Sport

A Public Apology to Naomi Osaka

Dear Naomi,   I just wanted to express my sorrow and to apologise for the fact that you have been hounded out of the French Open. I think that everybody involved in sport – fans, administrators, players, sports writers, editors, directors and commentators are all guilty of complicity in this, this latest disgraceful event in sport.

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?’

Loss, forgetting and hope: the cycle of sport

February, 2021. Column in the Irish Examiner, where I write about loss, forgetting and hope in sport. In that order. Why a bad memory is one of the most important qualities to enjoy sport, year in, year out.

A Tale of Two Cities, Rivalry and Loss

January, 2021 Column in the Irish Examiner, where I write about the Liverpool and Manchester United rivalry and what it has meant to me down the years. I also pay tribute to my great friend Tom Abernethy, whom we lost in March, 2020 and whom I miss terribly, especially when United are playing.

Club rugby makes its long-awaited return

An article in the Irish Examiner on the first club rugby match since February, due to Covid-19. On the rightness and relief of live rugby’s return to Musgrave Park even in the middle of a pandemic with all sorts of restrictions. Read it here.

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.

Podcast with The42.ie

I was delighted by be Number 40 in the brilliant Behind The Lines Podcast with Gavin Coooney of The42.ie. We had a wide ranging conversation involving donkey jackets, Nicky English, and sports fiction. My 4 picks for the episode were: “Sport”, a poem by Paul Durcan; “Prosinecki”, a short story by Adrian Duncan in a 2018 edition of Stinging Fly; A Natural, a novel by Ross Raisin; The Throwback Special, a novel by Chris Bachelder.

I’m now working on the Autobiography of Denis Coughlan

I’m delighted to announce I’m working with the legendary Cork dual-star Denis Coughlan on his biography, to be published by Hero Books later in 2020 as part of the Legends Series. Denis contested no less than 81 county, provincial and All-Ireland finals at all grades during his fantastic career.

Five Moments in Sport

My essay ‘Five Moments in Sport’ was published by The Stinging Fly magazine. Writing in the issue by David Means, Anne Carson, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Ian Maleney, Martina Evans, John Kelly and many other wonderful writers. Purchase options here: https://stingingfly.org/product/summer-2019/ Read the essay online here.