Hundreds of Irish people have immigrated to Canada in the last two centuries, bringing with them their beloved centuries-old sport of hurling.
It’s ice hockey playoff time, but how many people realise that hurling is the sport that gave birth to ice hockey?
Hundreds of thousands of Irish people have immigrated to Canada in the last two centuries, bringing with them their beloved centuries-old sport of hurling. The cold winters forced them to alter the game, which eventually became ice hockey.
It’s not unexpected, given that the Irish were responsible for many parts of American athletics and culture, including unique music and dance, as well as games.
The filmmakers uncovered some fascinating facts. “We discovered that an Irish administrator of a school in Nova Scotia was practising hurling instruction at the school 250 years ago.
“His name was William Cochran, and he was from the Tyrone town of Omagh. Northern Irelanders were the first to introduce hurling to Canada.
“Due to the weather circumstances, that quickly evolved to ice hurling.” A slender, narrow hurling staff, rather than the rounder one we have today, was used at the time. It looked a lot like modern-day hockey sticks.
“It was narrower at the top because it was more of a ground hurling game that we used to play in Ireland 250 years ago,” he explained.
“The root of the game comes from hurling and ice hurling, and then the game just went off,” Cualáin explains. It shares several characteristics with hurling. Ger was struck by the speed, the enthusiasm, and the skill.
“Ice hurling took on a life of its own after hurling took to the ice and became ice hurling. A brand-new sport. “Ice hockey is undoubtedly as popular in Canada as hurling is in Ireland.”
“One-third of the Canadian population was Irish-born or first-generation Irish,” according to the film. Ice hurling evolved into ice hockey, which swiftly became popular across Canada.”
“When they first started playing ice hurling, the Irish were there,” he adds. “Then they were there when the first clubs were created when the regulations were being made.