Historic Win for Tipperary Hurling Teams

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief
October / November 2016

County Tipperary, the “Blue and Gold Legends,” won the All-Ireland senior and minor hurling finals in Croke Park, Dublin on Sunday, September 4.

Hurling is Ireland’s national game and one of the nation’s most popular sports. It was the second time in history that Tipperary, the “premier county,” won both the senior and minor titles in the same year. The first time was in 1949.

The Blue and Gold Legends won their 27th All-Ireland title with a nine-point victory over arch-rivals Kilkenny (knows as the “Cats”), by 2-15 to 2-08. Meanwhile, the Tipperary minor team won its 20th All-Ireland in defeating Limerick by six points for a winning score of 1-21 to 0-17.

Tipperary has ancient ties to hurling, which is said to pre-date Christianity. The first staging of the All-Ireland hurling championship began on July 2, 1887 and ended on April 1,1888, with Tipperary winning over Galway.

A few years earlier, in 1884, the Gaelic Athletic Association, the governing body of Ireland’s national sports, was formed in Thurles, County Tipperary. And it was to Thurles’ Semple Stadium that tens of thousands of fans gathered to welcome the winning heroes home from Dublin. Some of the loudest cheers of the evening were for 24-year-old star forward John O’Dwyer (“Bubbles”), who, on live television after the game, said Tipperary are “champions of f***ing Ireland.” ♦

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