You’re only a number!

By Brendan Boylan, Somebody opined a few years ago that Monaghan midfielder Jason Hughes should’ve been Footballer of the Year. That he was playing football at all was nothing short of a miracle considering the ill health he had been enduring. Perhaps that was the point of the comment suggesting his selection. Naturally, picking the top performers at this or not – be that individually or in terms of something like the All Stars – but throwing a name like Jason’s into the equation served to call into question just how much merit lies behind the perceived pecking order. Rory … Continue reading You’re only a number!

One cliché worth trotting out!

By Brendan Boylan, Casey Martin is some man. Now, only the most studious of golf aficionados will know who he is, but his story is an amazing one. And one poignantly resonates with your columnist. Martin, you see, is a disabled golfer who made the cut at the US Open. That’d be a remarkable enough story in itself, but, when one considers that – like many things in the sport – red tape nonsense decreed that he wasn’t entitled to use the golf cart his disability necessitated in order to play the game. Casey Martin He took the establishment to … Continue reading One cliché worth trotting out!

A whiff of the bovine emanating from the Trap’!

By Brendan Boylan, I recently made a first, treasured, trip of the season to a certain beloved farm. The place farming has in my life is immeasurable and, to many people, inexplicable. Simply because they cannot fathom how someone in a wheelchair can be so enamoured by the sights, sounds and, more pointedly, scents, of a farm.Where is this going in the context of a sports column, you ask. Stay with me here. As ever after a day on the land, there was a bit of a pong off these wheels. Time has proven, however, that it was nothing compared … Continue reading A whiff of the bovine emanating from the Trap’!

Being his own man and emerging from the shadows

By Brendan Boylan, The story of Ballydoyle is one of the greatest anywhere in the world of sport. How many of us would’ve heard of the place in Rosegreen in Co Tipperary were it not for Dr Vincent O’Brien, the racing empire he established there and the multiplicity of glorious moments he enjoyed from there? It’s a story that’s constantly evolving and, at present, it’s hard not to believe it’s currently in its most especial phase thus far. Dr Vincent O’Brien As was said in an earlier Racing piece, Aidan O’Brien had already enjoyed remarkable success in both codes as … Continue reading Being his own man and emerging from the shadows

Even the numbers game can’t halt nature!

By Brendan Boylan, How many of you recall the story of Red Rock Canyon? We’re not talking about any of several areas in America by that name that I often wonder was the leading range of agricultural machinery called after. No, the Red Rock Canyon in this instance was a horse trained by Aidan O’Brien. Aidan O’Brien He never exactly set the world alight in his own right. After finishing a neck behind no less than Teofilo on his debut run, a Roscommon maiden in July 2009 was hardly where he was supposed to end up. Yet, it turned out … Continue reading Even the numbers game can’t halt nature!

Cycling in Dunboyne poignantly inspired

By Brendan Boylan, Shortly before Christmas 2011, I took a call from local Garda Cathal Walsh, the purpose of which was to invite me to the first dinner dance of Inspiration Cycling Club in Dunboyne. Although aware of the club’s existence, initially yours truly, was, though honoured and humbled to receive the invite, a tad reluctant. Solely out of a fear of not knowing anybody at the function. Paul ‘Danners’ Healion. He wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer though. And when the carrot was dangled that the guest speakers on the night were Sean Boylan, Stephen Roche and Jimmy Magee, he … Continue reading Cycling in Dunboyne poignantly inspired

A good start – if only we’d seen more of it!

By Brendan Boylan, Turning on the computer to find an email from Jim Dreaper recently was quite exciting. His is undoubtedly the most famous family name in Irish National Hunt racing owing to his late father’s exploits with the legendary Arkle and many other star horses. Before opening the correspondence, my mind was awash with possibilities as to what it might pertain to: Was he inviting me to visit his yard? Or offering to train a horse for me? I got quite a surprise. Now read on… Jim was actually offering me his observations on the Meath/Wicklow Leinster SFC match. … Continue reading A good start – if only we’d seen more of it!