Sunday Independent journalist Damian Lawlor’s latest book was launched in a blaze of glory in The Park Hotel, Dungarvan last Wednesday evening. There was a large crowd in attendance including several members of the Waterford football panel and even hurling star Dan Shanahan.
It was the President of the GAA, Christy Cooney, who had the honour of launching the book. The Youghal clubman spoke in his usual eloquent style about the contribution that the book will make to the GAA. He told the audience that it would have been very easy for the author to follow one of the so-called ‘glamour teams’ around for the season. Instead Damian picked a team anchored in Division 4 of the National Football League.
Mr Cooney hopes and believes the book will be a strong seller and will tell everyone that there is another side to the GAA, far away from All-Ireland finals in Croke Park. The President selected a few snippets from the book which caught his eye as he was reading it. He admitted to being slightly taken aback at the honesty of effort from the Waterford team and in particular paid tribute to Tramore’s Paul Ogle who once put off an operation on a tumour to wear the blue and white of Waterford in the Munster championship.
Damian himself thanked the large crowd for attending the launch and paid tribute to the Waterford football panel who made him feel very welcome throughout the season. He said that these men were the real stars of the book and he wished them the best of luck for the future.
He also praised the effort that the Waterford panel put in during the season and for little or no reward. Without wanting to embarrass anyone he singled out Liam Lawlor for special mention. The Fourmilewater player was studying in Edinburgh for the duration of the season but without any hesitation he travelled home every week for matches and training. Although he got a slagging from his friends in University, Liam was still prepared to make the effort, for as he said himself “No one is forcing me to do it.”
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