Hurling prize named after historic Unionist

Hurling prize named after historic Unionist

A new Gaelic games challenge has taken its name from an unlikely source - the founding father of Ulster unionism.

Competitors in the first ever hurling event in the Stormont estate in Belfast - which is itself steeped in the historical trappings of British rule in the North - will be playing for the Edward Carson trophy.

On face value, the Dublin-born barrister who led the campaign against Irish independence a century ago is an unusual choice for the new competition.

But Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, who has helped organise the inaugural “Poc ar an Cnoc” which will take place below Carson’s famous statute in Stormont next month, thought otherwise.

“I discovered, much to my surprise, that Carson was a hurler in his days at Trinity College,” he explained at the launch of the event in Parliament Buildings today.

“So this man who is arguably the father of unionism was also a Gael and I thought that was an interesting concept.”

He added: “When Carson was playing for this hurling club at Trinity he got an honourable mention in the Irish Sportsman as having distinguished himself on the field so we thought it would be a great idea to have an Edward Carson trophy.

“This notion of Gaelic sports being in any way for one section of people here, I think once you just lift the lid of it (that’s not the case) and hopefully one of the good things that may come out of all of this is that it will be received positively and favourably and people will embrace it.”

The Poc Fada will see hurlers young and old hitting sliotars up the mile-long Prince of Wales Avenue that leads to Parliament Buildings.

Mr Adams said he had detected some recent thawing in the traditionally frosty attitude of unionists to Gaelic games and revealed that he would be inviting his colleagues on the opposing benches at Stormont to take part on Saturday August 7.

“Hopefully we will see somebody from the unionist community up here,” said the West Belfast MP. “I intend to invite as many of them as I can up during the summer break.”

He added: “So I want to challenge Sammy Wilson (Democratic Unionist Finance Minister) to compete here with us and hope that he will.”

The event, which is sponsored by M Donnelly & Co Ltd Dublin, is in aid of The City of the Angels Foundation – a charity that works in the major shanty town of Favela in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

More in this Section

FAI appoint Niall Quinn as interim Deputy CEOFAI appoint Niall Quinn as interim Deputy CEO

Dalo's Hurling Show: A fair league format but is the cut-throat element gone? Dalo's Hurling Show: A fair league format but is the cut-throat element gone?

Kyrgios apologises for his behaviour after beating SimonKyrgios apologises for his behaviour after beating Simon

Russell sent home from Scotland training camp for ‘breach of discipline’ ahead of Ireland clashRussell sent home from Scotland training camp for ‘breach of discipline’ ahead of Ireland clash


Lifestyle

Cork teenager Jessie Griffin is launching a new comic-book series about her own life. She tells Donal O’Keeffe about her work as a comic artist, living with Asperger’s, and her life-changing time with the Cork Life CentrePicture perfect way of sharing Jessie’s story

Sorting out Cork people for agesAsk Audrey: The only way to improve air quality in Douglas is to move it upwind from Passage West

The Lighthouse is being hailed as one of the best — and strangest — films of the year. Its director tells Esther McCarthy about casting Robert Pattinson, and why he used 100-year-old lensesGoing against the grain: Robert Eggers talks about making his latest film The Lighthouse

It turns out 40 is no longer the new 30 – a new study says 47 is the age of peak unhappiness. The mid-life crisis is all too real, writes Antoinette Tyrrell.A midlife revolution: A new study says 47 is the age of peak unhappiness

More From The Irish Examiner