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The Choice

BGE Irish Sports Book of the Year and eir Sports Book of the Year

In The Choice Dubs star Philly McMahon shares the deeply personal story of his brother, John, a heroin addict who died at the age of 31. Structured as a series of choices – in sport, in education and in life – the book delves into the contrasting lives of the brothers and how the opportunities presented to Philly through sport and education opened up a world of choice that protected him from the dangers of growing up in Ballymun at the height of the heroin epidemic.

As well as offering sports fans fresh insights into one of GAA’s most fascinating characters, The Choice is an inspiration for anyone struggling with addiction. Raw, vivid and intensely moving, it is an epic story of triumph in the face of adversity and loss, and a tribute to the redemptive power of sport.

‘Should be on the curriculum for all transition year student boys … it’s a book about life … phenomenal.’ DAMIEN O’MEARA, RTÉ SPORT

‘Philly McMahon should be placed on a pedestal and be a beacon of inspiration to all young sports stars in the country.’ THE IRISH INDEPENDENT


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Publication Date

April 2018




Paperback, 304 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Books


197 x 129 mm


By Philly McMahon With Niall Kelly

Availability Status


Philly McMahon is a mainstay of the current All-Ireland winning Dublin football team. An entrepreneur and social activist, he owns and operates a number of businesses, including three gyms and Fit Food, a meal preparation service. Since losing his brother, John, Philly has become an outspoken advocate for numerous addiction and mental health initiatives.

Niall Kelly is a journalist and Deputy Editor of

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