Whether it’s a hurl or a hurley, one thing is for sure, this is definitely a sliotar. And a Roscommon one to boot. It is part of the collection on hurling at the National Museum of Ireland.
Housed at the National Museum of Ireland -Country Life in Castlebar, this sliotar was acquired in 1969 from Mrs Teresa Monahan of Castle Street, Roscommon Town. While the museum is currently closed due to the pandemic restrictions, it was keen to show the great items that it holds and kindly provided the Herald with details.
The sliotar is bound with two pieces of leather, both shaped like figures of eight. The leather pieces are stitched together with the edges projecting. The ball is burst in part revealing a wool and cork inner.
The National Museum acquired material from the family saddlery that was based in the centre of the town. Saddles and all leather goods, including sliotars, were made by John Joe Monahan, Teresa’s husband.
“The GAA Central Council now has recognised suppliers of approved sliotars with the GAA mark with less independent craftspeople making them,” the museum said. “The inner cores can still be of cork and woollen thread but solid spheres of polymar are now often used for the centre of balls.”
The modern balls have to be between 110 and 120 grams and rim heights and widths are also regulated so that the ball used does not give unfair advantage. The weight of this Roscommon ball is 75 grams.