After years of persuasion 88-year-old Denis McNamara from Clonmore, near Edenderry, has put pen to paper and written his life story.
“Denny Mack - A True Story” follows Denis’ life from birth in March 1925 to date, including a life in between that has spanned the Atlantic.
The book will be launched by Brian Cowen next Thursday, August 29 in Larkin’s Bistro in Edenderry.
“I had a lot to say - that’s why I wrote a book,” Denis candidly told the Offaly Independent, adding that people have been telling him to write his story for years.
Initially written long hand using pen and paper over the course of a year, Denis then got a friend in Edenderry to type and print his writings.
The book is published in co-operation with Choice Publishing, and already 300 copies have been printed by SPRINT-print Ltd.
In the book Denis looks back on his childhood as one of eleven children. Memories shared in the book include his first day in school with teacher Mrs Bracken.
Another memory he says is probably shared by his classmates of the time is going to the local shop in Castlejordan when students forgot their lunch.
“We used to go in there on the day we didn’t bring lunch and the old boss man would cut a loaf in four quarters and give us a quarter for a penny and put butter on it,” he remembers. “That would stick out in my memory.”
Denis also shares his memories of a football career spanning five years, before a broken leg cut that career short.
In the book Denis also describes leaving Ireland for America in July 1957. “I was as low as you could get,” he describes in the book as he left Ireland - and his girlfriend Mona Coyne - behind.
Mona followed him out however, and the duo got married in June 1959 in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on 51st on Fifth Avenue in New York, followed by a reception in the Henry Hudson Hotel and a honeymoon in Florida.
The two are still together 54 years on, and are the parents to two children - Caroline and Roger.
For 20 years Denis ran a marble business in New York city. “I hired hundreds of people,” he remembers, “most of them from Offaly.”
Denis’ contribution to Offaly life in New York was not ignored either, and in 1985 the County Offaly Association of New York honoured him at their 97th anniversary dinner dance.
In that event’s address Denis was honoured as a footballer, an official, a friend in need, a devoted husband, a love father and a person who “exemplified the strength of character that is the pride of the people of Offaly”.
These days Denis and Mona split their time each year between Florida - where son Roger calls home - and Edenderry, which is home to their daughter Caroline.
“Denny Mack - A True Story” will be launched by Brian Cowen in front of approximately 65 invited guests in Larkin’s Bistro on Thursday next, August 29 at 7.30pm.
Copies of the book are also available for €15 in Mangan’s and The Medical Hall.