Ancient Hurling at Cúnga

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Cath Maige Tuired Cúnga
This is a story from the Mythological Cycle’s Cath Maige Tuired Cúnga. I first researched and wrote the story for the Colorado Fenians, but it was not presented to them. I first told the story to the Kalamazoo GAA.

I’m going to tell you a story about one of the earliest known hurling matches. It takes place at least 2,000 years ago, and perhaps as long as 3,000 years ago. The story comes from one of the “cycles” of Ireland. There are several of these cycles, the Mythological Cycles, the Ulster Cycles, the Fenian Cycles, to name a few, and each of them is a series of stories passed down through many generations by Celtic storytellers.

Medieval, or pre-Medieval, monks in Ireland endeavored to record these stories and it is from these manuscripts that we know about the stories today. The monks even figured out the exact dates of some of the stories. The hurling story I’m about to tell takes place, according to the monks, on June 10, 3303.

The year 3,303 might confuse you a wee bit, but that’s because you probably count years with the modern calendar. According to my calendar, this is the year 2,015.

But these Irish monks used an entirely different system. Under their calendar, year zero was the year the earth was created. This hurling match was 3,303 years later. In this calculation, the monks were probably off by 4 or 5 billion years, give or take. But that can be excused, since they calculated this many centuries before the invention of Wikepedia.

The monks also figured out that the year 1,626 was the year of the great flood, and the rescue of humanity and two of every species of animal by Noah and the Ark. So the hurling match was not all that much later. Any way you count years, this hurling match occurred a long, long time ago. Trust me on this.

Go to Ancient Hurling at Cúnga page 2