Dark days for Dublin football

Dublin: The Chaos Years by Neil Cotter (Penguin Ireland, €18) This is a refreshingly honest account of the interactions between the managers, players and fans of the Dublin senior football team from 1996 to 2010.  It records the behind-the-scenes abuse, backchat, disloyalty and other challenges faced by the managers of that period. Pat O’Neill led the…

A remarkable sports woman and influential star

Game Changer by Cora Staunton with Mary White (Transworld Ireland, €28.00) While Cora Staunton is well-known for her skill and prowess on GAA playing-fields, little is known about her life beyond football or her private persona. That deficit is rectified in this frank autobiography. Cora recalls her early years as she was raised in a small…

Are Gaelic games the real religion of Ireland?

The GAA and the War of Independence by Tim Pat Coogan (Head of Zeus/an Apollo Book, £20.00) The Gaelic Athletic Assoc–iation (GAA) promotes, across the whole island of Ireland,  Gaelic football, hurling, ladies’ Gaelic football, camogie and handball. However, it does not concern itself solely with organising these sports. With the Irish language, Irish music and…

The parents who made Thérèse Martin a saint

The Martins of Lisieux by Michael O’Connell (St Thérèse National Office, 56 Angier Street, Dublin 2, €5.00; contact Pat Sweeney at 086-819-8186) This brochure is a work of pietas by a devotee of St Thérèse. The beautifully illustrated booklet is in two parts, the first concerns the grave of the saint, the second the burial place of the…

The wicked Lords of many Irish acres

The Earls of Castlehaven: Lord Audleys of Cork and Kildare by Michael Christopher Keane (ISBN 9781527230026; obtainable from all branches of O’Mahonys Booksellers, €20.00, tel. +353 – 614-18155; or directly from the author at Farran, Ovens, Co. Cork). The subtitle to this book promises “War & Sex, Corruption & Land, from the battle of Kinsale…

Delightful tales of rural life and history

Fireside Miscellany: A collection of Irish Memories, Meanderings and History by Denis O’Higgins (available from Eason Monaghan and other outlets, €10.00) This is a collection of delightful short stories, such as we would expect to find in an issue of Ireland’s Own. They reveal that the author was born and raised on a small farm in…