Girls Play Too: Book 2 – More Inspiring Stories of Irish Sportswomen


Jacqui Hurley

Jacqui Hurley’s sequel to the 2020 bestseller and An Post-nominated title Girls Play Too, featuring more inspirational stories of Irish sportswomen for 8-14-year-olds, beautifully illustrated in colour.


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Irish sportswomen continue to make headlines! Whether it is Kellie Harrington’s dominance in the boxing ring, or Rachael Blackmore’s phenomenal success in 2021, as the leading jockey at Cheltenham and the first ever female Grand National winner, Irish women are leading the way through their sporting achievements.

Based on interviews with the featured athletes and fully illustrated in colour, the second volume of Girls Play Too continues from where the first book left off. Spoilt for choice, Jacqui’s selection includes some of the most successful athletes to ever grace a GAA pitch, pioneering horse-racing jockeys, elite figures from the athletics circuit, stalwarts of the Irish football team, members of the hugely successful hockey team, and a host of figures who are excelling in their chosen codes.

With her popular fairy-tale touch, RTÉ’s Jacqui Hurley tells the real-life stories of women who have proved that gender is not a barrier to success. Each new story in Girls Play Too: Book 2 is one of empowerment and overcoming adversity, and the role models celebrated here are sure to inspire the next generation of Irish sportswomen even more.


  1. Valerie Mulcahy (GAA)
  2. Katie McCabe (soccer)
  3. Sene Naoupu (rugby)
  4. Katie Walsh (racing)
  5. Easkey Britton (surfing)
  6. Niamh McCarthy (para athletics)
  7. Nikki Symmons (hockey/cricket)
  8. Aileen Reid (triathlon)
  9. Gemma O’Connor (camogie)
  10. Nicole Turner (para swimming)
  11. Ursula Jacob (camogie)
  12. Orla O’Dwyer (Aussie Rules/GAA)
  13. Emma Byrne (soccer)
  14. Fionnuala McCormack (athletics)
  15. Anna Geary (camogie)
  16. Lynne Cantwell (rugby)
  17. Nicole Drought (motorsport)
  18. Grainne Dwyer (basketball)
  19. Rianna Jarrett (soccer)
  20. Nina Carberry (racing)
  21. Chloe Magee (badminton)
  22. Sinead Goldrick (GAA/Aussie Rules)
  23. Elena Tice (hockey/cricket)
  24. Caroline O’Hanlon (netball/GAA)
  25. Phil Healy (athletics)

Jacqui Hurley is one of Ireland’s leading sports broadcasters. She represented Ireland at basketball and also played camogie for Cork. In 2009, she became the first ever female anchor of Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio One. 2021 has been a particularly busy year for Jacqui, who – in addition to Sunday Sport – has been a key presenter in RTÉ’s coverage of EURO 2020, anchoring the live coverage of Ireland versus Japan in rugby, and hosting the Tokyo Olympics coverage. She lives in Dublin with her husband Shane and her children, Luke and Lily.

About the Illustrators:

Sinead Colleran is a teacher, designer and illustrator with a special interest in realistic drawing. This is her first collaboration on a children’s book.

Rachel Corcoran specialises in children’s book illustrations, and is perhaps best-known for her collaborations with bestselling author Judi Curtin.

Jennifer Farley is an illustrator and designer with a focus on children’s books and maps. Shooting for the Stars, her project with Ireland’s first astronaut Norah Pattern, won the Children’s Book of the Year (senior) Irish Book Award in 2018.

Jennifer Murphy is a designer and illustrator, with a specialty in portraiture and caricature. Her work has appeared in national newspapers and she works extensively with sports clubs.

Lauren O’Neill has provided illustrations for a number of bestselling books, including Oh My God, What A Complete AislingBlazing a Trail: Irish Women Who Changed The World, which she illustrated for Sarah Webb, won Children’s Book of the Year (senior) Irish Book Award in 2018.

Praise for Girls Play Too

‘An ode to the heroes who “wear football boots, boxing gloves and mouth guards”, Girls Play Too  is a much welcome addition to sports literature with its focus on all the too-often-forgotten female athletes of Ireland … Girls Play Too comes highly recommended to all readers aged 9+ and any school library as a non-fiction addition undoubtedly likely to inspire new hobbies, role models and aspirations in all its readers.’
Children’s Books Ireland

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