It’s the time of year for GAA-related book launches and later this week comes one with a strong Mayo theme. Ballinrobe native Declan Varley’s ‘Mayo – a Biography in Nine Lives’ will be launched tomorrow evening (Thursday) in Castlebar as part of the Wild Atlantic Words Literary Festival.
The launch will take place from 7-8pm in the Festival Dome at the rear of Bridge Street bar and it’s an ideal event for anyone with an interest in the Mayo senior football team.
The book charts Mayo’s perennial pursuit of All-Ireland glory, through conversations with some of those who wore the Green and Red, as well as those closest to them. This features a walk-on cast of former players with the county team, from the first Mayo All-Ireland-winning captain Séamus O’Malley, through Seán Flanagan and Padraig Carney of the great team of the early Fifties, to the towering giants who were John Morley and Tommy O’Malley; to James Nallen and John Casey who nearly secured silverware in the Nineties, and to Alan Dillon and Tom Parsons, members of the team of the last decade that put it up to the greatest of them all.
Around this story focusing on the players who gave it all for glory, Declan weaves in episodes from his own life, painting as he does so an honest depiction of the lot of a Mayo supporter, pursuing a dream through determination and, at times, sheer bloodymindedness.
At the launch tomorrow night, Declan will talk about his book before joining a football panel discussion that will also feature former Mayo stars John Casey, Martin Carney and Tommy O’Malley. Edwin McGreal will be the MC on the night. All are welcome at the event and admission is free.
Published by Hero Books, ‘Mayo – a Biography in Nine Lives’ by Declan Varley is available in all good bookshops as well as online at Mayo Books.