A new book by a local author charts the rise of GAA in Europe

Gaelic sports are on the rise in Europe as Spaniards, French, Germans and other Europeans embrace Gaelic football and hurling as a new treasure in their lives.

A book chronicling this fascinating story has recently been published, titled ‘The Rise of Gaelic Sports in Europe’, and will be launched on Tuesday May 17 at 7pm at Leitrim County Library, Ballinamore.

Ballinamore-based freelance journalist and author Denis O’Brien’s book breaks new ground as the first official history of the European GAA.

The 527-page work describes the nuanced activity of early Gaelic games in Europe, from the ‘invisible’ but intriguing presence of games in the 18th and 19th centuries, to the ‘visible’ and dynamic scene of modern times.

O’Brien examines how five clubs 20 years ago have become 90 today and why new clubs are springing up in countries that had never heard of Gaelic sports despite cultural, geographic and economic challenges.

Author, Denis O’Brien

The book revisits a long-forgotten Irish hurling tour in Belgium, recounts the birth of a new GAA county council, finds out why the people of Galicia and Brittany love Gaelic football and why young Germans are passionate about hurling.

The publication also looks at the future of Gaelic sport in Europe and what it could mean for the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland.

Denis O’Brien is a freelance sports journalist in Ireland specializing in international coverage of Gaelic sports. He has covered the European Gaelic sports scene extensively via his own podcast, Gaelicsportscast, as well as on gaa.ie’s World GAA podcast.

He has also written articles and features on the Gaelic World Games for the GAA.

This is the author’s second book after writing “Hurling USA: America Discovers an Ancient Irish Sport” in 2012. A third book in the series is planned.
“The Rise of Gaelic Sports in Europe” is available in paperback and ebook format on Amazon.

Lola R. McClure