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Our Great National Debate Rages Once More

Our Great National Debate Rages Once More
By Donny Mahoney
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Ireland has again been plunged into a state of toxic acrimony as a topic that divides more people than the Great Wall of China has re-entered the national discourse.  What do you call the curled piece of ash stick that you play hurling with?

Writing in today's Irish Times, letterwriter and Corkman Ned Monaghan opines:

 Sir, – I was born and reared in Co Cork and when we went out to play, after school and before the tea, we went hurling.And we used our hurleys to do that.

Yet we will all be familiar, I assume, with the words of the song Bould Thady Quill, who as I remember, “Hurled the ball right and left in their faces”.

To do that, he used a hurley, not a hurl. Hurl is a verb, not a noun.

I just read a fine article in this paper about a fine man who, they said, made hurls. He did not. He made hurleys.

This is finally off my chest. I truly hope that I will never again see hurleys called hurls.

If this trend continues donkeys will be soon be called donks.

Ned has made the most persuasive argument yet for calling it a hurley over a hurl. By dint of geography, thousands will protest.

The letter has spawned much debate on Ireland's airwaves and social media streams this morning. It has also revived the biggest blood feud in hurling: Cork people vs Kilkenny people.


On this point, we're happy to give our editor Mick McCarthy the final word.

For what it is worth, we are polling hurl vs hurley on our Instagram stories page and hurl is beating hurley to 57% to 43%.

Our sources in the US embassy tell us Senator George Mitchell is currently on a Concorde jet from his summer haven in rural Vermont to mediate a grand council of esteemed hurling people at Hayes's Hotel in Thurles to resolve this matter once and for all.

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