GAA’s President-elect to launch Nenagh journalist’s book

Book proceeds to benefit Tipperary Supporters Club

Thursday November 20 2008

‘Through Memories Haze’ which looks back on GAA events, people and experiences in more than forty six years in provincial journalism and written by former ‘Guardian’ editor Gerry Slevin will be launched in The Yanks Inn, Borrisokane on Thursday night November 27th (8pm) by the GAA’s President-elect Christy Cooney from Youghal. Co. Cork. Master of Ceremonies will be RTE match commentator Marty Morrissey.

Gerry told ‘The Guardian’ this week that the idea for the book came about when he penned a series of articles under the same name for ‘The Guardian’ early last year. As the series progressed and on its completion it was often suggested to him that he might consider a book on the same subject.

"I thought about it and decided to add a number of chapters to those already dealt with, the finished product now ready to go on sale immediately after the launch. I picked Borrisokane and the Yanks for the launch because Borris is my native place and there are some chapters dealing with GAA affairs there, such as the famous meeting with Thurles Sarsfields in 1961, the great minor hurling achievement of ’57 and also the 1933 North senior final win as seen through the eyes of the last survivor of that team, the late Jimmy Kelly who died in 2005," he said.

Some of the memories relate to event prior to taking up journalism in 1962, like his first visit to Croke Park for the ’49 All-Ireland final, and Tipp’s All-Ireland junior final win over Offaly in Birr in ’53. Also included is a memory of a great Roscommon All-Ireland footballer, Frankie Kinlough who worked in Borrisokane for a short time back in the early 1950s.

Recalled too is a visit to Wembley with the Tipp team in 1972, which but for the honesty of a cab driver might well have had dire consequences for him! The first hurling match on which he ever reported (Tipp v Offaly in the NHL in Roscrea in 1962) is also remembered as are the goalkeeping heroics of two of Tipperary’s best, Tony Reddin and Pat McLoughney. How it came about that he wrote a report on an All-Ireland final from a hospital bed is also revealed as is the rather strange reason for his absence from Tipp’s ‘famine’ ending Munster final replay against Cork in Killarney in 1987. Remembered also is an occasion when a school team was not allowed to play the second half of a final because mentors weren’t happy with the referee!

1975 and its special significance to both Kilruane and Moneygall is highlighted as is Silvermines’ break on of the stranglehold of the more traditional teams on the North senior championship a year earlier.

The first year of Scor and of Feile na nGael are called to mind, as is Tipperary’s first GAA Year Book in 1970 of which he was editor.
Roscrea’s inaugural All-Ireland club hurling final victory in 1971 is remembered, as is Tipp’s emergence among the camogie greats in ’99.

Dealt with also are events from his journalistic days in both Offaly and Clare, such as Offaly hurlers historic NHL win over Tipp in Birr in 1966; the only All-Ireland senior football final on which he reported; the annihilation suffered by Clare footballers at the hands of Kerry in what became known as the Miltown Massacre. The Tipp-Clare rivalry of recent years also comes in for attention with particular reference to how it tended to split his own family in 1997!

Published and printed by The Guardian, ‘Through Memories Haze’ is a successor to Years of Plenty, published in 2005 and which dealt with the rise of Tipperary camogie 1999-2004.

"Just as any proceeds following production costs for that book went to the Camogie Supporters Club, with ‘Through Memories Haze’ the Tipp GAA Supporters Club will be the beneficiary" Gerry said.

He has dedicated Through Memories Haze to the memory of a man he admired greatly, the late Seamus O Riain, Moneygall.

The book gets it name from the line of a song ‘Golden Days’ in the musical ‘The Student Prince’ It will go on sale on the weekend of November 28th at bookshops and news agencies. The launch in Borrisokane is, of course, open to everyone to go along to and refreshments will also be served.

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