Paul Durcan in action for Ballyboden: “Ballyboden were good to me, they were understanding and they sorted me out with the flights.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Donegal goalkeeper travelling to and fro from Qatar to aid club’s All-Ireland bid

Irish Times swimmer Malachy Clerkin is struggling with strength and singing after illness swept the house. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

We have to sing to each stroke. For me ‘Let it Be’ has been replaced by ‘Let It Be Over’

Ann Marie O’Donovan with Mary Quinn, who was appointed to the IRFU committee in October. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Getting women to become more involved in sporting bodies is a concern in Ireland and overseas

Ireland’s CJ Stander is  tackled by Taulupe Faletau and Gethin Jenkins of Wales during the Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: James Cromie/Inpho

Flanker was Ireland’s opening spell made flesh and deserved man of match award

Tommy O’Donnell is led off for a Head Injury Assessment he later passed during Ireland’s 16-16 Six Nations draw with Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland boss admits six-day turnaround ahead of Paris trip is a daunting prosepct

Mayo’s defeat to Cork last weekend was overshadowed somewhat by the controversy regarding Lee Keegan’s concussion at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Allianz Football League, Club Championships and College matches

Pat Spillane: “There’s two pubs and two churches and none of them are under pressure. Without the GAA, there’d be nothing in these communities.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Tiny rural Kerry club with a big heart ready to compete in All-Ireland junior club final

Christina McMahon: “She won Ulster titles, she won All-Irelands. She went all over Europe and the world, herself and Frick, her husband and coach. She made a genuine success of herself, yet was often baffled by what people thought of her.”

Carrickmacross boxer has learned to believe nothing - until she’s in the ring

Killimor’s Susan Keane in action against Emma McFadden of Loughgiel in the AIB All-Ireland senior camogie club championship semi-final at Clones. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Redundancy in Waterford meant Killimor star resumed her camogie career

Dublin’s Dean Rock with Mark Griffin of Kerry in Croke Park on Saturday night. Photograph: Inpho

Ballymun player started every tie in 2015, from O’Byrne Cup to All-Ireland final

 Lee Keegan is helped from the field by selector Tony McEntee and team doctor Seán Moffatt after a clash of heads with Cork’s Eoin Cadogan during Sunday’s football league clash. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Mayo player should have been taken off immediately, says GAA concussion expert

Danielle Murphy in action in the car she built from the ground up. Image courtesy of Daniel O’Shea

Twice Queen of Europe, the Dublin woman has her sights set on claiming the King of Europe title in 2016

“Betting on schools matches or juvenile matches in general is something we are categorically against,” said the GAA’s head of health and community,   Colin Regan.

Croke Park appeals to Government to ban betting on all juvenile sporting events

Dublin’s Cormac Costello is held back by DCU’s Conor Moynagh during the O’Byrne Cup game at  DCU. Photograph:   Donall Farmer/Inpho

Shane Carthy impresses as Jim Gavin’s side book O'Bryrne Cup semi-final with Longford

Austin Stacks forward David Mannix has been in fine form for DCU. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Conclusion of O’Byrne Cup group stages to add a little spice to weekend action

A selection of young sportspeople to watch in 2016 including a jockey, a golfer, a Dublin footballer, a boxer and a female MMA fig(...)

 Christy O’Connor jnr celebrates on the final green after beating Fred Couples at the 1989 Ryder Cup. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

It was the moment that defined the golfing great and one that won't be forgotten

Wexford camogie star Ursula Jacob, who is embarking on her 14th year with the county team. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

While Rory retires with Leinster title, sister Urusula looks to add to four All-Ireland haul

Leitrim’s Emlyn Mulligan: “It’s only when you step outside it for a few months that you realise how much of a bubble it is.” Photograph: James Crombie

Star has a fresh perspective on life outside football’s bubble following a year abroad

Jamie Vardy: it will be a surprise if the old rules don’t still apply. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

TV money has given his club huge clout, but striker will likely sign with one of the big four

Tempers flare during last January’s Power NI McKenna Cup first round clash between Armagh and Tyrone at the  Athletic Grounds, Armagh. Photograph: Russell Pritchard/Inpho/Presseye

Ulster’s winter competition is ultra-competitive and popular, unlike the other provinces

Donal Óg Cusack: joins Davy Fitzgerald on Clare sideline for Cork clash. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Johnston returns to Cavan team for first time since June 2011 for Armagh clash

Lizzie Kelly became the first woman in Britain to win a Grade One jumps race when coming first at Feltham on Tea For Two. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images.

