Seán Óg O’hAilpín to sign copies of his autobiography this Saturday

Every year coming up to December scores of sports books come out for the all important Christmas market. Many are ghost written about the exploits of a sports star who wishes to make money out of their name while people still remember who they are. Many are cynical exercises in rehashing old stories, with a new bit of gossip thrown in, as is the case with Alex Ferguson’s latest “autobiography”. An exception to this is the autobiography by Seán Óg Ó hAilpín’, who will visit Philip’s Bookshop this Saturday at 3.30pm to meet fans and sign copies. The book tells the story of a young boy from Rotuma, North of Fiji, who leaves Sydney in Australia at the age of ten to come to cold wet Cork to live. He had never played hurling or spoken Irish up to that time. The way he became a legendary hurler and footballer and a fluent Irish speaker is truly inspirational. He was no doubt helped by his ‘father from hell’ and his mother who gave him unconditional love. He tells his story in simple prose with tremendous humility and a touch of humour. His training regime over the years and his dedication to the pursuit of being the best he could be is jaw-dropping. The way he dealt with racism and setbacks in his sporting life is told honestly and makes this book a must-read for any young aspiring athlete. If you read only one sports book this year, let it be ‘Seán Óg Ó hAilpín-The Autobiography’.