I noticed the launch of this book on the Irish Emmigrant newsletter. Gaelic Sports by Irish sports writer Eamonn Sweeney is published by O’Brien Press (ISBN 0-86278-854-4).
Gaelic Sports is a concise book about football, hurling, camogie and handball including an account of the history, the rules, the outstanding players and memorable games that have made up the past one hundred and twenty years of the Gaelic Athletic Association, though it must be said that camogie and handball are relegated to two short chapters at the end of the book.
Importantly one section is devoted to Micheál O’Hehir, dubbed “The Voice of the GAA”, the excitement and energy of commentators on RTE radio talking about GAA matches fired my imagination as a boy and are still a pleasure to listen to.
With no other kids anywhere near by, I used to run imaginary heated commentaries in my head as I punted a football up and down the field behind my uncle Fintan’s farm house which became Croke Park in the dying minutes of the All Ireland final, weaving around cow pats, his excitable dogs and patches of thistles pretending that they were defenders playing for Dublin (I, of course was in the maroon jersey of our native county of Galway!)
The book also covers peripheral items such as the selection of the All-Stars, the colours worn by the different counties and the nicknames bestowed on some of the more famous players.
The book sounds like a fantastic introduction to gaelic sports and would allow the average reader to hold their own in any pub in Kilburn.
On another note, take this psuedo-psychology test to find out what kind of hurler you are