A visit to the Wexford village of The Ballagh on a sunny Sunday afternoon where the sport of horse shoe throwing is growing in popularity.
Sunday in Wexford is usually synonymous with hurling and Gaelic football. However, taste and popularity in sport is going through strange times in Wexford. The men of the purple and gold jerseys are now throwing horse shoes.
Michael Ryan chats to the brains behind the horse throwing league John Jackman about the growing popularity of this new sport. Jackman says it is now more popular than football and hurling, with forty teams showing out on the day to compete. Horse shoe throwing has been popular for years but only recently have clear rules been established to formalise the game. There is now a county committee to manage the league.
The basic rules involve throwing a standard horse shoe 33 yards. A referee will then measure the distance between the horse shoe and the spike. The nearest horse shoe to the target is the winner and takes the prize money.
Michael Ryan describes the game as "quite confined" and potentially dangerous as supporters are in close proximity to the flying horse shoes. Jackman jokes,
If you got a belt of one of those, you'd soon know about it.
The Wexford Horse Shoe League now claims about 70 teams, who bring out about 400 people to watch a game. Michael Ryan chats to some supporters about the growing popularity of the game with one man saying,
I think the horse shoe is going to take over from hurling and football.
A 'Newsbeat' report by Michael Ryan broadcast on 27 May 1971.