Cork hurley-makers under pressure due to supply issues with ash

Canning Hurleys in Galway closed today because of problems getting the ash used for camáns
Cork hurley-makers under pressure due to supply issues with ash

Fitzgerald Hurleys in Araglen.

CANNING Hurleys in Galway close their business today due to a lack of ash supplies.

Getting a reliable stock of ash has been an issue for hurley-makers for a number of years due to disease affecting the trees while these problems have been exacerbated by global uncertainty and rising shipping costs.

Only two days ago Fitzgerald Hurleys, based in Araglen, asked customers to contact them before visiting their north Cork workshop and explained online orders will take at least 10 days to process.

Cork's Mark Coleman in action against Cian Boland of Dublin with a Fitzgerald camán. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cork's Mark Coleman in action against Cian Boland of Dublin with a Fitzgerald camán. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

They posted on social media: "Due to extremely low stock levels of ash for the next 7 days. We would ask all customers to contact us before visiting our workshop.

"Also unfortunately due to this ash shortage there is a waiting time of at least 10-12 days from when online orders are placed to when they are received We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Cork captain Mark Coleman is among the senior stars that favour Fitzgerald Hurleys.

Labour Agriculture spokesperson Seán Sherlock TD has called on the Government and the Ministers for Agriculture convene a meeting of stakeholders on the crisis facing hurley-makers in the country. 

Deputy Sherlock raised the matter as a Priority Question to the Minister today in the Dáil.

"The Canning Family is synonymous with the game of hurling and their closure today is a hammer blow for the sport. 

Government must intervene to protect hurley makers in this country and to ensure that a process is put in place to support hurling.

“Speaking in the Dáil today, I asked the Minister of State to convene a meeting with Croke Park, Teagasc, Coillte and the Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers as soon as possible. I note that meetings have taken place 'several times' as the Minister of State said.

“However, I asked that she would consider reconvening a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity as a matter of urgency to deal with supply issues. 

"One of the supply lines comes from Ukraine and that makes the issue particularly urgent. We cannot afford to lose hurley-makers. They are the supply lines, bloodlines and bloodstock of that sport.”

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