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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 18:42 UK

Stormont to host Edward Carson Trophy hurling event

Gerry Adams shows his hurling skills
Gerry Adams at the launch of the Edward Carson Trophy on Monday

A new Gaelic games challenge has taken its name from an unlikely source - the founding father of Ulster unionism.

Competitors in the first ever hurling event to be staged at the Stormont estate in Belfast will be playing for the Edward Carson trophy on 7 August.

Carson led the campaign against Irish independence a century ago but he was also an enthusiastic hurler.

Sinn Fein MP Gerry Adams has helped organise the long puck event which will take place below the Carson statue.

The inaugural 'Poc ar an Cnoc' will see will see hurlers young and old hitting sliotars (hurling balls) up the mile-long Prince of Wales Avenue that leads to Parliament Buildings.

"I discovered, much to my surprise, that Carson was a hurler in his days at Trinity College (Dublin)," said Adams at Monday's launch in Parliament Buildings.

"So this man who is arguably the father of unionism was also a Gael and I thought that was an interesting concept.

"When Carson was playing for this hurling club at Trinity he got an honourable mention in the Irish Sportsman (journal of the day) as having distinguished himself on the field so we thought it would be a great idea to have an Edward Carson trophy.

I want to challenge Sammy Wilson to compete here with us

Gerry Adams

"This notion of Gaelic sports being in any way for one section of people here, I think once you just lift the lid of it (that's not the case).

"Hopefully one of the good things that may come out of all of this is that it will be received positively and favourably and people will embrace it."

The origins of the Poc Fada reach back into Irish folklore to the legend of Ulster warrior Setanta, who whacked a sliotar ahead of him as he marched to war.

The modern-day Poc ar an Cnoc is an addition to the ever-popular West Belfast Community Festival - Feile an Phobail - which runs through August.

Mr Adams said he had detected some recent thawing in the traditionally frosty attitude of unionists to Gaelic games.

The Sinn Fein president added that he would be inviting his colleagues on the opposing benches at Stormont to take part on Saturday 7 August.

"I intend to invite as many of them as I can up during the summer break," he added.

"So I want to challenge Sammy Wilson to compete here with us and hope that he will."

The event, which is sponsored by M Donnelly & Co Ltd Dublin, is in aid of The City of the Angels Foundation - a charity that works in the major shanty town of Favela in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

see also
Antrim 1-17 0-19 Dublin
17 Jul 10 |  Gaelic Games
Antrim 2-18 3-12 Carlow
02 Jul 10 |  Gaelic Games
Antrim 4-22 1-12 Down
27 Jun 10 |  Gaelic Games
Ulster SHC semi-final 'cancelled'
10 Jun 10 |  Gaelic Games
Cahill upbeat despite Antrim exit
31 May 10 |  Gaelic Games
Offaly 2-26 3-16 Antrim (aet)
30 May 10 |  Gaelic Games
McCann to make Championship debut
26 May 10 |  Gaelic Games
Watson quits Antrim hurling squad
21 May 10 |  Gaelic Games
London shock Derry in Ulster SHC
29 May 10 |  Gaelic Games
London and Armagh both earn wins
15 May 10 |  Gaelic Games
Armagh, Tyrone and Monaghan wins
08 May 10 |  Gaelic Games

related internet links:
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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Stormont Debut For Carson Hurling Trophy - 6 hrs ago
Belfast Telegraph Gerry Adams hurls tribute at unionist icon Edward Carson with GAA trophy - 35 hrs ago
Irish Times In Short - 39 hrs ago Hurling prize named after historic Unionist - 48 hrs ago


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