The Aims of the Guild are to strengthen, protect and foster the craft of Hurley Making. The Guild is working to obtain recognition for the Hurley Maker’s skill, to protect the Hurley Maker’s craft & traditions and to ensure the integrity for the Hurley Maker’s workmanship for future generations.The Irish Guild Of Ash Hurley Makers.
Key Stages in Making Our Hurls
Only top quality ashwood is used for the manufacture of our hurls. Although goalkeeper hurls are still crafted by hand, the cutting lathe designed especially for hurley manufacturing and used by most modern hurley makers can turn four senior hurls every 12 minutes.
To begin with, the shape of the hurl is cut out of the plank and prepared for the lathe. Once removed from the lathe the hurls are trimmed into shape and made ready for sanding. Each hurl is individually sanded to a smooth finish before final inspection. Banding around the base is preferable and once taped and given the P O’Kane stamp a grip is fitted for extra comfort and you’re ready to play.
Sourcing the best ashwood for our hurls
The biggest difficulty in hurl making is sourcing the best ash to use. Irish ash is scarce, and more than 90% of ash used in today’s hurl making is foreign. The IGAHM was established in the mid 1990’s when it became very apparent that the supply of Irish ash was not adequate to supply the hurl making industry.
Following discussions with several government departments, Croke Park, the hurl makers Guild and Coillte (Ireland’s largest forestry company) decided to tackle the problem. An agency was set up in England in 1998 with the view to importing timber in the round and this continues today.
Coillte also import ash from Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Romania. Coillte have been anxious that the planking and Hurl making business would stay based in Ireland and always strive to distribute the timber to Guild members.
It is now acknowledged that it is a waste of time to turn out middle of the road hurls – no self respecting hurler uses them any more. There is a direct link between playing the game to the best of one’s ability and possessing a number of individually crafted hurls which are produced by someone who is personally known and trusted.