About

I’m a Mallow-born writer, living in Cork city with my wife, Ciara. I’m the author of four books.

My current and fourth book is  The Game: A Journey into the Heart of Sport published by Merrion Press.  It is now available in your local bookshop, or from the publisher or online. 

My first book, The First Sunday in September – a novel in stories – was shortlisted for the Mercier Press fiction prize and was published in 2018 to much acclaim. Donal Ryan described it as ‘vibrant and authentic, brimming with intensity and desire’.

My second book, Whatever It Takes, is a crime novel set in Cork city and was published in August, 2020. It is the first of a series featuring its protagonist, Detective Garda Tim Collins – a Harry Hole, Dave Robicheaux, John Rebus type of character. It was the Cork One City, One Book choice for 2020.

My third book is Everything, The Autobiography of Denis Coughlan, which I ghost-wrote. That was published by Hero Books in September 2020. It got rave reviews and was selected as one of the sports books of the year by the Irish Examiner, the Irish Times and the Sunday Times.

The Game interacts with sport in the way that Olivia Laing interacts with isolation (The Lonely City), Amy Liptrot interacts with addiction (The Outrun), Helen McDonald interacts with grief (H is for Hawk), Robert MacFarlane interacts with nature (The Wild Places etc.) and Sinéad Gleeson and Emilie Pine interact with the female body and female experiences (Constellations and Notes to Self).

This book 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.

The book covers topics relating to sport such as identity, memory, family, the miraculous, the collective, art, toxic masculinity, homophobia, corruption, sexism, loss, time, ecstasy, the body, masculinity, joy, innocence and love. Especially love.

Some praise for The Game here.

Irish Times review here.

My current work in progress is a follow-up to Whatever It Takes, in the Tim Collins series of crime thrillers. It’s called Flowers for the Dead. This will be published in early 2023 by Mercier Press.

I’m a full-time writer and I’m committed to my craft. I regularly feature at Irish events/shows such as the West Cork Literary Festival, the Cork Short Story Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, Culture Night, Cork Heritage Week, the Bray Literary Festival, Fiction at the Friary, the Book on One (RTÉ).

My short stories, articles, sports writing and essays have appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Winter Papers, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times, The Sunday Independent, RTÉ.ie, The Holly Bough, the42.ie, Honest Ulsterman, Silver Apples, Quarryman and the From the Well anthology.

I’m a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing course in University College Cork.