Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Game for Gods Played by Men

Recently we got an email about the Akron Celtic Guards Hurling Club, "The Hibernian Rifles !,” from Paddy Taylor, organizer/founder of the team. Paddy and the “Celtic Guards” will be playing in a four team hurling tournament at the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival, which will be held August 3rd, 4th and 5th. Below is their 2006 team photo, taken at last year's festival.

Paddy’s passion for the game, who’s first known great player was Setanta (Cú Chulainn), comes through in his email. According to Paddy, "Once you get into it, it becomes you, you become the legend, you have the fire of the old days." Here’s the description of hurling from their website. We suspect that this was written by Paddy:

Hurling is a game for gods played by men. Hurling is an unlikely experiment, acts of balletic beauty conducted in the face of war. It's about timing and bravery and passion. The game is nourished by history and culture and the Irish sense of place. The drift of the modern world is towards disconnection and isolation. Hurling is an adhesive, one of the last excuses for people to gather and bump shoulders and celebrate themselves and the place they come from and the history they share.

The team is sponsored by the Mark Heffernan, Div 2 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Akron, Ohio. For more information about the Akron Celtic Guards, or to learn more about "the myths, the legends, the skill, the athleticism, of this ancient sport of Ireland," as Paddy describes it, you can contact Seamus White at 330-773-7814 or Paddy Taylor-330-773-8437. Or you can email Paddy HERE.


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