Recent G.A.A. Publications (2004)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 193


This column has been flagging the immediate publication of the Galtee Rovers G.A.A. Story for some years now. It has had the longest gestation period of any book I know, but I believe I can now give you the expected date of arrival, 2006! That is according to author, Seamus McCarthy, and fellow Galtee Rovers man, John Moloney. That year will see the publication of the book plus the official opening of the new reconstructed G.A.A. field in the parish.

There wasn't much of in the line of local publications during the year. I should like to draw attention to a number of books that will have a wider interest.

Croke Park -A History
by Tim Carey, a former curator of the G.A.A. Museum at headquarters, is a book of outstanding pictures and a fine evocative cover. Published by the Collins Press in large format, it runs to 200 pages and retails for €30.

One of the earliest photographs is of the Arravale Rovers football team in the Dr. Croke Cup football final, Jones's Road, on June 13th, 1897. It is taken from a contemporary supplement to the 'Gaelic News' , and is of outstanding quality. It is captioned as 'the earliest known team photograph from Jones's Road.'

There's an interesting juxtaposition of photographs on pages 44 and 45. In the first Eamon de Valera is throwing in a football at the start of a match there in April 1919, and in the second Michael Collins is doing the honours with a sliotar.

The book contains a detailed account of Bloody Sunday with a full-page photo of Michael Hogan of Grangernockler.

There is good coverage of the Tailteann Garnes in 1924, which, we are told , were followed by a Rodeo.

There is much, much more, and the many pictures and the text are interspersed by memories of great players, who played there. Interestingly the first game that D. J. Carey played in Croke Park was in football for Kilkenny Schools under-12 team in 1982.

Finally, the history tells us about the record crowd of 90,556 at the Offaly Down All -Ireland football final in 1961.  The gates closed at 1-45, locking out between 25,000 and 30,000 more trying to get in. Mind boggling!


From Dun Sion to Croke Park
Micheal O Muircheartaigh's autobiography, 'From Dun Sion to Croke Park' tells of his progress from his Kerry birthplace to his established place in Irish broadcasting. Published by Penguin Ireland, the book contains 257 pages and retails for €22.99.

One day in 1949, Micheal took part in a competition at Croke Park for an Irish-language commentator's job. He was just eighteen and had never seen a hurling match in his life, but he got the job, and the rest is broadcasting history.

He tells us that he set out to be him self in the interview, rather than ape existing broadcasters, and it worked .

He learned about hurling and came to admire the majestic technique of Christy Ring. He also writes about his love of greyhounds and golf, and the pictures include one of him in Augusta.

The book is as easy to read, as Micheal is to listen to, and is dedicated to the memory of Cormac McAnallen, the young Tyrone footballer, who died in March 2004.


I Crossed the Line - The Liam Dunne Story

Probably the most exciting book on a G.A.A. theme is 'I Crossed the Line - The Liam Dunne Story' with Damian Lawlor. Damian is the G.A.A. correspondent for the ‘Daily 'Star', and a
native of Kilruane MacDonaghs.

The book is a page turner from chapter 1: ' It's a story that needs to be told. I want to give you a look beyond the tunnell, an insight into what 16 turbulent years as an inter-county hurler were like, how you can isolate those close to you and instead build a life to revolve around sport. The game has thrown everything at me, good, bad and ugly.

Most of it has been my own doing too.  But not all of it. It's time to get some stuff off my chest.'

And that's exactly what Liam Dunne has done . He goes through his hurling life, faces up to his indulgence in alcohol, to his three successive sendings-off in championship hurling , his descent into hell and his redemption. The story is a great one, greatly helped by the writing skills of Damian Lawlor. The book, published by Sliabh Ban Publications, retails for €14.99

Cashel King Cormac's - County Junior Hurling Champions 1953

A much different kind of pub lication is a sixteen-page booklet entitled 'Cashel King Cormac's - County Junior Hurling Champions 1953', produced by the club in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of that historic occasion, that saw the club win its first county title. Apart from presenting a history of the games and the people that played them in that year, the book also includes some pictures taken at the presentation of medals in the old Town Hall. These add enormously to the value of the publication. It is available from the club for €5.

As welI as the above mentioned there are a number of other publications worth recording. Match programmes for division and county senior finals, as well as the county intermediate final, are well wort h keeping. Also divisional and county convention reports amass between their covers an amazing amount of relevant material. This year's county senior hurling final program included a four-page spread on the Thurles Sarsfields team that won the 197 4 county final.