Sean Cooke: lost his case for post traumatic stress after being dropped from his soccer team at Cork Circuit Court. Photograph: David Keane

Recent court case in Cork raises question of why so many get disheartened along the way

Galway U-21 manager Gerry Fahy: “If we can leave these young men in a better place as people and as footballers then we will have achieved success.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Manager keenly aware of the bigger picture as All-Ireland final against Dublin beckons

 Johnny Glynn takes on Kilkenny’s Paul Murphy in the 2015 All-Ireland final in Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Signs point to New York-based forward being involved in this year’s championship

Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie has unleashed another barrage of insults towards Liverpool.  Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Former Sun editor destroyed his reputation during his coverage of Hillsborough disaster

 Charley Hoffman jogs up the 13th hole during his spectacular first round at the US Masters at  Augusta National. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Nine years after his last Major, golf struggling for the heightened theatre he provided

Bernard Brogan sidefoots home a goal against Monaghan in the 2014 All-Ireland quarter-final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Opposition defences are paying a huge price for being drawn to the original ball-carrier

Wexford managed to beat Brian Cody’s Kilkenny in Nowlan park for the first time since 1957. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Meanwhile, Galway are the usual puzzle while Down completed the great escape

Mayo and Donegal players clash during a tempestuous encounter in Castlebar. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

Visitors go scoreless in the final 30 minutes of a blood and thunder clash in Castlebar

Under Malachy O’Rourke Monaghan have perfected a template of organisation and counter-attacking intelligence. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Malachy O’Rourke has shaped a team that is ego-free but armed with a flinty self-belief

Dublin’s Dean Rock kicks a point to level the Division 1 game late on against Tyrone in February. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dublin may appear omnipotent but at least four counties will not be cowed in summer

Monaghan’s Conor McManus is surrounded by Donegal players during the  Allianz Football League Division One game at  Fr Tierney Park in  Ballyshannon. Photograph: Trevor Lucy/Inpho/Presseye

Conor McManus’s penalty earns point for visitors in Ballyshannon

Donegal and Monaghan: It may be time to ban these teams from playing each other for a while. Photograph: Trevor Lucy/Presseye/Inpho

No county showing much interest in taking on record-breakers on eve of championship

Mayo’s manager Stephen Rochford with his team before defeat to Cavan  produced more worry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Although league form can be misleading there are fears over Stephen Rochford’s side

Then deputy first minister Martin McGuinness with  local schoolchildren at the opening of Derry GAA centre of excellence at Owenbeg in 2014. File photograph:  Margaret McLaughlin

It provided one of the few arenas of clear rules and fair play for people in Derry

Colemangoes down under Taylor’s tackle. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Depleted Republic pick up a deserved point in a game which produced few chances

Donegal’s Michael Murphy and Ryan McHugh with Tyrone’s Justin McMahon and Rory Brennan in Ballybofey. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho

Mickey Harte takes setback in his stride as defeat to Donegal dampens expectations

Donegal’s Michael Murphy in action during the Allianz Football League Division One game against Tyrone at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

Young Ciaran Thompson continues his brilliant league form in Ballybofey victory

The England team sing ‘God Save Our Queen’ in Croke Park ahead of the 2007 Six Nations clash. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

On a wet St Patrick’s weekend England look to trample all over the festivities in Dublin

Dublin players go through their warm-up routine before the league match against Mayo at MacHale Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Capital gains based on great groundwork and true self belief in Jim Gavin's camp

Jimmy Barry Murphy in action against Galway in the 1986 All-Ireland final. He epitomised the traditional style and confidence of Cork teams. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho Billy Stickland

Struggle of one of the strongest counties bad for the GAA – and for Irish sport

Dominant figure: Tipperary’s Tomas Hamill (right) in action against Clare  at Semple Stadium last Sunday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Fierce competition within Michael Ryan’s squad is best deterrent against complacency

Barcelona fans celebrate after their incredible comeback saw them advance to the Champions League quarter-finals. Photo: Pau Barrena/Getty Images

Few believed beforehand but by the end they were left speechless

Surfer Fergal Smith, photographed by Mickey Smith. ‘Between Land And Sea’ traces a year in the lives of people whose lives have been shaped by the wilder moods of the ocean around Lahinch

Getting battered by massive waves lets you be whatever version of yourself you want to be

Brian O’Driscoll during the 2014 Six Nations (left), and on TV analysis duty (right). Photograph: Inpho (left) Getty images (right).

