Sport in Modern Irish Life


'Sport wraps itself around the emotions like bindweed. The meaning of sport lies in how it makes a person feel; sport which leaves you feeling nothing has no relevance.'

So begins Sport in Modern Irish Life, where leading sports historian and bestselling author Paul Rouse grapples with the concept of every individual person's relationship with sport being unique to him or herself, but also intimately connected with the universal - 'most sport is a shared experience even if not shared in precisely the same way' - and many other topics aside.

Throughout this superb collection of articles and essays, Paul explores, in his inimitable and always engaging style, the undeniable fact that for large sections of society there is no greater pastime than the pursuit and discussion of sport in all its guises. Whether it's describing an annual sports day, the harrowing events of Hillsborough, the intersection of sport and Irish history or the sporting idols who have left an impression upon the author, no stone is left unturned in this essential addition to understanding the pivotal role of sport in life in Ireland and further afield.

As well as the essays and stories published here for the first time, others have evolved from articles written for the Irish Examiner and pieces recorded for RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany. They are the culmination of sporting experience as a player, manager, supporter, consumer, journalist and historian. They are an attempt to record, in the round, at least some of the sheer variety of experiences available in sport. And they are a reminder, too, that the wheel does not ever stop turning.