Here are some book reviews and sport-related pieces for The Irish Examiner.
In October 2019 I wrote a column for the Irish Examiner on a few sporting issues relating to expectations of winning in sport, cheating, new Cork bainisteoirí and Thomas Page McBee. Column online here.
In March, 2019 I wrote about a very moving fund-raising match between Kilkenny and Cork for Kieran O’Connor a former Cork Gaelic footballer, who is seriously ill. Piece online here.
In February, 2019 I wrote a colour piece about the town of Charleville, whose hurling team was due to play in the All-Ireland final the following Sunday. I went down there and talked to a few people. Piece online here.
In January 2019 I wrote a poem for my old friend and physician, Dr. Con Murphy, a great man and a great Cork GAA man. You don’t see many poems on the sports pages. Photo of the poem here.
Novel Comes to Life in its Second Half as Emotions Pitch. Review of Learning to Die by Thomas Maloney. A novel in three parts, two of which are really rewarding. Five lives intersect in modern day England. Photo of review here.
Slow and Sombre Storylines Lead to Exhilarating Rollercoaster Ride Review of Lost Empress (A Protest) by Sergio de la Pava. Wild, huge and crazy book but such an interesting read and so ambitious. Also a sports novel, which was interesting. Photo of the review here.
Peter The Great: Beyond Perfect and into Myth. Piece about Peter O’Mahony’s impossible performance against New Zealand in a rugby test match. Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time ever on Irish soil and the win could not have been possible were it not for O’Mahony’s Homeric deeds. Click here to read.
Longing, Loss, Regret, Reparation … a Family Package Review of Markus Zuzak’s new novel: Bridge of Clay. This is Zuzak’s follow-up to the hugely successful The Book Thief. It’s an interesting and entertaining read, playful and tender. It’s long but I really enjoyed it. Photo of the review here.
Fertile Retelling of Homer’s Epic Poems is Revived Joint Review of The Silence of The Girls by Pat Barker and Country by Michael Hughes. Both these books are retellings of Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad and both are very successful in different ways. Click here to read.
We Were All Enriched and Renewed by the Experience Piece about the late Liam Miller tribute match, played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh between veteran Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic teams, in support of his family and some charities. A moving day, a wonderful communal day. Click here to read.
Hurling is in the Quiet, Not the Noise A piece about two photos I saw on Twitter after the All-Ireland Hurling Final when Limerick beat Galway to win their first All Ireland senior title in 45 years. This article was described by Vincent Hogan as ‘utterly, utterly beautiful’ (*blushes*). Click here to read.
Taking a Seat for a Páirc Uí Chaoimh Passion Play A piece on the official opening of Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2017 after a complete rebuild. This coincided with the 2017 senior Cork county finals in both Football and Hurling. Click here to read.
Why Do We Flock to the Four Great Sundays in September? A piece on the four Sundays on September when the All Ireland Hurling, Camogie, Men’s Football and Women’s Football are all played, one Sunday after the other. Ironically, in 2018 they moved the men’s finals, so that was that! Click here to read.
Barry Proves Beyond Doubt He’s The King A review of Kevin Barry’s book of short stories, There Are Little Kingdoms, which was reissued by Cannongate in 2017. A typically masterful collection, brimming with soul, wit, and craft. Click here for photo.