Former Offaly All-Ireland winning manager, Eugene McGee, will launch ‘My Sporting Life’ by Jimmy Deenihan, former Kerry footballer and captain of the four-in-a-row winning team and currently minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, at the Tullamore Court Hotel this Saturday, January 28, at 8pm.
The book recounts how the stories of Kerry’s footballing feats, told by those gathered at the crossroads in Finuge, filled the mind of a young Jimmy Deenihan with dreams of one day playing for Kerry in Croke Park and of maybe lifting the Sam Maguire Cup himself. In tandem with this dream grew a belief that sport is, as described by Hippocrates, ‘the preserver of health’.
Jimmy played Gaelic football at club level with Finuge, at County Championship level with Feale Rangers, and at inter-county level with Kerry, winning an All-Ireland U21 Championship medal in 1973 and five senior All-Ireland medals as part of the ‘Golden Years’ team.
My Sporting Life recounts in vivid detail how Jimmy’s dreams of playing football with Kerry became reality, culminating when he lifted the Sam Maguire in 1981 as captain of the four-in-a-row winning Kerry team.
Sport didn’t end with retirement from competitive football; Jimmy describes his life as a sports teacher, coach and trainer of all age groups. When he entered political life, he embraced the concept of sport for ‘the many and not for the few’, undertaking extensive examination of the role of sports in the life of Irish people. He also details his involvement in the organisation of sporting events among his Dáil colleagues and their counterparts in other countries.
Jimmy’s commitment to sport, not just as a participator at the highest level, but at all levels and at all ages in life, is evident throughout My Sporting Life.
All are welcome to the launch and a percentage of proceeds from sales will be donated to the Tullamore Lions Club, with the remainder going to the Lartigue Monorail Restoration Project in Listowel.