Sunday 18 February 2018

GAA brothers in the good books

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Mick O'Dwyer, Joe Kernan, Mickey Harte and Brian Cody are among the managers who have had to deal with the tricky situation of managing teams where their sons were playing. It can make for a difficult balance between being fair to the player, while avoiding accusations of favouritism.

Brother managing brother is difficult as well, but it can have a humorous side, as recounted by John Henderson in a new book. John and Ger were playing for Kilkenny when their older brother Pat was manager back in the 1980s and, on one occasion, the boss substituted John in a league game.

John phoned the following day, demanding to know why his big brother had replaced him. There was a short pause, followed by the punchline: "Because you were useless." End of argument.

The Hendersons are one of 14 families featured in 'Brothers in Sport', a book of in-depth interviews with famous GAA brothers. Skilfully crafted by Donal Keenan, it provides an interesting and frequently amusing tour of sibling adventures, ranging over every decade from the 1960s up to the present day, which is represented by the Brogan, O Se and O hAilpin brothers.

Irish Independent

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