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WHEN THE UNDERDOGS PREVAIL

Continuing our weekly Letters from Ireland Series, this week sport has been playing on the mind of Ciarán Quinn


A Letter from Ireland

WHEN THE UNDERDOGS PREVAIL

a Chairde,


I had overindulged and was carrying something like a hangover. The Olympics had seduced me into long nights of sport. Waiting up to the wee hours to watch the end of the 10k open water swim should have led to a moment of clarity. Then they ended, and that clarity remained elusive. There would be no more early morning boxing and late-night athletics.


Luckily this time of the year is the business end of the GAA Championships. In the Hurling championship semi final Cork beat the mighty Kilkenny in extra time. In the Football semi-final, Mayo came back from a certain defeat to beat the unbeatable Dublin.


Mayo Celebrate After Their Win Over Dublin


For all the pleasure of watching incredible athletes and world-beating teams, there is something about the underdog. The fighter against the odds. The team that sets out to defy the pundits. We all carry the hope that self-belief and determination can win out over statistical superiority.


Both Cork and Mayo demonstrated an awe-inspiring belief, refusing to give way. Dublin and Kilkenny are incredible teams but something magical happened on the field of play. We are now set up for two great finals.


There is fascinating and proud history of GAA clubs in the US and Canada; many carry the names of rebels and all hold the story of Irish immigration.


Search out and support your local GAA club. A list of US GAA Clubs can be found here. and Canada here.


I'm biased but hurling is the fastest and most exciting field sport in the world. Tune into the games and see for yourself.


Have a great weekend.


Is mise

Ciarán


P.S. Hurling made it to the Olympics as a demonstration sport in the 1904 Games in St. Louis Missouri. In the official competition, the Fenian Club (Chicago) beat Innisfails (St. Louis) to win the first and only Olympic hurling championship. The other demonstration sports were Basketball, American Football, and Baseball. I wonder what happened to those sports.

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