Essay

Dark Passions – extract from a sports essay

I’m walking down the Ennis Road in Limerick. It is the summer of 2019. Cork have just beaten the All-Ireland champions, Limerick, and I’m feeling good. The Cork fans are buzzing – it doesn’t take much for us to roll back out our cocky strut. A lone and drunk young Cork supporter is taunting some Limerick people nearby. He sings (badly): ‘We’re from Cork and we’re better than you, We’re from Cork and we’re better than you, We’re from Cork and we’re better than you.’ Over and over again he sings it, smiling, pointing his finger at the Limerick fans, walking down the Ennis Road.

Five Moments in Sport

I wrote an essay, ‘Five Moments in Sport’, and the lovely people at The Stinging Fly published it in May 2019. In July 2019 they kindly put the essay online on their website

The Corkman who loves Kilkenny and looks up to Women’s Sport

What time should we hit the road on Sunday? The bloody road works in Naas still aren’t finished. Before we get to that, I’ve a bit of news. Oh. Is it the prostate again? The prostate is fine. It’s this: I love Kilkenny. Jesus, keep your voice down. What are you on about? I’m reading a brilliant book at the moment called Amateur. It’s by Thomas Page McBee and he’s a transgender man who took part in a boxing match in Madison Square Garden in 2015. In the very first chapter of the book, he describes the fight and his opponent. He writes: ‘The truth was, I loved him even as I danced around him with my hands in the air.’ The purity of revelation in that statement floored me.

Women’s Football World Cup. USA v England

He looks at the other three men in the pub in Dublin. Waits for a condescending or sexist remark. It doesn’t come. He’s vaguely disappointed. Don’t comment about the standard of football, don’t comment about the women’s bodies.

Hurt – extract from a sports essay

I’m writing a series of sports essays at the moment, hopefully to become a book. This is a work in progress piece about the physical/the body in sport. This bit is about injuries – my own, mostly –  one of which was serious. Working title: Hurt.  Suggestions/comments welcome.    When I settled into the renal ward (my kidney still inside me) I enjoyed my time there. My mother and father and my family and friends visited and I relished the wounded hero role I had constructed for myself. I wasn’t in much pain but my stomach had gone into shutdown so I could not eat or drink and I was on a drip for ten days.