Hurling

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?’

How Sport will be changed by Covid-19

So How Was your Sporting Covid-19 Lockdown? Good and bad. I was busy on a book called Everything, the Autobiography of Denis Coughlan, and being active was a great boost in the grim month of April when the whole country was battling to prevent our health system being overrun by the virus. Having a sense of purpose each morning and working my way through the book, sentence by sentence, provided me with a guiding light through the uncertain darkness. My family were all safe and healthy and none of them, thank God, lost their jobs or anything like that. But the images of people being buried without their families and the very idea of so many dying alone and fearful was a horror that affected us all, I think.

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

2018 Interviews and Articles about The First Sunday in September

This is my last post of 2018 and it’s been some year. My first book The First Sunday in September was published in August by The Mercier Press. I’ve been busy, finishing the editing process for the book and reading and writing as much as I could. Thanks to everyone who supported me, I’m so grateful. Thanks to everyone who read my blog over the year and special thanks to those who took the time to follow, like and comment on the posts. Not to mention those who bought my book and read it. Some who read it were even good enough to contact me with kind words. You have no idea how much that means. Onward and upwards to 2019. I’ve a draft of a crime novel on the go and I’m now working on a book of essays on sport. The next few months will see a lot

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.

Who I’m Cheering For in World Cup 2018

Karl Ove Knausgaard, in his book Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game, shares a series of letters with his friend Fredrik Ekelund about the 2014 World Cup. In his first letter he says that he will always cheer on Argentina and Italy in such competitions. And he does this because both teams are traditionally cynical, they never do ‘anything beautiful for the sake of beautiful, only if there is some outcome.’ And the fact that they can do so, but hold back, appeals to something deep in side him.

Sporting Emotions at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh Official Opening

Sport is all about emotion. It’s why we watch it and participate in it. And yesterday, on the day of the official opening of the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh – on the day too when the Cork senior hurling and football county finals were decided – there were many emotions for those lucky enough to be present and experience them. My first time going to the new Páirc was in July when Waterford and Wexford played in the All-Ireland hurling quarter-final and on that day, when I turned the corner of Maryville to walk down that familiar hill to the ground, I felt pride. It was a kind of Cork pride too, since I was among Wexicans and Waterfordians. This is ours, it’s special, and here you are visiting – enjoy.