Offaly man’s GAA book launched to rave reviews

Faithful County GAA fans have been told a new release about life within the league by Offaly writer and editor PJ Cunningham highlights the “madness” that holds them together.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy, was speaking during the launch of “Grassroots – Stories from the Heart of the GAA” in Croke Park.

The book, edited by Clara author and journalist, Cunningham, is a comprehensive treasure trove of GAA-related anecdotes containing 150 stories, sourced from every county.

It features stories from contributors including winning football managers across Ireland Sean Boylan and Joe Kiernan, as well as players Bernard Flynn and Keith Barr.

According to the head of the GAA, the association has always been more than just games.

“The reach and impact of GAA and the focal point it provides in so many societies ensures that it has held a special place in the lives of many.

Half the stories in ‘Grassroots’ are crazy, but that’s what GAA is about, on some level, right?

“Actually, that little bit of craziness in our lives is what brings us together so well.

Grassroots means embellishing and enriching the great works and great personalities of GAA.

There is a story about a boy playing in a kamoji match, which leads to a car chase in an attempt to catch him. This is definitely a bit crazy.

“And a player standing on a crossbar in the last minute of the game stopped soccer player Tyrone Frank McGuigan from a 35-yard free kick to win a game at Gallic Park in New York.

“This is crazy too, but it signifies the special insanity that is an integral part of who we are.

“GAA is primarily about people and places, and these two powerful components appear in many of the stories submitted for publication.”

This topic was amplified by Cunningham, who said that the strength of the GAA is that “ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things for their communities”.

“Grassroots – Stories from the Heart of the GAA” is published by Ballpoint Press and retails for €19.99. They are available online and in bookstores.

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