We had a great year in 2012 selling a record number of hurleys and solidifying relationships with the loggers on the mountainside as well as the customers on the pitch. Then the word came from the street: "The shop y'all rent is gonna be sold." We spent three years in this dear little condemned shed. Seamus and Tadhg grew up in it--drew, colored, did their homework, and built things out of wood.
We changed with the seasons: moved shops--to Traveler's Rest, SC, sawed for outside customers, made tables and mantles, slung lumber, sawdust, and firewood...whatever it took to pay the new rent and feed the kids. It was a good year, but we worked a lot of weekends to meet the needs of our customers. We had no other option but to keep on keepin' on, getting bigger in terms of the sawmill and doing other things with wood besides making hurleys. It was a busy year--maybe a little too busy running the hustle game. Despite all of our work, we got more bad news. The emerald ash borer was moving into the counties in which we have logging. Getting the right ash to make hurleys was going to be an increasingly difficult problem.
So my other love is teaching...After the hustle of 2013 and with the uncertainty of the ash market and increasingly difficulty securing ash, our family needed a change. I went back teaching part time and made the hurleys on the odd days. We sold the sawmill, the skid steer, mothballed our lathe, and built a new shop off the house. This is our fifth shop.
We aren't done making hurleys. Don't believe the rumors--we ain't dead yet.
We also had a great year developing youth hurling in South Carolina. Seamus even made the trip to Philidephia to play for Chicago's St. Jarleth's
My business mentors, Frank League, told me that you have to reinvent yourself every five years. Enter the Synthesis hurley. After several years of experimenting with different materials and design theories, we think we have found a way to make hurleys that adds to the durrability of the hurley, while maintaining the craft element. This hurley is also valuable as it can be machined by the end user to exhibit the feel and play they so desire.
Try out our new Synthesis Hurley--the Quigley hurley, and support local hand-made craft at the same time.
Seamus and Tadhg also had good performances in New York playing both hurling and Gaelic football.
-J. O'Coigligh and Sons
© American Hurling Company
*Offer good to the contiguous U.S. states.