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The Hurlers Reviews

The Hurlers by Paul Rouse

The Hurlers

: The First All-Ireland Championship and the Making of Modern Hurling

Paul Rouse

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction, History
Imprint: Penguin Ireland
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 6 Sep 2018
ISBN: 9781844884391

The Hurlers is a superbly readable account of that dramatic turn of events, of the colourful men who made it happen, and of the political intrigues and violent rows that marked the early years of the GAA.

4 stars out of 5
30 Sep 2018

"Aficionados will get a kick from learning how a fading pastime bounced back to life in the 1880s."

Rouse’s extensive dig into contemporary newspapers and periodicals has unearthed terrific detail, which is skilfully interwoven. Conflicts, mostly local, are the engine of the narrative — disputed outcomes on the field and matches abandoned in full flight.

There is none of Cusack’s verbosity about Rouse’s clear style. Piece by piece he has taken a neglected story and given it a vibrant new life. For anybody who cares about hurling, this book will be a pleasure.


5 stars out of 5
1 Sep 2018

"a treasure trove of Irish historical and sporting history."

The book is a story of pioneerism, passion, intrigue, skulduggery and commitment acted out by a cast of characters from a range of backgrounds. Hurlers, farmers, the clergy, the IRB, Fenians and Land League agitators all played significant parts in the slow progression of the GAA.

This is a history and sports book. It’s a must read for the many sports, and particularly hurling, supporters and admirers in today’s version of Ireland.

It’s evident after reading this excellent historical account that hurling is uniquely bound up with Irish identity, in all its complexity and sublety.