A full house saw every copy of the new book, Rocky Ros Muc: Seán Ó Mainnín, sold at its launch in Ros Muc earlier this month.
The biography, written by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Deputy Head, Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, tells the story of Connemara boxing great, Seán Mannion, and was launched by broadcaster, Seán Bán Breathnach in Tí Mhaidhcó in Mannion’s home village.
Speaking at the launch, Mac Con Iomaire said that while Seán Mannion was not that well known in Ireland as a boxer, he was extremely well-regarded in the United States, after years of being watched boxing on ESPN and HBO in locations such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and New York.
“This is a man that won the US Light Middleweight Championship in 1982 during the most competitive era in that weight division’s history,” said Mac Con Iomaire. “Seán Mannion fought some of the best boxers in the world, challenged for the world title and in all his 57 pro fights, was never knocked down.”
Mac Con Iomaire added that he hoped Mannion would receive the recognition he deserved for his achievements.
Launching the book, Seán Bán Breathnach said that Seán Mannion was one of greatest boxers to come not just from Galway but from Ireland.
“For too long, Seán’s achievements during the 80′s haven’t been recognised,” said Breathnach. “The amount of research in this book truly shows that Seán has earned his place among the boxing greats of our time, among Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran.”
MC for the night, independent county councillor Seosamh Ó Cuaig said that book was written in a style reminiscent of Breandán Ó hÉithir and other great sports writers.
“I don’t know that much about sport but Rocky Ros Muc: Seán Ó Mainnín is a fantastic read as it is about much more than just boxing. It’s a mixture of humour, social history, a great personal story, all set during one of the greatest eras in boxing.”
Mannion, currently in Boston training former All-Ireland champion turned pro, Michael McLaughlin, had recorded a special message for the night, saying that he was sorry that he couldn’t be present for the launch but that he hoped people would enjoy the book.
“It was very important to me that the book would be an honest reflection of my life and career, and I think that that’s something Rónán has achieved,” he said.
Among those attending the night were Seán Mannion’s wife, Maureen Mulkerrin and her son Paul, and much of the Mannion family, including Seán’s brother Paddy, who spent years working in the corner during his brother’s fight career.
A great Christmas and New Year read for all followers of boxing
Rocky Ros Muc: Seán Ó Mainnín is available in bookshops throughout Ireland, and online at Kennys.ie in Galway