A shortage of ash trees and fewer makers inspires one GAA club to start making their own hurling sticks.

There are worries for the game of hurling at a local level because of a growing shortage of hurleys. A national shortage of ash trees and the diminishing skilled hurley makers are a real cause for concern within the GAA.

With individual hurls costing between £2 and £3 small rural clubs in particular are being hit hard.

The Portroe GAA club in Tipperary has started a scheme to make hurleys. With a bill for the purchase of hurls coming to £200 and a talk of importing plastic hurls from Britain the Portroe club went back to the old craft of hurley making.

A workshop was set up on the farm of Denis Seymour to prepare ash plants for use in the manufacture of hurleys. Club members attended a night course in Nenagh where they could learn to make their own hurleys. Portroe club president Brendan Murnane feels self sufficiency is the answer, 

We set up this class to teach 16 to 20 young men how to make hurleys properly. We recruited then Tim Mannion who is an expert hurley maker. He has taught all these boys how to make hurleys properly. 

While the GAA is worried nationally this initiative from a small rural club may offer a solution for the concerns over the future making of ash hurleys.    

A Newsround report broadcast on 4 April 1976. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney