Sporting Stories Just in Time for Christmas

It was a big day for book launches yesterday with the great and the good from Irish athletics and then Irish sports journalism coming together to support new publications in both fields.

First up at the National Indoor Arena Peter Byrne was joined by CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy, President of Athletics Ireland Georgina Drumm, Irish long distance runner Catherina McKiernan, former Irish Olympian Eamonn Coghlan, and Olympic Champion Ronnie Delaney to launch his new book, ‘Winning for Ireland – How Irish Athletes Conquered The World’.

The former Irish Times Athletics correspondent has spent three years pulling together a record of Irish achievement that is focused on stories and the personality of those included in the 26 chapters, and not just a listing of their times and triumphs.

From Delaney’s outstanding Gold at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 up to the more modern achievements of Derval O’Rourke the book captures strong stories but also does not shy away from some of the troubled history that Athletics has endured at organisational level.

It’s the stories away from the match reports that figure strongly in John Green’s anthology of Sports writing from 30 years of the Sunday Independent that finished the day yesterday with a launch at Hodges Figgis bookstore on Dawson Street.

“There is no linear narrative.  The articles were selected based on the quality of their writing and the impact they had at the time and since,” said Greene last night.

“It was a tough task to cut from more than 1,500 editions and 750 originally long listed articles down to the final colection but hopefully there will be an appetite for a second volume…”

Many of those who feature had gathered to be part of the launch, including Eamon Dunphy, Joe Brolly, Paul Kimmage and Richard Sadlier.

Cliona Foley and Marie Crowe were there as well as a host of other writers and supporters from across the sporting spectrum.

Either book would make a great Christmas present and both are available, as they say, from all good bookstores.