We love the GAA here at Scoreline, and evidently so do you. Sure arent the GAA-related pieces only the top viewed articles every week. (With apologies to Robbie and his sailing journalism)
Combining the love for GAA with the love for writing is something Michael Egan has done, the mad lad from Laois TV has only gone and written four GAA-inspired books. Declan Kirby GAA Star has been described by Hogan Stand magazine as “Ideal for GAA-Loving children aged 9+”, and we must say, we agree. Especially seeing as Declan picks up a hurl in the third book, speaking to author Michael he let us in on when the book shall be released;
“There is a good bit of hurling in the third book, for anyone in Kilkenny and Carlow. That will be out on the 17th of March, St. Patricks Day. With the fourth book where Declan has a trip over to the world of GAA Games in Spain will be out in April.”
It is mad to think that this concept had not come to fruition sooner and when Micheal realized the gap in the market, he was quick off the mark;
“I was in school in Ballyfermot in about 2011. We had this thing called D.E.A.R. time, which is Drop Everything And Read. Sometime after lunchtime, and they are still pumped up, so I would have the D.E.A.R time to settle things down.”
“There was one lad who I could never get to read, until one day he was reading a soccer series of books. I was on a career break a couple of years ago and then realized there was no GAA theme series of books. So I got out the laptop and started writing.”
“Then during the pandemic, I was so bored at one stage and remembered I had those books in my laptop. So I sent them into Gill Books, sent them on Friday, and had a reply by Tuesday.”
Anything that promotes the GAA is fine in our books, and while that is important, it’s evident getting children to read is at the heart of the tales;
“We are trying to encourage children to read, creating a subject matter that they are interested in and that will help them foster their love of reading. Combining that of course with the promotion of gaelic games as we all know the benefits people get out of sport is fantastic.”
After joining the school hurling team, Declan must find a way to juggle training for this new sport and football at the same time. When Smithgreen’s goalkeeper gets injured, Declan convinces his brother, Daniel, to take the spot. But their parents mustn’t find out, as a childhood illness means Daniel is forbidden from playing sport. Declan struggles to hide the truth while competing in two championships. Has he finally bitten off more than he can chew?
The Smithgreen team are invited to Spain to participate in the GAA World Games and play against teams from different countries. But Declan’s excitement about the trip soon turns sour, as he struggles to prove himself to the new coach and keep his place on the team. Meanwhile, the boys get caught in a storm while enjoying a boating adventure.
Listen in to Scoreline this weekend as both books will be up for grabs! You can also listen to the full interview below.