This is yet another journey into the heart of the GAA, with John’s keen eye and tireless pen focussing on various controversies over the years. Our own Shane Curran is amongst those featured, with John recalling the famous penalty incident in the 1989 Connacht Minor Final. I was at that game in Castlebar, and still recall the drama and surrealness of it all.
John takes up the story (in the book): “The GAA needs characters. Shane ‘Cake’ Curran is certainly one of them. Curran first exploded on to the national consciousness in the 1989 Connacht minor football final. Roscommon trailed Galway by two points when they were awarded a penalty in the last minute. Peadar Glennon, corner-forward with the Rossies, placed the ball on the spot and stepped (up) to take the kick. Out of the blue Shane raced forward and blasted the ball past the Galway goalie. There was chaos. Roscommon were presented with the cup but subsequently had the game taken away in the smoky GAA corridors of power. Eventually the Rossies won the replay ordered by the Connacht Council”.
The book also revisits John Maughan’s dramatic dropping of five Roscommon stars, including Curran, back in 2005.
Shane Curran: “We weren’t to know it but it was the end of numerous inter-county careers. I remember vividly Sharon [his wife] coming in with The Roscommon Champion as it was at the time [saying], ‘Famous five have been dropped by new Roscommon manager’”. Curran blames the County Board of the time for allowing an impression to take hold that five “troublemakers” had been let go.
I wish John every success with a book which promises to be a very entertaining read. ‘100 Great GAA Controversies’ is now available in all good bookshops.