After the game is over... ‘with every year that goes, you become less relevant. That is life’

Donegal’s Eoghan Ban Gallagher with Dublin’s John Small, Jack McCaffrey and Eric Lowndes at Ballybofey on Sunday. Photograph: INPHO

Dublin find it hard going again as they are put through the wringer by Donegal

Ground staff remove water from pitch prior to  Donegal v Dublin Allianz Football League Division One clash  on Sunday. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

Ballbofey challenge worth a month of traning, says Dublin manager Jim Gavin

Dublin’s Paul Flynn and Donegal’s Michael Murphy both react at the end of the game. Photograph: Inpho

MacCumhaill Park draw stretches unbeaten run to 32 league and championship games

 Donegal’s Ciarán Thompson in action against Kerry in the Allianz League Division One match at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny. Thompson  has caught the eye in the opening rounds. Photograph: Inpho

Rory Gallagher’s new approach backed by former midfielder Rory Kavanagh

The scale and feel and pageantry of All-Ireland finals   are unique and don’t think for a moment that the light of September does not contribute to that. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

If Motion 5 goes through Congress, should we not just do away with the month altogether?

Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan tries to close down Clare’s Seadna Morey during his side’s comprehenzive league defeat. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Brian Cody admits his Cats side were comprehensively outplayed in Cusack Park

 In 2008, OJ Simpson was convicted and sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole for offences including armed robbery and kidnapping. He is serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Centre in Lovelock, Nevada. Photograph:  Issac Brekken-Pool/Getty Images

Murder trial made it clear to Simpson extent of fabrication he had created for himself

 Chrissy McKaigue lifts the cup after Slaughtneil’s win over Loughgiel in the Ulster senior club hurling  final. Photograph:  John McIlwaine/Presseye/Inpho

Members of village club forced to pinch themselves as they chase historic treble

 Dublin’s Dean Rock kicks a point to level the game against Tyrone. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s men maintain unbeaten sequence against rapidly improving Ulster men

Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara with Ronan McNamee of Tyrone during their Allianz Football League Division 1 clash at Croke Park. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

The two sides traded punches for the full 70 minutes with points deservedly shared

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey and Tyrone’s Mark Donnelly in action in a league match in 2013. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mickey Harte may decide to engage the champions in a fire fight, despite the dangers

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Westminster’s move against FA shines light on dismal governance of sport in Ireland

Cian Dillon of defending Allianz league champions Clare at Croke Park this week.  Photograph: Inpho/Ryan Byrne

Keith Duggan’s county-by-county guide to the start of this year's hurling campaign

Pat Hickey speaking during the closing ceremony of the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Whoever takes charge must shift group’s focus from boardroom to competitors

 Killian Young: “We’ve done a lot of hard running and are in good shape. It stood to us.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Marc Ó Sé and O’Mahony are gone but phrase ‘team in transition’ is not used in Kingdom

Kerry’s Paul Geaney celebrates his second goal against Donegal. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Dublin continue where they left off as Kerry punish a callow Donegal in Letterkenny

Kerry’s Paul Geaney celebrates his second goal. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Éamonn Fitzmaurice can return south happy with a job well done and with finesse

Kerry senior football manager   Éamonn Fitzmaurice. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Kerry’s manager keeps defeats in perspective and victories remain at the forefront in his mind

 New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers  last month. Photograph: John Cetrino/EPA

All American-hero has been sucked into vortex of fear since new president took office

Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy: his return for a winter season with Tralee Tigers has helped to generate a hugely enthusiastic local crowd for the club’s Superleague games. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ronan McGarrity and Aidan O’Shea will play for Sligo All-Star’s in division one cup final

Rafael Nadal falls onto the court as he celebrates winning  a sensational men’s singles semi-final  against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

Spaniard and Roger Federer have already written a memorable Australian Open script

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady  and head coach Bill Belichick will pit their wits against the Pittsburgh Steelers  in their bid for the AFC championship title. Photograph: CJ Gunther/EPA

Nation will be side with Pittsburgh when they take on Tom Brady’s New England Patriots

Mayo’s Brendan Harrison tackles Dublin’s Bernard Brogan during the All-Ireland final replay. “He is surprisingly strong. He is very physical. He is very tricky,” said Harrison.Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

It’s been a crowded, lonely, brilliant road to the top for Mayo’s All Star defender

Connacht’s Tiernan O’Halloran scores try number eight as his side cruised past Zebre in the Champions Cup. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The home side survived an early scare to rack up 66 points and a bonus point win

Donal Reid after Donegal’s famous victory over Dublin in the 1992 All-Ireland final.  Photograph: Inpho

Ex- Donegal player’s book details the emotional trauma sparked by an assault on the pitch

 Floyd Mayweather Jr: boasts of earning some $800 million during his extraordinary career.  Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AFP

Defeat would damage the brand image of near-invincibility the Dubliner has cultivated

Carlos Tevez  has swapped his boyhood club, Boca Juniors, for Shanghai Shenhua – and a salary of £615,000 a week. Photograph: David Fernandez/EPA

