01 Dec 2021

GAA books with big Kildare connections

Great reads: The Gallant John Joe (John Joe O'Reilly); and Believe (Larry Tompkins)

GAA books with big Kildare connections

Many sporting books on the shelves this Christmas and New Year but a few in particular will have significance for Kildare GAA fans and supporters.

The Gallant John Joe tells the life and times of one of the greatest footballers of all time; a Cavan man, John Joe played a lot of his football in Kildare during his short life, a life that ended at the age of just 34.

John Joe was of course an army man stationed on the Curragh, played with the army and indeed won a Kildare SFC when captaining the army to victory in 1947; played hurling; was a referee of note and all round incredible GAA person.

He won two All-Ireland titles with Cavan '47 and '48; no less than 11 Ulster titles; Railway Cups, National Leagues (2) and a a host of other titles; was on the team of the century and the team of the Millennium.

John Joe had connections in Naas, chemest Frank O'Reilly being his brother.

The book, written by George Cartright, is a fascinating account of the man, his footballing career and his short army career.

A great read for any GAA fan.

The book can be purchased in Brian O’Reilly’s Pharmacy in Naas and also in Grá Coffee Shop in Naas and also in Farrell & Nephew in Newbridge. 

Another excellent read is a book that comes closer to home.

Believe, the life and times of Eadestown's Larry Tompkins.

Another fansinating career, from the time he played with his club and his early days with Kildare; his decision to walk away after a bust up with Kildare; before joining Castlehaven in Cork and throwing in his lot with The Rebels where he won two All-Ireland's, All-Star Awards, Player of the Year and much more.

A great read that showed Larry's undoubted ability; his undoubted commitment and his undoubted will to win.

Available in most bookshops.

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