Folklore Society


PUBLIC LECTURE 25 September 2017, 7.00pm at National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Paul Rouse: The Death of Hurling

When the GAA was founded in 1884, it pledged itself to revive the game of hurling. The official history of the Association tells of a game that was dead – or almost dead – before Michael Cusack set upon its rebirth against the backdrop of cultural revival in Ireland. This talk will examine the history of hurling in the years between the Great Famine and the founding of the GAA. Using questionnaires from the National Folklore Collection and a wealth of other national and international sources, an alternative history of hurling will be offered that examines what happens to an ‘ancient sport’ at a time of intense social change.

Paul Rouse is a lecturer in the School of History at UCD. He is the author of Sport and Ireland: A History (OUP, 2015) and has written extensively about the history of hurling. The first meeting of those interested in setting up the Folklore of Ireland Society was held in November 1926. Subsequently the Society was formally established in January 1927. Among its founder members and first officers were Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha (‘An Seabhac’), Douglas Hyde (‘An Craoibhín Aoibhinn’) and J.H. Delargy.


The object of the society as stated in the editorial of the first issue of Béaloideas, which appeared in June 1927, was to collect, preserve and publish the folklore of Ireland. The Society’s journal, Béaloideas, which first appeared in 1927, now numbers over eighty volumes and can be accessed online at Over the years the Society also produced other publications including A Handbook of Irish Folklore (1942) by Seán Ó Súilleabháin. The Society also organises an annual series of public lectures on various aspects of folk tradition. Members of the Society are entitled to attend the lectures and to receive a copy of Béaloideas.

Membership Rates are as follows 2017/18

  • €25 ordinary members / €15 students and seniors / €35 institutions (+ €5 postage)
Membership Rates 2017/18


The Folklore of Ireland Society,
c/o The National Folklore Collection,
John Henry Newman Building (Ground Floor, Block F),
University College Dublin,
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Tel: +353 1 716 8216