English football’s glittering era may one day be seen as nothing more than fleeting marvel

  Robbie Brady scores against Italy at Euro 2016 in France. Photograph:  Reuters/Carl Recine

Keith Duggan’s sports review of 2016

Conor McGregor: MMA arguably has now what boxing had in the days of Jack Johnson and Jess Willard:  an unstoppable momentum and the appeal of the illicit. Photograph:  Michael Reaves/Getty

RTÉ award ceremony represents a snapshot of where MMA is going

Former football coach Barry Bennell: a diabolically clever operator who abused many of his charges.  Photograph: PA Wire

How game deals with the revelations of abuse will define this period of English football history

Connacht head coach Pat Lam will depart for Bristol in the summer. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Province insist coach’s departure is end of nothing but fanbase cannot but feel bereft

Former Dublin footballer Tomás Quinn will lead the St Vincent’s attack against Rhode in the Leinster Club SFC final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

All-Ireland champions Dublin provide two players for Leinster’s challenge against Connacht

Connacht Head Coach Pat Lam at a press conference in the Sportsground, Galway. Photo: Inpho

Departing Connacht coach described how managing the province has changed his life

Carnacon’s Fiona McHale  in action against Sinéad Goldrick of Foxrock Cabinteely during the  All-Ireland senior club semi-final  at Bray Emmets in Co Wicklow. Photograph:  Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Club’s rapid progress results in All-Ireland club final appearance against Donaghmoyne

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan catches a ball over the head of Meath’s Mickey Burke. Photograph: Morgan Treacy

The new rule for next season should appeal to traditionalists and controversialists alike

Corofin’s Gary Sice and Niall McInerney of Brigid’s during the Connacht senior club football championship final at  Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Gary Sice aware of long break before All-Ireland semi-final against Dr Crokes

Corofin’s Jason Leonard celebrates scoring his side’s second goal. Photograph: Inpho

Roscommon champions fail to roll back the years in one sided Connacht final in Carrick

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen: something old world about him as a coaching figure – in his customary black tie and white shirt and formal black coat. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

When rugby is played at full tilt by elite athletes, it is a compelling but also dangerous

Corofin’s Ciaran McGrath taking to the field for the Connacht club championship semi-final against Castlebar Mitchels at MacHale Park. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Corofin are the standard bearers in Galway and McGrath is one of their stalwarts

All Blacks Liam Squire, Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane try their hand at  hurling during a visit to Castleknock College in Dublin. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Pressure never lifts from New Zealand shoulders when they wear that black jersey

Glen Rovers’ Pat Horgan in action against Patrickswell’s  Nigel Foley during the Munster club SHC clash at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Club of the legendary Christy Ring back in Munster decider for first time since 1976

Ger Cunningham: overseeing a period of transition in Dublin hurling. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fears of a schism within Ger Cunningham’s camp after former defender’s comments

Corofin’s goalkeeper Bernard Power and Kieran Molloy clash with Danny Kirby of Castlebar during the Connacht club championship semi-final. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Corofin primed for another tussle with St Brigid’s in Connacht final after extra-time win

Stan Van Gundy, head coach, Detroit Pistons: “We just elected an open, brazen, racist, misogynist leader.” Photograph: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In many parts of the US this winter, sports will be the only common ground

Loughmore-Castleiney manager Declan Laffan: has quietly built up one of the most impressive managerial resumes, guiding Loughmore to three football titles and one hurling title over the past four years with Pat McGrath. Photograph: inpho

Loughmore footballers bid to extend the light on what has been a fabulous year for Tipperary GAA

Thurles Sarsfields captain Pádraic Maher raises the Tipperary senior hurling trophy with daughters of the club’s deceased trainer Jackie Griffin, Laragh, Isabelle and Emma, after the win over Kiladangan at Semple Stadium earlier this month.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Winning a provincial title would be a fitting tribute to those the Thurles club have lost

Support for former OCI chief Pat Hickey has arrived late in the day. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

The IOC refused to criticise manner in which the Rio police had treated their colleague

Kerry senior footballer Colm Cooper will line out with Dr Crokes against Kilmurry-Ilbrickane in the Munster SFC.

Club football and hurling senior championships

Pauric Mahony has been racing up the local scoring charts since returning in the knock-out stages to help shoot Ballygunnar back to a final. Photograph: Inpho

East Galway club Corofin are looking to secure fourth successive senior county title

Connacht’s Bundee Aki scores a try in their Champions Cup win over Toulouse last week. Photo: Inpho

Under Lam, Connacht have thrived on less, decisively displayed last week

Gary Lineker who has hit back at criticism he received online after wading into the debate about child refugees. The Match Of The Day presenter said public treatment of the young migrants arriving this week in the UK was “hideously racist”. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Match Of The Day presenter has been slated for his view on migrants entering the UK

Pat Lam: “ we are under no illusions that of all the visits we have made to Parma this will be the biggest challenge that we have faced.”

