17 August 2008

Newport, Co. Tipperary

Newport, Co. Tipperary
Top four photographs, M. Ryan, March 2023. Bottom photograph and text below from website
Remainder of photographs, Á. Ryan, March 2009.
1870 - 1890

Three handball alleys constructed in mass concrete against the rendered random stone walls of the former two-storey National School. Contains remnants of tiered pre-cast concrete seating and steps to ball alleys, and blocked window openings with stone sills to school building. Date plaque to school in partition wall.

Handball was one of the sports promoted by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and was very popular throughout Ireland during the first half of the twentieth century when most towns and villages constructed a handball alley. The decline in popularity of the sport in the latter half of the twentieth century resulted in their disuse and sometimes demolition, with the result that they are becoming increasingly rare. This group of handball alleys has social significance for its ability to provide information about the fluctuations in popularity of this sport.


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