A year with the dubs
Daire Whelan
Gill and Macmillan

I love reading history books. Of course what defines history? Yesterday? Last century? If it happened it’s history as far as I’m concerned so a book about dublin gaa in 2008 is an historical artifact.

This book was written in a different era, the tiger in Ireland was about to poison our lives – Bertie ahern was about to step down as Taoiseach and the esri were predicting growth of 3.75% for the years 2010 to 2015!! Oh and Dublin weren’t expected to win the all Ireland football final but for some reason (to be explained) they were still the team most wanted to beat. This was a dublin team who underwhelmed their fans so much that “heart break and disappointment are what we have to live with…for we have no right to expect so much” and this was a season not with glory but with a glorious defeat. It is this glorious defeat that summed up Dublin mens Gaelic football at the team. Promising but not quite there.

I loved reading the diary format as I was at every one of the games Whelan writes about. I have an abiding memory of cycling to Portmarnock for the blue stars game, with my son on the cross bar, talking about how this might be our year. I remember the rain, the cork players striking, the Leinster final victory over Wexford, more rain, the small hope and quick downfall of the hurlers. Every kick, every puck, every bitter defeat is etched on my brain. I dissected every game with my dad afterwards. We wondered about certain players but never could see who would fill the gaps.

That was then and this book serves to remind us it’s no all about all-Ireland victories. It’s about following your team through thick and thin. In glory and in defeat. And memories, some wonderful memories


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