Clare hurling

The hurling matches, called goals, are very injurious to the morals and industry of the younger classes; after performing feats of activity, that would astonish a bread and cheese Englishman, they too often adjourn to the whiskey-house, both men and women, and spend the night in dancing, singing, and drinking until perhaps morning, and too often quarrels and broken heads are the effects of this inebriety; matches are often made between the partners at the dance; but it frequently happens that they do not wait for the priest’s blessing, and the fair one must apply to a magistrate, who generally obliges the faithless Strephon to make an honest woman of her.

Hely Dutton Statistical Survey of the County of Clare, with observations on the means of improvement; drawn up for the consideration, and by direction of the Dublin Society The Dublin Society, Dublin 1808

Plus ça change …?

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