Hurling, History and Heritage: Launch of the 2024 GAA Hurling All-Ireland Series in the home of Michael Cusack:

8 proud hurling counties stood tall at the launch of the 2024 Hurling Series in the unique setting of the Michael Cusack Centre, Carran, Co. Clare on June 11th.

The cultural and historical significance of the venue was not lost on all those present who had gathered in the birthplace of Michael Cusack, founder of the GAA, to mark the next steps on the journey towards the 2024 Liam Mac Carthy Cup.

‘’I feel the hand of history on my shoulder.’’ Jarlath Burns, Uachtarán of the GAA summarised the mood, as history, heritage and hurling merged into a celebration of all that is good about our unique hurling tradition. 140 years ago, Michael Cusack founded the GAA with a vision to preserve our national games, intertwined with our sense of identity as a nation.

Echoes of Cusack’s vision were very much to the fore in the words of all the players present. Tony Kelly of Clare spoke of the pride of the people of the county in Cusack’s legacy and of the privilege of continuing the tradition. Limerick’s Séamus Flanagan emphasised the importance of the sense of community, family, friendship and making memories while Cork’s Ethan Twomey focused on the key role of supporters through thick and thin, as well as the influence of role models such as Patrick Horgan, on Ethan himself growing up in the GAA family.

The bond and friendship that exist on all teams was a recurrent theme throughout the press conference, bearing witness to the GAA motto of

Where we all belong

and indeed, the banter and camaraderie between the players, despite rivalries on the pitch, was very much in evidence.

President Jarlath Burns thanked the staff of the Centre for the warm welcome extended to all. It is a unique setting, well worth a visit by all Gaels, according to Dónal Ó hAiniféin, Chairperson of the Michael Cusack Centre, noting that Cusack would be a proud man to see the role models present. Their commitment to hurling, along with their sense of community, family and identity and their deep understanding that they are the custodians for the next generation came across in every interview.

In paying tribute to the players, president Jarlath Burns said ‘’ You are the people who make the magic. You are living proof of Cusack’s legacy. You have kept faith with the past, handing on the traditions to the future.’’

There is a lot of hurling still to be played this season. We are all looking forward to the great days ahead. Let’s enjoy them!