The Growth and Development of Sport in Co. Tipperary, 1840-1880




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De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


The growth and development of sport in Co. Tipperary, 1840 to 1880, was promoted and supported by the landed elite and military officer classes. In the instances of cricket, rugby union and association football, the military were the principle agency through which these sports were disseminated among the people of Tipperary. Sporting trends which were fashionable in Great Britain also became evident in Ireland, and by extension, Tipperary. The thesis demonstrates the emergence of these sports at a micro-level in Tipperary and the qualitative research is indicative of the trends by which they became apparent. The degree to which horse racing and hunting to hounds became an integral aspect of the social lives of the elite class is reflected countywide. The associational culture among this class became evident in summer time recreations most notably archery, lawn tennis and cricket. Cricket was the one sport which was quickly diffused throughout the sporting community of Tipperary as it became, in the 1870s, the most prolific team sport in the county and played by all classes. Sport took place without borders and to this end patronage was a key element of this support. There were some notable supporters who gave of their time and money to ensure that the best resources were in place to bring this about. In this respect the 3rd Marquis of Waterford was a leading figure. The thesis clearly shows that sporting diversions continued through the traumatic famine period. As everyday life continued, so too did recreational sport. Hurling remained a part of Tipperary life and the research identifies new sources to demonstrate this. The growth and evolution of sport in Co. Tipperary, 1840-1880, is put into context with comparable studies in Ireland and Great Britain as the Victorian penchant for sport manifested itself in this part of rural Ireland.



Victorian sport, cricket, hurling, horse-racing, patronage, military, country house games, lawn sports, codification, hunting to hounds, rural sports, association football, rugby football



Research Institute