On the Futility of Comparative Analyses of Different Intangible Heritages … or … My Sport Is Better Than Yours
So. Hurling and camogie have been granted special status by the United Nations cultural body. I like the name of the list that UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) uses: the Intangible Heritage List. I would have thought hurling and camogie tangible enough, if you were given the task of being marked (pun intended) by a Catherine Foley or Daithí Burke for 60 or 70 minutes of championship fare. But I get what they mean – as distinct from buildings and objects and so on. In a way, describing sports as intangible is a good idea, because it’s the feelings we have about sports that matter, not their physical presence or essence – or importance.