Sports essay

The Enduring Beauty of Roger Federer

I wrote a piece marking the retirement of Roger Federer for The Irish Examiner. Also shorts about World Cup 2022 in Qatar and Dave Hannigan’s new book about Muhammad Ali. You can read it here.  

The West Cork Literary Festival

I was thrilled to feature at the West Cork Literary Festival of 2022. My event with Ashley Hickson-Lovence (the author of the stunning novel Your Show) and Ciarán Murphy (of Second Captains and The Irish Times) was great fun and really well-attended. As well as my own event, I moderated two other sessions, the first with the brilliant crimes writers Catherine Kirwan (latest book: Cruel Deeds) and Jane Casey (latest book: The Killing Kind). My third event was at the lovely Bantry House with the novelist Jenifer deBie, whose latest book, Heretic, is out now. Some photos:  

Praise for The Game

I’m so grateful for the generosity of people and for the kind words they have said about The Game. Some of the praise it has received: Donal Ryan: ‘This is a towering work. … The essays ‘Miracles’ and ‘Kisses’ are two of the most beautiful, poignant and heartfelt pieces of writing I’ve ever read. Tadhg is clear-eyed, intelligent, and unrelentingly honest about the darkness that pervades the business of sport and its capacity to arouse our basest instincts … He asks the hardest of questions and delivers unflinchingly honest answers. This is no paean … it is a brilliantly forensic and startlingly objective account of the ways that sport at once transcends, debases and delineates our humanity. Tadhg admits to feeling like an outsider but he is firmly and undeniably in the inner circle of the great sportswriters. And he is clearly, though he’d probably deny it, the truest of sportsmen.’

The Game listed by Irish Independent

Lovely to see The Game on the Irish Independent list of: ‘The best books to read on your summer holidays’ Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh said: ‘Coakley helped me rediscover the soul of sport, while painting a rich tapestry of pivotal sporting moments in his own life. [The Game] is brave, deceptively deep, full of life lessons, and introspection in between trips to games. The dark side of sport is dissected, too … It’s all wrapped up in an unavoidable poignancy.’ Full list of books here.

Kieran Shannon Column about The Game

This piece about The Game by the great sportswriter Kieran Shannon of the Irish Examiner is wonderful and I’m very grateful for it. It’s entitled: Capturing the fleeting, fantastic, essence of sport: It’s all a part of The Game. You can read it here. 

Extracts from The Game Published Elsewhere

Thanks to all those publications who published extracts to The Game. You can read them all below: From the essay ‘Kisses’ in The Irish Times Magazine.  From the essay ‘Ekstasis’ in The42.ie and The Journal. From the essay ‘Dark Passions’ (updated) in The Sunday Independent. From the essay ‘Initiations – Longing to Belong’ in The Irish Examiner. From the essay ‘A Place Beyond Words’ on the RTÉ website. 

Piece on Sport in the Sunday Independent

Thanks to John Greene and The Sunday Independent for publishing this piece today about the darkness in sport and how we need to moderate our behaviour and manage our consumption: ‘Sport has given us so much, but maybe it’s time we thought more about what we watch.’ Here it is.   

Excerpt from The Game in The Irish Times

I was delighted to see an excerpt from my essay ‘Kisses’ from The Game in The Irish Times. Great photos by Daragh McSweeney and lovely illustrations by Fuchsia MacAree. You can read it here.