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McCarron, Donaghy and McGrath: The GAA books that got us talking in 2016

We take you through 6 of the top GAA books of the year.

The Best is Yet to Come – Alan O’Mara

ALAN O’MARA’S MEMOIR is a raw account of his struggle with depression and his long battle to find the light. The Cavan footballer moved to San Francisco last summer to write the book and devote as much time as possible to it.

O’Mara first spoke about his illness in May 2013, when he wrote a harrowing article highlighting his mental health issues in the Sunday Independent. That started the conversation, and this book brings it on to another level.


The Heart and Soul of Kerry Football – Weeshie Fogarty

The Heart and Soul of Kerry Football analyses the county’s obsession with football. Fogarty delves back as far as the 1950s and takes us right up until the present day.

“There are three things that matter to the people of Kerry,” he explained to The42 in July. ”Family comes first, then football, and then religion.”

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Out Of Control – Cathal McCarron with Christy O’Connor

You’ve probably heard the gist of this story by now. Cathal McCarron’s dark secret, a gambling addiction, came pretty close to destroying him.

The Tyrone defender, who has twice been nominated for an All-Star, saw his life spiral viciously out of control as tells the harrowing tale of how he ended up appearing in a gay porn film.


What Do You Think Of That? – Kieran Donaghy with Kieran Shannon

Kieran Donaghy enjoyed quite the career and played with some of the biggest characters the GAA has ever seen.

Donaghy’s at times difficult relationship with his father is one of the biggest themes in the book while he also recounts his remarkable rise to relevance for Kerry. A basketball fanatic, the Austin Stacks man tells about his opportunity of playing college hoops in America, plus recounts his struggles with dyslexia.


Hand on Heart – Ken McGrath with Michael Moynihan

The Waterford hurling icon details his wonderful career with the Deise and his health scares. He won All-Stars on three different lines of the field and played in one of the most-loved teams in recent memory.

He suffered bleed on the brain and a heart scare that required open-heart surgery and also lost his business due to the economic downturn. But it would take more than that to keep a man like Ken McGrath down.


Blood, sweat, triumph and tears – John Scally

“A book to shorten the long winter nights for any GAA fan,” is how Kildare legend Dermot Early described this book. Blood, Sweat, Triumph & Tears takes a nostalgic look at some of the best moments and personalities in GAA history.

It’s full of entertaining anecdotes that capture the magic of Gaelic Games across the country.


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