Tipperary County Council
Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh,
Co. Tipperary
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+353(0)818 06 5000
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Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

Current Exhibition- Hair Hurling Balls at the County Museum

Ireland's oldest hurling balls and hurley on display in Co. Tipperary - winners of the Liam McCarthy Cup, 2016.

The 1916 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final was the 29th All-Ireland Final and was postponed until 1917 due to the unrest after the 1916 Rising. The match was held at Croke Park, Dublin, on 21 January 1917 between club side Tullaroan, Kilkenny and represented by Boherlahan, Tipperary. The Leinster champions lost to their Munster opponents on a score line of 5-4 to 3-2.
Isn’t it fitting that Tipperary wins the All Ireland Hurling Championship within this decade of centenaries...

For centuries, hurling was popularly played cross-country, on river-fields, on beaches and in bogs. However, until this research was carried out for Hair Hurling Balls, very little was known about the hurling balls used throughout the country.

The Museum’s oldest-known hurley is also on display at Tipperary County Museum. All the balls dated to the late seventeenth century or earlier. The earliest was made in the second half of the twelfth century – that’s 800 years old!

The exhibition uncovers the story of each one - where they were found, how they were made, their age and how they measure up to the modern ball.

The exhibition also centres on the scientific research used to untangle the mysteries of these balls. The scientific analysis and research undertaken by the Museum showed us what goes on behind the scenes in Museums. This revealed so much more than the naked eye could see...

Munster features strongly with finds from Tipperary, Clare, north Kerry and west Limerick. Tipperary (One is in Cork Public Museum and one is in Kerry County Museum). There are also balls from east Sligo and the latest ball into the National Museum of Ireland collection is from north Mayo. All were found through hand cutting turf in bogs over the past 100 years.

The popular exhibition, first presented in the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Turlough Park, also includes examples of hurleys from our recent past and sliotar from our hurling legends of today.

Other popular artefacts on display at Tipperary County Museum is a 19th century Maurice Davin (First President of the GAA) Hurley, The Hogan Jersey 1920 from the infamous Bloody Sunday tragedy and a photograph of the Tipperary All Ireland 1916 Hurling team.

See it in the Tipperary County Museum in Clonmel until 23rd October 2016.

If you would like to visit our ‘Hair Hurling Ball’ or ‘1916 Road to the Rising’ Exhibitions please contact Julia at 0761 06 5252/5254 or email museum@tipperarycoco.ie for a group tour or school visit. Admission to the Museum is free.

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