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Con Houlihan (6 December 1925 – 4 August 2012) was an Irish sportswriter. Despite only progressing to national journalism at the age of 46, he became "the greatest and the best-loved Irish sports journalist of all".[1]

Con Houlihan
Born(1925-12-06)6 December 1925
Castleisland, County Kerry, Ireland
Died4 August 2012(2012-08-04) (aged 86)
Dublin, Ireland
OccupationSports journalist
Notable worksMore Than a Game,
A Harvest


Journalism careerEdit

Over a lengthy career, Houlihan covered many Irish and international sporting events, from Gaelic football and hurling finals, to soccer and rugby World Cups, the Olympics and numberless race meetings inside and outside Ireland.[2]

He was a journalist with the Irish Press group writing for The Irish Press, Evening Press and sometimes The Sunday Press, until the group's demise in 1995. He wrote the "Tributaries" column and Evening Press back sports page "Con Houlihan" column.


Houlihan died in the morning of 4 August 2012 in St James's Hospital in Dublin. Often considered one of Ireland's finest writers, he left behind a legacy of immense sports journalism that spanned over 60 years.[3] A minute's silence was observed in his memory ahead of Kerry's All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final defeat to Donegal at Croke Park the following day.[4][5] His last column, in which he wished Katie Taylor well, was published the day after his death.[6] His funeral took place on 8 August 2012.[1][7]

Awards and honoursEdit

A bronze bust of Houlihan was unveiled in his hometown of Castleisland in 2004.[8] In 2011, another sculpture was erected outside The Palace bar in Dublin.[9]

List of worksEdit

  • More Than a Game
  • A Harvest: New, Rare and Uncollected Essays
  • Close the Wicket Gate: Tales from the Kilmichael Bar Foreword for Johanna O'Mahony Walters
  • Death of a King and Other Stories
  • In So Many Words: The Best of Con Houlihan
  • Windfalls


  1. ^ a b "Houlihan funeral on Wednesday". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.(subscription required)
  2. ^ "Liberties Press". Archived from the original on 2011-07-13.
  3. ^ "Journalism great Con Houlihan dies". RTÉ Ten. RTÉ. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. ^ "GAA HQ Observes Minute's Silence For Late Con Houlihan". 98FM. 5 August 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  5. ^ Anderson, Nicola (6 August 2012). "56,000 pay silent tribute as Croke Park mourns Con's absence after 60 years". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  6. ^ McGreevy, Ronan (6 August 2012). "Writer's last column praises Katie Taylor". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 6 August 2012. He wished boxer Katie Taylor well, and, in his familiar fógra at the end of his column, he namechecked three friends, Frank Greally, the editor of Irish Runner magazine; Feidhlim Kelly, who has been typing his columns in recent years; and The Irish Times sports journalist Ian O’Riordan(subscription required)
  7. ^ "Funeral of journalist and author Con Houlihan held in Dublin". RTÉ News. RTÉ. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Houlihan honoured in his hometown of Castleisland". The Kingdom. 22 January 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2004.[dead link]
  9. ^ Nihill, Cian (6 October 2011). "Palace of inspiration: Sculptures of writers unveiled". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 6 October 2011.(subscription required)

External linksEdit