Tipp hurley maker says plastic or bamboo may be the only way to go

Photo © Tipp FM

Hurleys made from ash could be a thing of the past in the near future, according to a Tipperary hurley maker.

Barry McNulty of Mac Hurleys in Nenagh has been speaking about the industry following the recent news of the closure Canning Hurleys, one of the county’s leading hurley suppliers..

Supply of quality ash is being hampered by an airborne disease known as ash dieback, which prevents a trees ability to photosynthesize, leading them to rot.

The effect this has had on the supply of ash is one of the reasons outlined by Canning Hurleys for their closure.

Barry McNulty says hurleys may not be made from ash in the future.

“The future, there is a hurley maker in the country with a bamboo hurley out at the moment and there’s other people making plastic hurleys and that is literally the only option.

“Hurling is about 3000 years old, if there was another wood you could make them out of, they’d have found it by now.

“So the way it’s going to go is plastic and bamboo, that’s literally the only option, there’s not going to be any other timber you can make it out of.

“We’ve seen it coming for a long time but we knew that people playing hurling and spectators and people who like hurling probably didn’t have a clue but it’s no surprise whatsoever to the hurley makers.”