GAA Football

A Season of Sundays like never seen before

THE OPEN UNIVERSITY: The Cavan players, keen students of the game, listen to a lecture from manager Mickey Graham at half-time, although his address doesn’t quite have the desired effect on this occasion. Defeat comes with a minus – relegation to Division Three – and a plus – it’s the springboard for a powerful Championship run. Picture by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile, as featured in 'A Season of Sundays'
The Irish News

OVER the past 24 years, the publication of Sportsfile’s A Season of Sundays has become an annual sporting tradition, marking the end of each GAA season with a stunning collection of images.

And GAA president John Horan was on hand in a virtual launch last night to officially unveil the 2020 edition, which looks back at a surreal and extremely challenging year like no other.

 

No-one could not have envisaged the severe difficulties and heartache that 2020 would bring to people’s lives and by extension to the activities of the GAA.

“We might be a little later than normal marking the release of A Season of Sundays.... but isn’t it fantastic to have a high-quality collection capturing the highs and lows of a season we thought we’d never see in our lifetime,'' said GAA president John Horan.

A Season of Sundays, backed by Carroll’s of Tullamore, records an incredible year with a captivating and colourful look back on a season that hung in the balance because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The highlights of another spectacular calendar year in the life of the GAA are expertly captured by the lenses of the Sportsfile photographers – and enhanced by Alan Milton’s perceptive captions.

While the initial shutdown in March is expertly captured in A Season of Sundays, so too is the grassroots volunteer movement that sprouted up across the wider GAA club network, underpinning a massive community effort during the first lockdown.

When the club and inter-county championships exploded into life later in the year, they provided a much-welcomed distraction and memorable on-field exploits.

Dungannon’s football success in Tyrone and Kiladangan’s hurling win in Tipperary were just two standout moments of many from the club scene.

On the county scene, Waterford’s march to the hurling final before Limerick’s eventual Liam MacCarthy success captivated the masses from afar while Cavan and Tipperary stole the limelight in football with their provincial final breakthrough wins before Dublin finished top of the pile to claim a sixth consecutive title.

The poignant event that was the 100-year commemoration of Bloody Sunday also features, as do a myriad of other memorable moments including Kilkenny’s camogie final victory and the latest success of the Dublin ladies footballers.

Speaking at the launch, the book’s creator Ray McManus said: “While we all knew that something was heading west we never thought it would have such an impact on Irish society and indeed on the world.

“Little did I know then that a hashtag used by the Press Photographers Association of Ireland would never be more relevant. #CapturingHistory is what photographers do every day and this year was probably the best example ever.

“When the historians or The National Museum of Ireland – specifically the Decorative Arts & History branch in Collins Barracks – look back in 100 years’ time I hope that this pictorial record of a strange year accurately reflects the 2020 GAA season.”

A Season of Sundays is available at bookstores nationwide and online at www.sportsfile.com and is priced at €27.95.

 

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