Walking wounded: Michael Walsh watching Stradbally’s win over Ardmore at the weekend. | Photo: Michael Kiely
Liam Hayes might grandiosely claim that the newly-launched ‘Cody’ (which he worked on with Martin Breheny) is ‘the most important publication in the 125-year history of the GAA’, but often the most compelling tales are to do with people’s struggles with failure rather than success.
Henry Martin’s ‘Unlimited Heartbreak: The Inside Story of Limerick Hurling’ is sure to ruffle a few official feathers on Shannonside when it’s launched this week by county board benefactor JP McManus. Surely a similar book about Waterford hurling – ’59 to ’09: from the golden years to the fallows and false dawns of the sixties, seventies and eighties, to the recent renaissance period – would be worth writing if someone had the time (or the money, nudge, wink).
Sunday Independent journalist Damian Lawlor has already put the Déise footballers’ fortunes into print in ‘Working On A Dream’, a how-the-other-half-live account of the team’s last twelve months under John Kiely which is being launched in The Park Hotel, Dungarvan this Wednesday night by GAA President Christy Cooney.
A man Kiely would loved to have been able to call on during his five years as Déise bainisteoir is brilliant Stradbally midfielder Michael Walsh, who will be out of action for the foreseeable future after breaking his shoulder while training with the club’s Conway Cup chasers.
Hopefully, sling or no sling, he’ll be collecting a hurling All Star as centre-back in Dublin next Friday week. First to congratulate him in print I expect will be Liam Dunne, the former Wexford hurler, whose excellent 2004 autobiography ‘I Crossed The Line’ was ghosted by the aforementioned Lawlor.
In his ‘Sunday Times’ column immediately after this year’s Munster Final, Dunne bizarrely described the relocated ‘Brick’ as “a disaster” at No6 – though he subsequently admitted his mistake, more or less, by praising his performances against Galway and Kilkenny.
In the same piece he hinted that his former Oulart-the Balagh boss, Kevin Ryan (previously a selector under Justin McCarthy and now in charge of Carlow) might be the next Waterford hurling manager. Still no white and blue smoke from the Banner on that score. Much may depend on whether Davy Fitz’ is in Walsh Park on Sunday.