OK, so this is an old news story, he said clutching at straws, but this is a wonderful way of showing where the Hurley name comes from.
The sticks used in the sport of Hurling are known as Hurley sticks. So I guess somewhere down the line some ancestor of mine was either a good Hurling player or a maker of fine Hurley sticks.
Great sportsman or skilled craftsman. In all humility, as I fit both criteria (stop laughing) I don't mind which. Perhaps my studies and meandering will confirm which it is...
As for the row itself, I think as Hurling is an Irish sport, and as the GAA was brought into existence (as I understand it from Irish friends) to promote Irish sports and culture, then it's only right that the Hurley stcks should be Irish.
No big deal really.
BBC Story on GAA Hurley Sticks Row
For those interested, here's a video on the making of a Hurley stick:
Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers - Ear To The Ground from Irish Guild Of Ash Hurley Makers on Vimeo.
And here's another Irish Hurley sticks story - linked with the TV show Dragon's Den:
Irish Hurley Maker on Dragon's Den