Hi, I’m Tadhg Coakley

I’m from Mallow, living in Cork city.

I’m a writer.

I am the author of five books, The First Sunday in September (Mercier Press, 2018); Whatever It Takes (Mercier Press, 2020), the 2020 Cork One City, One Book choice; and the autobiography of Denis Coughlan, called Everything (Hero Books, 2020) which I co-wrote. My fourth book The Game: A Journey into the Heart of Sport (2023) was shortlisted as Sports Book of The Year. 

My fifth book Before He Kills Again  (a crime novel and sequel to Whatever It Takes) was published by Mercier Press in March 2023. 

My short stories, articles, and essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, The Winter Papers, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times, The42.ie, Aethlon, The Holly Bough, The Honest Ulsterman, Quarryman, Silver Apples and elsewhere.

The Game

The Game is a multifaceted meditation on sport. It is part memoir, outlining my time as a player and fan of sport and how it has shaped my life.

It is also a book of essays critiquing several aspects of sport, both good and bad, and showing its influence in the wider world.

It is also a work of auto-fiction, wherein I try to use my novelistic abilities to chart narratives, personal and public.

It is, finally, a work of scholarship, interweaving my view of a life spent inside and outside the white lines with the cultural discourse of previous writers and thinkers on the many themes explored.

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Whatever It Takes

Whatever It Takes, my second novel, is published by Mercier Press. It is the One City, One Book 2020 choice for Cork.

It tells the story of Detective Garda Tim Collins, who is based in Cork city. Collins is at war with the leading local criminal, Dominic Molloy (‘The Dom’).

Whatever It Takes depicts a dark realism and shows the battles of will and intelligence that go on in the world of crime and policing.  Running out of time before the murder of two teenagers becomes inevitable, and with a traitor in the garda station feeding information back to Molloy, Collins takes his battle to new heights. He is determined to win, whatever the cost, whatever it takes.

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The First Sunday in September

My novel in stories, The First Sunday in September, was published by Mercier Press in 2018.

The book tells the story of a fictional All-Ireland Hurling Final Sunday, from the points of view of several recurring characters, exploring recurring themes.

Donal Ryan described it as ‘vibrant and authentic, brimming with intensity and desire.’ 

The Irish Independent said: ‘Just like his county’s hurlers play, Coakley’s book is fast-moving, highly skilled and a pleasure to behold.’ 

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Everything, the Autobiography of Denis Coughlan

Everything, the Autobiography of Denis Coughlan tells the life story of one of the greatest Irish dual stars, winning All-Ireland medals in both Gaelic football and hurling in the 1970s as well as a host of other championships and awards.

But Denis’s life story is much more than about sport. It spans a remarkable eight decades, covering many aspects of his life, his insights on sport and how games and life have changed dramatically over the years. 

Selected as one of the Sports Books of the year in 2020 in the Irish Examiner, Irish Times and Sunday Times.

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A Better Version of Ourselves

I’m in West Kerry, on holidays. I’m standing outside Paudie Ó Sé’s pub catching my breath after a fervid two hours of championship hurling magic conjured out the air by Tipperary and Wexford. Sandmartins weave

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