Italian club will be keen to put 82-14 hammering by Wasps firmly behind them

Ultan Dillane is congratulated by fans after Connacht’s win over Toulouse in the European Rugby Champions Cup Round 1 at the  Sportsground in  Galway. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Victory at Sportsground shows how Pat Lam’s team have torn up the coaching manuals

Connacht’s Bundee Aki touches down for the game-winning try in the Champions Cup match against Toulouse at The Sportsground in Galway. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Thrilling Sportsground encounter sees Pat Lam’s side take down superpowers

Lance Armstrong poses for a selfie as he rides with Cure Leukaemia charity riders during stage thirteen of the One Day Ahead - Le Tour 2015 on July 16, 2015 in Rodez, France. Photo: Sam Bagnall/Getty Images

Arrogance and self-belief remain with the Texan as thousands flock to hear him speak

Gabe Davies from Newcastle, England surfing approximately 1 mile off the Donegal Coast near Bundoran during the H30 Project which brings together Irish and British surfers to ride the most dangerous waves off the coasts of Ireland and Britain. Photo: Mickey Smith

Irish surf culture has changed dramatically since the Sligo man first started in 1960s

Paul O’Connell in action for Ireland against Scotland in the Six nations game at Murrayfield in March 2015. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Keith Duggan talks to the former Ireland and Munster lock as he opens up about his career

 Lee Keegan just looked at the black card held aloft, registered his disagreement with a quick shrug and walked. There was no melodrama, no histrionics. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Their chances of winning Sam Maguire in 2017 are better than almost all other counties

Diarmuid Connolly holds the Sam Maguire aloft in front of Hill 16. Connolly’s penalty, fired past Mayo’s substitute goalkeeper David Clarke, gave Dublin a lead they would not surrender. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Mayo heartbroken again as champion’s iron resolve gets them over the line

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly fires his penalty past Mayo goalkeeper  David Clarke during the All-Ireland SFC Replay against Mayo at Croke Park. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

Single kick divides two extraordinarily deep teams at Croke Park

The national anthem is played ahead of the drawn All-Ireland football final in September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s men will be feeling all the pressure ahead of replayed All-Ireland final

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor celebrates scoring the equalising point late in injury time against Dublin in the drawn All-Ireland final at Croke Park. The score was a measure of O’Connor’s class and coolness under pressure. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Forward’s consistency and coolness under pressure epitomised by equalising point

Mayo’s Keith Higgins in possession while charging at Brian Fenton of Dublin during the All-Ireland final at Croke Park on September 18th. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Veteran back hopes his side can create and then take opportunity this time around

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford: “With all due respect I’m only concerned with what 33 guys and the management focus on.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin may be desperate to atone for draw, but Stephen Rochford is relishing rematch

Jose Mourinho during the defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The original version of Jose would never have made a plea for way things used to be

Aidan O’Shea battles for possession with Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan in the drawn All-Ireland final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Mayo talisman defended well from the front and acted as decoy. But it led to scoreless game

Mayo’s manager Stephen Rochford leaves the field after the game on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘I’ve huge regard for what Jim McGuinness did in Donegal, but I’ve never spoken to him’

Nothing in the play book prepared us for this mad, thrilling, error-ridden All-Ireland final

Mayo’s Colm Boyle flies through the air as he clashes with Dublin’s John Small in the All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Boyle was unfortunate enough to score one of the two own goals that Mayo conceded in the first half to keep a misfiring Dublin in the game.

The Mayo manager believes there’s more to come from his side in two weeks

 Mayo  fans during a tense moment in the All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Dublin seemed on the verge and Mayo on the brink for most of Sunday’s match

Mayo supporters are keeping the excitement under wraps in the build-up to this All-Ireland final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Westerners already know worst that can happen and so feel pressure is off

Maybe Mayo decide that while they can live with Diarmuid Connolly contributing six works of art, they cannot allow Philly McMahon (above) to get on the scoreboard. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Connacht men need to turn Jim Gavin’s fabulous machine into a mere 15 individuals

Stephen Coen could well feature this weekend. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

He’s 70 minutes away from adding to minor and Under-21 titles – before he reaches 21

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is in his first season at the helm. Photograph: Inpho

Mayo’s manager sees what his team have to do not as a mythic quest but a sporting feat

Mayo’s manager Stephen Rochford and selector Seán Carey, who have led the county to their third All-Ireland final in five years. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Mayo manager and selector met while playing for the county's minors in 1995

Mayo’s Donal Vaughan with Peter Acheson of Tipperary during their All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Surprise loss to Galway may have been a blessing in disguise, admits midfielder

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