that our copy on display was printed shortly after this April 13th, 1919 date. The item will be on display in the GAA Museum until the end of November.