64 teams from 32 counties head to Thurles for a hurling festival for young players.
Thurles in Tipperary is known as the home of hurling and it played host to the first Féile na nGael a festival for young hurlers. The event was organised by the Tipperary County Board with the aim of stimulating an interest in hurling among the youth of the country. Alongside hurling competitions for 64 boys teams, there were concerts, dances, and a hurling museum. Among the items on display at the museum were old hurleys and sliotars and the jersey worn by Michael Hogan when playing for Tipperary at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday.
Teams from all over Ireland were hosted by families and clubs in Tipperary. On Saturday preliminary games were played around the county. On Sunday at Semple Stadium in Thurles a parade of all the players took place and the final games were played by the best eight teams.
The President of the GAA Pat Fanning addressed the players and spectators,
Here in Tipperary you have seen the living tradition that is hurling. You have perhaps for the first time savoured the strength and the glory of hurling as you lived with the people of Tipperary over these past two days...And I know you now realise how much a part of the lives of the people of Tipperary is this game of which you are the custodians.
There was also an exhibition match featuring some past heroes of hurling between a Tipperary selection and a Rest of Ireland team.
The Féile na nGael was deemed an outstanding success and it is hoped that it will be repeated in years to come.
'Sport in Action' reports on 22 July 1971.