Green Fields

By The Sword by

gladiators, musketeers, samurai warriors, swashbucklers, and Olympians ISBN: 0330482297 Thirty years ago I fought the only duel of my life. It wouldn’t have satisfied the dictionary definition, which requires that deadly...

A Year in the Centre by

ISBN: 1844880788 They say flying can do strange things to your mind, and an aeroplane is not the best place to commit thoughts to paper, but what the hell: the little...

Back from the Brink by ,

with Vincent Hogan ISBN: 1846050766 See also: ; Wikipedia ; BBC ; The Telegraph Paul McGrath is probably Ireland’s best loved sporting star. Known as god to many an Aston Villa...

The Last Great Tour? by

Sunday 29 May 2005, Schipol Airport, Amsterdam
I hated rugby once, you know. In first year at secondary school, we hauled our bags up to the top of St. Patrick’s Hill every Monday afternoon, to run around in the freezing muck.

I had hoped to enjoy this, but in the end it was a little meh. Maybe because I hadn’t seen any of the rugby from the Tour, Sky Sports keeping it all for their viewers. Or maybe because New Zealand were so dominant. Or maybe because I’m not a Woodward fan. Or maybe because the style of writing was only meh-worthy.

The Squad by

Michael Collins is frequently cited as the originator of modern urban terrorism. The British characterised his Squad as ‘the murder gang’ and had they knowingly captured members of of the Squad they would almost certainly have exectued them.

Irish history is full of revolutionaries and failed rebellions, of informers giving information to the English, and spies infiltrating Irish organisations. Michael Collins recognised the importance of the intelligence network and so in 1919 he formulated a plan to blind the eyes of Dublin Castle by ensuring that the police force were as terrorised and demoralised as possible.

Time Added On by

When you are a child, and you’re poor, and you live next to other people who are poor, you never think of yourself as being poor.

Around a month ago I read an entry on Omaniblog about this book, up until then I hadn’t even known that George Hook had a book out. But that post caught my attention. George Hook is probably best known in Ireland for his rugby punditry. Together with Brent Pope and Tom McGurk, he analyses rugby for RTE in an entertaining, honest, blunt manner. He also has a radio show, but I’m not big on the radio so haven’t heard him enough to comment on that. In many ways I suppose he is the Eamonn Dunphy of the rugby world.

But I know him primarily from his rugby comments, and his constant promises that Munster will lose, and that the likes of Stringer shouldn’t be playing. I disagree with him, but am well aware that he is very knowledgeable about the game. And in an entertaining way.

Sport and the Irish by

Although the word ‘sport’ was used commonly in Ireland long before the period that is covered by any of the essays in this collection, it normally referred to hunting, fishing and other such activities enjoyed by the Irish gentleman. In addition were the games played by ‘ordinary’ people and rumoured to have their origins in Ireland’s historic and mythic past.

Another book that I picked up at work, although this is much more readable than the last. That was on the film industry in Ireland, and I didn’t finish it because of its overly academic wordiness. Despite being a sociological look at sport in Ireland, this book, Sport and the Irish doesn’t suffer from that problem.

Irish Voices by

An Informal History 1916-1966 ISBN: 0712665323 Early on Easter Sunday 23 April 1916 in Liberty Hall, the painter Christopher Brady carried out his commission of printing the document that would proclaim...

Unspeak by

ISBN: 0316731005 A long time ago in China, a philosopher was asked the first thing he would do if he became ruler. The philosopher thought for a while, and then said:...

Guns, Germs and Steel by

A Short History of Everybody for the last 13,000 years – ISBN: 0099302780 This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. The question motivating...

Green Fields by

Gaelic Sport in Ireland ISBN: 0297835661 The waves are hissing the secrets of winter. They arrive here bearing a wind which has lost no sharpness since it left the west coast...