Cork

Culture Night 2021 at Fortress Spike Island

I’m delighted to be part of Crime Writers Cork by  Culture Night Cork County on September 17th, 2021.  This is my first live event for some time due to Covid and promises to be very special. Myself and four other Cork crime writers: Michelle Dunne (While Nobody Is Watching & coming soon, The Invisible), Kevin Doyle (A River of Bodies & To Keep a Bird Singing), Catherine Kirwan (Darkest Truth and Cruel Deeds (2022)) and  Amy Cronin (Blinding Lies & Twisted Truth) will be in conversations with well-known 96fm radio show host PJ Coogan. Booking and other details here.  

Tadhg Coakley’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh pilgrimage

May, 2021 I wrote a piece for the Irish Examiner welcoming hurling back again for 2021.  ‘I wanted to celebrate the return of hurling but behind a sense of juxtaposition. The one Martin Scorsese created when he overlaid the sublime music of the ‘Intermezzo’ from Cavalleria Rusticana on Jake LaMotta’s brutality and violence in Raging Bull.’

Longing to be one of the crowd again

May 2021 I wrote a piece for the Irish Examiner about my longing to go to matches again as part of the crowd.  ‘As we face into a new GAA season with uncertainty about fans at games we’re all wondering: will sport ever be normal again? And what will that normal be?’

Whatever It Takes

Whatever It Takes, my second novel, is due for publication on the 31st of July, 2020, by the Mercier Press. It tells the story of Detective Garda Collins, who is based in Cork city. Collins is at war with the leading local criminal, Dominic Molloy (‘The Dom’). Unlike his colleagues, Collins is not willing to accept the human degradation caused by Molloy’s drugs, violence and prostitution. A famous former inter-county hurler, he hates to lose. He has made up his mind to bring Molloy down, but just how far is he willing to go to make that happen? What is he willing to do and what fall-out will ensue for himself and his garda colleagues?

We

We gather in the usual way, a bit earlier because of the 2pm throw in. A driver, three passengers, all living in Cork city. We’ve done this many times before. Pickups, then heading for the Jack Lynch tunnel. The novelty of the Cusack Park venue rendering us a little more giddy than usual, perhaps. Good to be together, too, on a summer Sunday morning, with a purpose, a shared endeavour. We know this, we don’t take it for granted.

The Hawthorn and The Swift: You Have to Smile

It’s a summer Sunday morning and you’re on the road in South-East Limerick. From your passenger seat you watch the blossoming hawthorn ribbon the countryside. There’s a cycling charity event on the road and the going is slow, so you have time to enjoy the undulating view. Hawthorn enfolding fields all shapes and sizes – good land, middling land, fallow and scrub. Draping the livestock in the promise of a summer of plenty, a promise older even than the old promise of hurling’s plenty.

All The Old Feelings

I’m sitting in a Costa in Douglas on Sunday morning waiting for Cummins Sports to open and it hits me. The match approaches with all its baggage: anxiety, stress, the need to win, to be validated again by sport. All the old feelings. I can hardly drink my Cortado, my knee starts hopping. Fuck’s sake, calm down, it’s only the bloody first-round. The sunshine is harsh and bitter when I step outside, I forgot my sunglasses.

Profane Time and Sacred Time in Sport

It’s February 3rd 2019. I’m at the Cork Wexford National Hurling League match in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. And I’m thinking about time. I’m thinking back to a different time, six months ago on July 29th, 2018, when last I watched the Cork senior hurlers play – against Limerick, in Croke Park in the All-Ireland semi final.

Some Articles and Reviews in The Irish Examiner

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. Instead, I’ve been finishing off a crime novel. Honestly. I’ve also been writing some book reviews and sport-related pieces for The Irish Examiner. Here’s the proof (I haven’t been slacking), in reverse chronological order.

What I Feel when I’m on The Pilgrim Path to Croke Park

All of the 71,000 souls who took the pilgrim path to Croke Park yesterday to live the moment in Limerick’s exquisite win over Cork experienced a scatter of emotions. Not just those who travelled, either – but hundreds of thousands of others who watched or listened in. Here are some of mine before the game. A sense of intention, of purpose, when I wake in the holiday home five minutes before 6am. Up and at ‘em. Here we go, here we go, here we go, and all that. Mount Brandon is stretching itself up into clouds, as it usually does. The gate leaves a creaky grumble when I free the latch. The water on Smerwick Harbour is a slate grey, waves flecking the surface.