Overwhelmed!

Great reaction to my book and attendance at launch

Overwhelmed!

I’m genuinely overwhelmed with the attendance at my book launch, overwhelmed with all the good wishes and overwhelmed with the response from those who have already read the book ‘Confessions of a Gaelic Footballer’.

Once I could have gotten carried away with this type of attention but I hope that I am a different person now since I am more mature and certainly much wiser. I am genuinely very grateful and humbled by the overall reaction to my autobiography. The setting in the Abbey Hotel last Saturday evening was ideal and I suppose I can liken the event to a ‘living wake’. Far from being a morbid occasion it was relaxed and convivial. Many people travelled long distances and made sacrifices to be there. I was never at a book launch before so I really didn’t know what to expect. So, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone for making the effort for me. Thank you.

I want to make reference briefly to Glenswilly’s shock defeat of Kilcar in the county senior football final last Sunday week in Ballybofey. I believe that the majority of those of us in attendance were somewhat surprised at Kilcar’s inability to replicate their performance against Glenties given that Glenswilly would have been perceived as a lesser force that Glenties. I was impressed with Glenswilly’s discipline and their minimal wastage of possession. Kilcar, on the other hand, seemed nervous and wasteful in possession. This does not make them a poor team. On the day, it was their inability, I believe, to handle the occasion and perhaps looking further ahead than the day itself. One couldn’t blame them given the form of both teams leading into the championship final.

I do not want to minimise the contribution of the other Glenswilly players, but it worth paying the money to watch Michael Murphy alone. He was immense. Donegal is so blessed to have a player of Murphy’s calibre. His Donegal team mate, Neil Gallagher also gave a performance that demonstrated how much we missed him last season in the Donegal jersey. It is hard to beat experience and I believe that this was a major factor in the game. Kilcar have an abundance of talented youth but are still behind Glenswilly in terms of experience. Undoubtedly, this Kilcar team will be around for years to come and contesting county finals. I know that these words will count for little to the Kilcar lads just now but next year will come too when these youngsters will have learned massively from this defeat.

I, like many pundits, was raving about Kilcar after their annihilation of Glenties in the county semi-final suggesting that they could go on and compete with the best clubs in Ulster. I am now of the opinion that Glenswilly could well compete for greater things. I hope that they do not settle with what they have and just not give a good account of themselves in Ulster but adopt the same attitude now as they did against Kilcar. It’s not for me to advise them because I’m sure that they already do have their sights on progressing further. Glenswilly face Down champions Kilcoo in Newry on Sunday. It is a big ask to travel all the way to Newry and get a result but Glenswilly are well capable of doing just that. Kilcoo would not be the toughest of teams to play so they have every chance of progressing to the Ulster club semi-final. I would like to congratulate them on their county success and wish them all the best for Sunday.

People have been texting and ringing me in relation to the outlets that are selling my autobiography. We are currently in the process of distributing the book throughout the northwest. It will be available in almost every shop in every town and village by the end of the week. I tried to keep the contents of the book brief without boring the reader with detail. It is intended for both avid book enthusiast as well as those who may not have read a book for a while. It is our natural instinct to judge someone and from there we form an opinion of that person. I do it myself. The only person who really knows me and what life offered me is my wife. Even my daughters were unaware about some of the facts. Some people may think that I am baring my soul to all and sundry for egotistical purposes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I give a factual and genuine account of my life for the benefit of others. I hope that readers will be encouraged and perhaps see their own lives from a different perspective and not to judge others. For me, the writing of my autobiography has been therapeutic and a very fulfilling experience. If the editor of the Donegal Democrat, Michael Daly, believes that my efforts deserve so many inches of column space in this newspaper, I take it as a great endorsement of ‘Confessions of a Gaelic Footballer’. Many thanks Michael.

As always, keep the faith!