Iraqi-Irish hurling star praised for displaying impressive skills at Stormont

Hitting the sliothar off the walls of the historic building, the hurler expertly avoided breaking a window

Abood Al Jumaili, who moved to Ireland as a child refugee from Iraq, displays his hurling skills at Stormont. Twitter @aboodaljumaili
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A Dublin sportsman and former Iraqi refugee has won widespread praise for displaying his “quality hurling” skills at the Northern Ireland Assembly in a video posted on Twitter.

Abood Al Jumaili’s clip attracted almost 400,000 views and hundreds of positive comments from people praising his mastery of his hurley and sliothar.

Having fled Iraq for a new life in Ireland during his childhood, he fell in love with his adopted homeland’s native sport and went on to secure a spot on a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club in south Dublin.

“At lunchtime, it was a sin not to go out and hurl,” he captioned the video.

“Hurling against the walls of Stormont,” he said, referring to the building in Belfast which houses the devolved administration in Northern Ireland.

“Now that’s lovely hurling,” he added.

Mr Al Jumaili’s light-hearted message was met with a flurry of positive responses about his skills.

“Good on you, my friend,” wrote one man in Irish.

“That’s class, great to see,” commented another person.

“Good use of a sunny afternoon,” remarked a third person.

Others lauded his “quality hurling” and called him “a legend”, while one Twitter user said seeing the clip “makes me want to hurl too”.

Mr Al Jumaili, who is also known as Bonnar O Loinsigh, plays for Ballinteer St John’s hurling club.

“Good man, keep it up,” said yet another supporter while one woman branded him “a great ambassador for the sport”.

Others responded by cracking jokes about the dire state of politics in Northern Ireland. The devolved administration has since May been unable to function due to a deadlock between the Unionists and Irish nationalists over post-Brexit arrangements.

“The building has never been put to better use,” said one man.

Another quipped the location was a “great place to practice”, given its rich history.

Mr Al Jumaili is a law graduate who was earlier this year named as the first diversity and inclusion ambassador for Dublin county GAA.

Upon his appointment, he chose the slogan “Stronger Together”, or “Maean ‘Aqwaa”, in Arabic to promote his campaign to attract people from all walks of life to hurling, one of the world’s fastest ball sports.

Updated: June 03, 2022, 6:35 PM
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