First synthetic hurley to secure spot in GAA Museum

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First synthetic hurley to secure spot in GAA Museum

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An Taoiseach hands over first synthetic hurley
14 June 2010

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen has announced on behalf of County Offaly company Cúltec that the first synthetic hurley to ever be used at Croke Park is to secure a spot in the GAA museum.

an Taoiseach made the announcement at a special ceremony in Croke Park today, Monday, June 14 at 1.30pm.

The Cúltec hurley, which has been designed to bring consistency to the game, made history when three of the All-Ireland champs from County Offaly's Junior camogie team took to the Croke Park field with a Cúltec hurley.

To mark the memorable occasion the camogie champions handed back a winning Cúltec hurley signed by the County Offaly squad to the Cúltec team and this is the hurl that has secured a spot in the Croke Park museum.

Brian Cowen said: "It is always a pleasure to come to Croke Park. These grounds evoke a senseof pride in both our sporting heritage and the ecumenical spirit with which the GAA have embraced other sporting codes.
However, for most followers of Gaelic games, there is nothing to beat the sense of joy and pride felt at seeing one's own county colours in this hallowed place.
Today, we are looking at the bigger picture and county affiliations can be set to one side as we celebrate an exciting innovation that benefits hurlers and camogie players whatever jersey they don. This is, of course, the new Cúltec hurley which I am delighted to be launching today. I would like to commend the Cúltec team, including Tom Wright, John and Gerry Grehan and Steven Lee for all the hard work they put into its design."

Cúltec combines the best of the old with the new and shows how modern technology can enhance a much loved and ancient game. The hurley will feature in the GAA Museum, testifying to its importance for hurling and camogie in the 21st Century.

However, while the Cúltec hurley made its first appearance at GAA HQ in the hands of the County Offaly champs it is fast gaining momentum as the hurley of choice by some of the top players in the country and has since been used many times at Croke Park.
County players such as Dublin's Kevin Flynn, Pat Kenny from Wexford and Diarmuid Horan from Offaly now all take to the competitive field with Cúltec hurleys in hand.

Diarmuid, whose Father skippered Offaly to its first All-Ireland in 1981, said: "I prefer them to ash; there is a cleaner strike and a bit more distance than the average hurley. But, the real value is consistency as if you break one you replace with an exact copy." He added: "I love a light hurley and the Cúltec doesn't change - it is the same on a wet day as a dry one."

The brains behind the Cúltec Hurley are Offaly businessmen John Grehan and Tom Wright.

Retired school teacher Tom said it was his great desire to see consistency in the game that he loved and he hoped that in time hurling and camogie players all over the country would give the Cúltec hurley a go.

Tom has had a life-long interest in hurling having played in all grades. His teaching career spanned 40 years and during all this time he coached school teams as well as underage hurling and camogie teams in his local club.

"It was the great difficulty in obtaining suitable, quality and consistent hurleys which led us to investigate the possibility of manufacturing the perfect hurley," explained Tom.

John Grehan whose background included Materials Engineering said: "Almost every other sport in the world has benefitted substantially from synthetic materials. Tennis rackets, golf clubs, fishing rods, snooker cues, ski equipment and even hockey and cricket have exploited the new technologies. So why not hurling?"

On the day he said he particularly wanted to thank everyone at the newly revamped Croke Park Museum for securing the Cúltec a place in the illustrious GAA history books.

The Cúltec hurley is the result of seven years research and development combining space age materials and the latest manufacturing techniques.Research and Development of the Cúltec hurley was done in Ferbane, County Offaly. Testing and performance analysis was carried out at the Nanotechnology and Materials Research Centre attached to Athlonne IT. Having carefully examined these results the GAA gave the Cúltec Hurley its seal of approval.

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