Friday 18 October 2019

Minister recalls football glory days

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

SOME of the glory days of Kerry football feature in a new book by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan.

Mr Deenihan, who won five All-Ireland senior football medals, reveals his main influences were his father Mick -- who passed away in 1974 having never seen his only son lift the Sam Maguire or be elected to politics -- and his mother Mary Ellen.

"Since my childhood, he had one ambition for me -- to play for Kerry -- and he did everything possible, until his death in 1974, to help me achieve that end," Mr Deenihan writes of his dad.

But the book, My Sporting Life', published by Red Hen Publishing and launched this weekend in Listowel by legendary GAA manager Mick O'Dwyer, is the story of his life from the time his mother brought home a brown rubber ball from Puck Fair, through his years as a player and coach, and the part sport has continued to play in his life as a politician.

"Football has united the country more than anything else and more differences were settled around the goal posts of Ireland than around the altar," Mr Deenihan told the Irish Independent.

The proceeds go to the Lartigue Monorail Restoration Project in Listowel, which cost €2m and now owes €40,000, which Mr Deenihan hopes the book will help clear.

His old football adversary, Jimmy Barry Murphy, will launch the book tonight in the River Lee Hotel, Cork, and on Tuesday, Tony Hanahoe will do the honours in the National Museum in Kildare Street, Dublin.

Irish Independent

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