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Why multiple All-Ireland winner Aidan O’Mahony had to step away from reality to get guidance on direction his life was headed

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Aidan O'Mahony. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Aidan O'Mahony. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Aidan O'Mahony lifts the Sam Maguire in 2014. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aidan O'Mahony lifts the Sam Maguire in 2014. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aidan O'Mahony's book, Unbroken

Aidan O'Mahony's book, Unbroken

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Aidan O'Mahony. Photo: Don MacMonagle

On the cover of Aidan O’Mahony’s new book, Unbroken, there is a photograph of the player from his last day in a Kerry jersey. A tear trickles from his right eye. Towards the end of a long interview he says that this was a perfect depiction of an emotionally loaded day, his parting from the county panel after 13 years. Oddly enough, for all its masculinity and posturing, sport allows some latitude on public shows of emotion amongst men. Society has often been a more reluctant host.

As O’Mahony knows only too well. A winner of five All-Irelands, remembered as a combative and robust player, his career peaked with the All-Ireland win in 2014 when he subdued Michael Murphy, a colossus in the game, at the age of 34. It was a fitting epitaph even though he went on to play for two more years, the teary cover shot taken after Kerry lost to Dublin in 2016.


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