GAA Books

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GAA Books

Postby Dorcha » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:17 pm

I thought I would start this thread again, where members might tell the rest of us about the GAA books they might have bought (or more likely given to them as presents!), and whether they might be worth buying for the rest of us.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Dorcha » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:19 pm


“Relentless - the inside story of the Cork Ladies Footballers”

By Mary White

Published by Currach Press, Blackrock, Co. Dublin

There was no printed price - or price label - on the copy I bought, but I paid €14 - something for it at the local SuperValu shop.

The first intriguing think about this book is that the Foreword is by Kilkenny hurling manager, Brian Cody. What the Hell - thinks I, but on second thoughts, I can see the connection between the title and Cody. Two paragraphs from the Foreword -

“Theirs has been an amazing journey considering that prior to 2004 they had never won a senior Munster or All-Ireland. Since then they have won an incredible ten All-Irelands, five-in-a-row from 2005 to 2009, loosing out in 2010, only to regroup and win a second five-in-a-row between 2011 and 2015.

The great thing about this run, for me, is that so many of these championships were won after titanic battles. Looking back at the scores in the finals, I discovered that four of the finals were won by just one point and another won by just two points. This just shows how competitive the championships have been and speaks volumes for the consistency and never-say-die attitude of everyone present.”

Appointing Eamon Ryan as coach for the 2005 season wasn’t all plain sailing.

Before Ryan came along, abrasive club rivalry was proving disruptive in the county dressing-room. However even before he arrived, fences were being mended as Mary Collins of Rockchapel and Mossie Barrett of Donoughmore agreed to work together for the good of the county.

The foundations for this fabulous Cork team were set up well before Ryan arrived as coach, through All-Ireland club victories at all grades and All-Ireland underage success under Donegal man Charlie McLoughlin.

On 2004 the team set off on the great journey, a journey awash with trials and failures as much as triumph and joy.

It’s a fascinating story, and while I was reading it, the thought crossed my mind more than once that it would make a great film. But it could never be done, simply because there are too many stars in it

The book is well worth reading, an easy read, and that a book can be read easily is the ultimate test of any book.
Last edited by Dorcha on Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Couchpotato » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:21 pm

Got the following at Christmas.

Tomas O Se 4/10
Brendan Cummins 5/10
Henry Shefflin 4/10
John Leonard 9/10

O Se tells us nothing. Cute kerry hoorism at its finest.
Cummins and Shefflin no real depth either.
Leonards by far the best. Very interesting and honest character. They were bought for me. I'd generally stay well clear of autobiography in GAA. The country is too small for a genuine tell all. Liam Hayes had a good one but that's about it.

Diarmuid o flynns book on Newtown and the Christ o Connor books on goal keepers (last man standing) and his club (the club) are the best gaa books I've ever read.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby DowchaBhoy! » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:33 pm

Cody's is def. the biggest pile of steaming sh1te I've ever read. He literally treats the reader with total contempt. Not the remotest hint of genuine insight.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby stfrancis » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:38 pm

Jim mcguinnesses book is outstanding, the best gaa book I have read, infact the best sports book I have read.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Caughtforpace » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:09 pm

Tomas O Se's book was a huge let down. I really admired him as a player and would he be the first name on my dreamteam of the last 20 years.
He could have afforded to wait another few years that would have allowed for a more candid effort although It would probably have been a more uncomfortable read for Corkonians.
The sad thing about it was, I believe he thought he was telling it straight.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Sinbin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:11 pm

Best GAA book I ever read was "Hooked" by Justin McCarthy, some years now since I read it but it has stayed with me in terms of the insight JM provides on hurling and life.

"Last Man Standing" and Denis Walsh's "The Revolution Years" were also notable reads, and going back a bit an auto by the Meath footballer Liam Hayes, think it was called "Out of our Skins".

To be honest I've pretty much given up on sports autobiogs in recent years as they became mass-produced bland and insipid offerings, with little in the way of deep and meaningful insight. I would have been a right GAA autobiog junkie at one stage but can't even remember the last one I read, think it was Donal Ogs a few years back.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Dorcha » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Thanks for all the verdicts. I would be the sort of person who would be swayed by book reviews a lot. Any negative remarks about a book and I leave it be. On that score I will be avoiding Tomas!

Anything I have read on the various sites about Cody’s book has been bad, so I never even considered buying it.

“Last man standing” was a clever book, particularly as the last man turned out to be Donal Og! Good bit of insight into how inter-county players react with each other, such as the Galway goalkeeper of the time phoning Donal Og about short puck-outs!

I very much regret that I never bought Justin’s book. Over the years, and on various sites, again, I’ve heard nothing but praise of it.

I agree with you, Sinbin, that most sports autobiographies aren’t very good. Davy Fitz’s “Pride and Passion” is the only sports book I ever gave away (wish I hadn’t, now, really!); it’s main defect was that it was too narcissistic. He never mentioned that he had been bullied in school.

I really must go back to the library one of those days. Even if a book isn’t there, they will get it for you - just as long as it’s still in print! It was there I found Jack O’Connor’s book which people on Rebel GAA had recommended. Perhaps I’ll find Jim McGuinness.
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Podsy » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:43 pm


McGuinness 8/10
The Bloodied Field 9/10
Relentless 8/10


Hooked 8/10
The Club 8/10
Last Man Standing 8/10
The Revolution Years 9/10
Dorgan's Christy Book 9/10
Horgan's Christy Book 8/10
Donal Óg's 8/10
House of Pain 8/10
Over The Bar 7/10

And my favourite of the lot...

Kicking Down Heaven's Door 9/10
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Re: GAA Books

Postby Dorcha » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:55 pm

What was The Bloodied Field about Podsy? I don't think I've heard of that one.

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