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In 'The Road to Croker' Eamonn Sweeney jumps aboard the GAA Championship train from the start of the 2003 season, and arrives in Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day after visiting all arts and parts of Gaelic Games and Ireland. Each weekend he hit the road to get to a championship game, hurling or football, and recounts his journey, the people he meets and the games themselves, while staying away from the usual tired match reporting.
Sweeney looks at what the individual championship games, and the GAA as a whole, mean to different people and groups, the standing of the GAA within the country, and also examines the changing face of the country from both the GAA's and society's perspective.
Full of wit and good humour, the author recounts tales of games past, teams rising, personalities and trailblazers. At the same time, he is not afraid to take a swipe at the immobility and intransigence of the organisation's top brass, which is obvious to all from time to time.
Although predominantly about the small units and people that make up the GAA, Sweeney also takes a look at the state of the nation, religion, the Irish language and the influence of family. The journey also takes a personal twist with the failing health of the author's father, who introduced Sweeney to the GAA and passionately supported the games all his life.
Entertaining and readable, this is a must for all those who traipse around the country to games each weekend, and for those whose county's fortunes make or break the summer. There is also enough there to keep those without the same passion interested, and 'The Road to Croker' gives a good insight into what makes the GAA tick at grassroots level.