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Sports in Irish Culture

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 19, 2017 | No Comment |

by Feild Russell

On Sunday June 11, 2017, the four lads made a trip to Aviva Stadium to witness the World Cup Qualifying soccer match between the Republic of Ireland and Austria.  Our walk to the stadium set the tone witnessing hundreds of people in green making their way to support their nation.  During the playing of the national anthem, “A Soldier’s Song,” before kickoff, the entire Irish crowd joined the bagpipes and it was an incredible atmosphere.  The Irish managed to draw the Austrians 1-1 though they had a goal taken away from them.  Many fans brought up the 2009 WCQ against France where they were cheated from advancing from a handball from Thierry Henry.  Though there was not an Irish victory the crowd leaving the stadium continued the chant of “Come on you boys in Green” leaving me with one of the greatest sporting experiences of my life as well as showing the presence of Irish nationalism and community that sporting events only enhance.  At a bus stop after the game it was interesting to see Ireland fans interacting with the Austrians.  What I worried would turn into a heated conflict actually was a conversation held with much respect for both sides.

On Sunday June 25, 2017 the lads were able to witness a Gaelic Football match at Croke Park.  The Dublin club managed to put on an offensive show and destroyed Westmeath 4-29 – 0-10.  Though I had never witnessed Gaelic football before it was a very fluent game.  The Dublin fans changed the chant we heard at the soccer match to “Come on you boys in Blue” making it easy to join along.  In the film Michael Collins, a scene depicts the 1920 event Bloody Sunday, where 60 people were injured and 11 died during a shooting at Croke Park.  Though this horrible event took place it is a sign of perseverance that matches still take place at this historic park.  The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) has been an active organization for 132 years now.  It includes the Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic Football, handball and rounders.  The GAA’s presence in Ireland promotes traditional Irish culture including the Irish language and Irish music.

under: Student posts, Study abroad, Uncategorized

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