The Wild Geese, a hurling team and a contingent of the United States Marine Corps, is set to take part in the international festival of hurling at Semple Stadium, Thurles, County Tipperary.
The marines will be taking a break from their tour of duty to take part. They are stationed in Suffolk, England. Other hurling teams from the US, England, Northern Ireland, Brussels, and the Republic of Ireland will also compete, the Irish Times reports.
The hurling festival, taking place on 13th and 14th July, has been organized by the GAA, Thurles Sarsfields GAA Club, and Shannon Development, and will include about 1,000 players.
The European Hurling and Camogie Championships are also being held in conjunction with the festival.
At the launch of the event, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Liam Ó Néill said, “It is hugely encouraging to see the number of clubs from our overseas network involved in the hurling festivities,” GAA.ie reports.
John Enright, chairman of the organizing committee said, “The festival is an effort by the Thurles Sarsfield club to aid the development of hurling as an international game while at the same time stimulating the local economy by attracting teams and visitors to the area. Hurling is unique to Ireland and has a huge largely un-tapped potential to boost tourism to our country in these difficult financial times”.
The Suffolk based Wild Geese is not the only hurling team in the US Army. Most famously, the The Barley House Wolves Hurling Club made up of the US National Guard unit from Concord, New Hampshire, was established when the troop took in a game while on stop over at Shannon airport.
Lieutenant Colonel Ray Valas, of the New Hampshire National Guard watched the sport on an airport television and the rest was history.
Here’s a clip from the documentary on the Barley House Wolves: