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Ireland’s Professional Amateurs

March 17, 2015

My son, Andy, wrote an excellent book that I believe every Irishman or woman should read.  So, I am writing about it today – St. Patrick’s Day.

The book is an account of the author’s eight months in Ireland covering the Gaelic football and hurling seasons.  He traveled to a dozen cities, lived in players’ family’s homes, shared successes and losses and soaked up the nationalistic feelings the games brought to the teammates, their county and the many enduring fans. Ireland’s Professional Amateurs is more than a sports book – it is also a travel log of Ireland, its rich culture, and a history book of that great country. Andy tells a story of the pride and joy of the fans in watching the distinctively Irish sports and how it transcends the playing field to the pride in their local county and their Gaelic background. The players are all amateurs practicing hard and heavy after work so they could win the Sunday game.  And, then they are back at work on Monday at their jobs as teachers, accountants, lawyers, civil servants and factory workers.  They spend no time recovering from their injuries (which seem more plentiful than they should be for an amateur sport) and head back to their planning and practices for the next weekend’s game. The book is written in a fast paced journalistic style that will grab your attention from the first page to the last. It draws out individual stories of many players and the pride and sacrifices they make to play the game.

Buy and read this book!

Also see a related blog posted Mar 15, 2012.

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