By Eddie Ryan
The GAA Hurling and Football Championships are now now in full swing, as the sweltering summer of 2018 has reached a sporting boiling point in more ways than one. While both championships are a jewel in the association’s crown, the ladies game of camogie is surely a hidden treasure of our national sports.
Fast and furious, the ‘Sister’ game of hurling deserves to be judged on its own merits. It has all the attributes of hurling, yet it also has its own unique traits, which have thrilled fans of the game for well over a century now.
The very first All-Ireland Camogie Final was held at the Galway Sportsgrounds in 1932, before an estimated attendance of 4,000 people. Fittingly, the home side, Galway, carried the day over Dublin, winning by a three-goal margin.
The attendance at games has of course risen sharply, with well over 20,000 present in Croke Park for the 2016, and 2017, All-Ireland Finals. The record crowd for a camogie All-Ireland Final was a whopping 33,154 in 2007, when Wexford and Cork locked horns.
With the birth of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884, the name ‘hurling’ was given to the men’s game. When an organisation for women was set up in 1904, the woman’s version of the game, was derived from the Irish name camógaíocht, and called ‘camogie’.