GAA resilience to Covid recalled in new book
Incredible stories of resilience from Ireland’s GAA community during the pandemic are told in After the Storm by award-winning Kilruane journalist Damian Lawlor.
On St Patrick's Day 2020, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that Ireland was locking down. Through that time, the GAA was at the centre of the country’s fightback. 20,000 volunteers helped out 35,000 vulnerable neighbours and friends with food and medicine deliveries. Croke Park and other major stadia transformed into testing centres and the community moved online to uplift each other.
As the Association itself faced financial ruin, many of its members faced life-threatening struggles. Niall Murphy, a blueblood of Antrim GAA, spent 16 days in a coma in intensive care as he battled the virus. Domhnall Nugent, one of Ulster's finest hurlers, was recovering from addiction having found himself homeless, and spent much of the Covid years isolated.
Despite the trials and tribulations during these times, there are countless chronicles of strength and victories from the community as the GAA became a beacon of hope. These are their inspiring stories.
Damian Lawlor is a best-selling author and sports broadcaster with RTÉ. He comes from Kilruane and lives with his family in Naas, County Kildare. This is his eighth book.