Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021

A new Donal Ryan essay and everything else you can expect from your membership of The42 this week

The acclaimed writer penned a piece especially for our supporters.

Donal Ryan penned a bespoke essay for our members.
Donal Ryan penned a bespoke essay for our members.


That’s the question, Donal Ryan - the twice Man Booker Prize longlisted author –  asks us in a brilliant essay we’ve sent directly to members of The42.

The story is the first in our new project ‘Bylines‘, an initiative in which we ask some of Ireland’s best — and our favourite — novelists to write about sport and the place it holds in their lives. 

Each essay will be distributed directly to all of members via email, and will also be available in a specially-designed Instagram Stories format.

“By the time I was 18 I had a beard and long hair and was obviously ‘artistic’ so I was no longer asked if I was any use,” the Tipp man writes. “The answer was clear and so the question would die on the way to the poser’s lips, as they took in my lean but un-muscled frame and my generally un-athletic aspect and demeanour.” 

As well as that treat, there’s plenty more for supporters of The42 to enjoy this week, of course. 

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella will discuss Ulster’s 2012 European Cup quarter-final win at Thomond Park, in the latest playback episode of Rugby Weekly Extra, which will go live today.

The hugely innovative and experienced broadcaster and journalist Danny Kelly joins Gavin Cooney on tomorrow’s episode of Behind The Lines, our sportswriting podcast. The Talksport presenter and former editor of the NME and Q magazine reflects on his friendship with Hugh McIlvanney, a long partnership with Danny Baker and the pieces that shaped his journalistic DNA. 

On Wednesday, former Laois hurling boss Cheddar Plunkett joins Shane Keegan for an in-depth chat on our new coaching podcast, How To Win At Dominoes. We kicked off the series with an enlightening Gary Keegan interrogation.   

We’ll drop, episode three of Warriors, our GAA podcast venture on Thursday. The GAA fans amongst our membership have already enjoyed a superb documentary, produced by Kevin Brannigan, on Wexford’s 1996 All-Ireland hurling championship win and a discussion with journalist and author Denis Walsh about the game’s revolution years. We’ll focus on football this week. 


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

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And on Friday, the boys are back in town as Gavin Cooney and Séamas O’Reilly look back at 2000 in the latest installment of Really Into Years; the podcast series where we chat about our weird and wonderful sporting and cultural history, 12 months at a time. 

All these features are exclusively available to our wonderful community of The42 Members, which costs €5 per month or €42 per year to join. Sign up here and get immediate access to all these projects, our podcast arvhives, and lots more great membership benefits.

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