GAA : ‘Americans Getting Hooked On Hurling’

Updated: July 3, 2012

The story of how the Irish team sport of Hurling is spreading like wildfire across the United States. The book examines how to play. It explores hurling’s ancient legacy, early American years and what Irish America has been missing for generations. And, why today, from Orlando to Seattle, Americans are getting “hooked” on hurling.

The new ebook, ‘Hurling USA has just been launched by Irish freelance journalist, podcaster, and former U.S. migrant Denis O’Brien, who tells how hurling is spreading to American towns and cities that until recently never knew the sport existed. The author reveals why the sport is hooking Americans young and old, and why Americans are ‘blown away.’

Readers follow a trail to Mesopotamia, Egypt, across Europe and Canada to sample ancient stick ball games. Hurling’s Irish roots are traced in myth, law, iconography, history, lecture and fascinating first-hand accounts of old matches. In the middle of the 19th century, hurling arrives in America with immigrants and prospers in the big cities until squabbling, assimilation, depression, war and exclusiveness see it fade into the background of ethnic entertainment in place to this day.

‘Hurling USA’ goes on to outline exactly where, how and why the sport is growing on college campuses and on American public parks. The author brings into focus the hit-and-miss Irish summer player model adopted by older ex-pat clubs in big cities in comparison to steady growth at new hurling clubs.

In the concluding chapter, he examines what hurling’s growing presence could mean for the sport’s governing body in Ireland, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Irish immigrants and the American sporting landscape.
The author, Denis O’Brien, a former emigrant himself , is a Freelance Journalist based in Ballinamore, County Leitrim.

He is writer, producer and publisher of the popular podcast, GaelicSportsCast,which reports Gaelic Sports news around the globe via daily and weekly podcasts as well as written reports.

O’Brien spent almost 20 years in America, where he lived in New York and more recently in Boston so no one is better qualified to write such a guide on hurling

He has written for the Boston Irish Reporter, the New York Irish Examiner, and contributed to the Irish Examiner, Leitrim Observer, Anglo Celt, The Sligo Champion, Sligo Weekender, Donegal News, Shannonside Radio and Ocean FM Radio ; no one is better qualified than Denis O’Brien to write such a book on Hurling in America. Well worth a read in the weeks and months ahead and would make an ideal present for relatives at home or abroad.

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