Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Senator Phelan says "grant" hurling special Unesco status

According to today’s Irish Times, Kilkenny senator John Paul Phelan has called for the sport of hurling to be designated a “safeguarded cultural activity” on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) heritage programme.

The programme currently includes such activities as the polyphonic singing of central Africa’s Aka pygmies, Belgium’s Binche Carnival, a mask dance performed in eastern Bhuta, Sardinian pastoral singing, and Catalan castelling – wherby teams of men with nothing better to do stand on each others shoulders to see who can make the highest human tower. Inclusion on the Unesco list does, of course, attract funding.

Hurling is an ancient game invented by the GAA, a cultural rivalist organisation formed in a Tipperary billiards room in 1884. It consists of finding 30 farmers and gardai, arming them with sticks, then putting them into a big field to beat seven colours of shite out of each other.

Although it is possibly Official Ireland's most in-your-face game and, therefore, anything but endangered (even Ronaldo can’t set foot here without having a hurley thrust into an unsuspecting hand), maybe Gombeen Nation should support its inclusion on the list... if only to encourage the above?

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Bernd said...

Ah, Gombeeno, just you wait until they tie in the status of Irish as "definitely endagered" as to the Unesco Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger ... really ... see

Isn't it great to play the "victim card" again and again ...? After all, what have the Brits ever done for us?

The Gombeen Man said...

And am I surprised, Bernd? 44,000 when looking for Unesco funding, 1.6 million when looking for official EU language status.

You're spot on about the victimhood thing... and its bedfellow (as I see it) of putting on the poor mouth.

Mind you, the begging bowl is never far away where we Irish are concerned. On another issue, witness the sudden transformation from Euro-enthusiasts to Euro-sceptics as soon as the money has dried up and we are asked to actually put something in.

Sorry... I know I'm off on a tangent there. Again!