For anyone who has even a passing interest in Gaelic football, the name Kieran Donaghy will be familiar. The big man with the big personality is impossible to ignore, as many opponents on the field of play have learned to their cost. For those who are consumed with the detail of important matches, there’s a lot to enjoy here. Donaghy writes with an intensity and honesty that characterised his play. Donaghy fills the role of warrior, whether it’s basketball of Gaelic football and this book is full of the highs and lows that sport brings to the life of a dedicated competitor.
For me, the personal story of the big man was every bit as fascinating as the sporting exploits. He writes with raw emotional honesty about his difficult relationship with his father and he acknowledges the love and support given him by others in his life. His devotion to his wife and young daughter is a joy to behold. The photos in this book are an integral part of understanding Kiernan Donaghy the man, as well as the sports star. My favourite one is of him lying on the turf of Croke Park after losing to Dublin in 2016, watching his beautiful baby, Lola Rose enjoying her time with Daddy.
Books like this are very important as we tend to forget that our sporting heroes are human beings, rather than there merely to fulfil our dreams. I highly recommend this account of life as a high profile sportsman, it’s honest, passionate, sad, funny and above all so real. What do I think of that? As a person with no Kerry connections, I think it’s pretty impressive, Kieran, well done.
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.