Green Fields

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 of Scotland. The roads are empty and frosted tonight. The moon is timid in a louring sky. The dressing room lights are off. The floodlights have yet to be cranked up. The pitch is fringed with frost. There is nobody here. Why would anyone come?

Tom Humphries is a sports writer here in Ireland, and a very good one at that. Always entertaining and readable every week in the Irish Times, but this book isn’t the greatest example of his writing.

Green Fields starts off with a training session in early February, the start of the GAA year when all teams are equal. When all have a chance to win the All-Ireland. When players are unfit after their winter off, and when the evenings after work seem to dark to head out training. GAA players are all amateurs you see, and this is a book that points out how important the Gaelic Athletic Association is in Irish life. And how unique.

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