Young jockey proves hard work and dedication really can get you places

Sarah Byrne, Sophie Spence, Jenny Egan, Katie Walsh, Niamh Briggs, Kylie Murphy, Noelle Lenihan, Madeline Perry, Gráinne Dwyer. Front row (l-r):  Ann Marie McGlynn, Briege Corkery, Catherina McKiernan, Rena Buckley, Katie Taylor, Leona Maguire at the  2015 Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman of the Year  at the  Shelbourne Hotel.

Cork pair share Sportswoman of the Year award following another outstanding year

The Sport and Sponsorship Sentiment Index: the research was carried out between December 10th and 15th. Presumably, this accounts for Conor McGregor’s one-punch knockout of Jose Aldo not making it into the top-five most memorable moments of the year

Paul O’Connell’s injury in Rugby World Cup places second in sports index with 22%

Conor McGregor prior to his featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo during UFC 194  in Las Vegas. Photograph:  Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Reality of pay-per-view audiences suggests Las Vegas will always win out over Ballybough

 Oliver Bierhoff, one of the ball-pullers, was clearly and hilariously bored of the whole affair long before the end. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Over in Vegas, the speed, the precision, the brutality – Rogan let Aldo have it

Tyson Fury: “Holding him up as some totem of sexism would be like holding the KKK up as the face of race problems in America.” Photograph:  Simon Cooper/PA

Challenging it is a harder job than merely signing a petition against the boxer

The delirium and dejection at full time. Photo: Inpho

Sensational showing from Donaghmoyne keeper Linda Martin proved the difference

This wonderful photograph from a packed  Ireland versus Austria match  in 1963 is just one of many in   ’Dalymount Park,   Home of Irish Football’ by Colin White.

GAA, soccer and rugby followers certainly have lots to choose from this Christmas

John Leonard with his book Dub Sub Confidential at the award ceremony in the  Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dublin.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tale of drink, drugs and the Dubs secures inaugural award for ex-player John Leonard

Lucy Mulhall: “You’re just playing away with Wicklow and your club and you don’t see an Olympics in your future.” Photograph: Inpho.

Ireland captain was happy playing Gaelic football until an email changed her life

 Antrim’s  Neal McAuley and Clare’s David McInerney at the launch of the  Hurling Development Committee action plan in Croke Park yesterday. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

Celtic Challenge to be played nationwide from May and June of next year

“I turned professional because I was going badly as an amateur. I needed to try something different,” says Rachael Blackmore. Photograph: Caroline Norris

Blackmore is Ireland’s only professional female jumps jockey – but that wasn’t her plan

Michael Conlan kisses coach Billy Walsh after winning the world bantamweight semi-final. Something that was working got taken apart and destroyed. Photograph: Paul Mohan

Some people in boxing saw Billy Walsh as a milkman from Wexford who got lucky

Billy Walsh leaving Dublin Airport en route to his new position as coach of the American women’s boxing team. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Departure of coach has now morphed into a political row between the two bodies

The IABA changed their view between the Saturday and the Tuesday on Walsh’s salary. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Billy Walsh gone but the boxing association have Sports Ireland firmly in its sights

Billy Walsh’s new salary in the US is believed to be $200,000, with add-ons of health insurance, pension plans and flights. Walsh has consistently said that money was not at issue for him. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Boxing coach Billy Walsh, Ireland’s most successful Olympic coach, has left for the US

The IABA have stated they did everything within reason to retain the services of head coach Billy Walsh. Photograph: Inpho

Organisation release statement reacting furiously to the intervention of Sport Ireland

Former Ireland Boxing head coach Billy Walsh makes his way through departures at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

August deal with the Sports Council worth €95,000 was withdrawn within days

Irish Sports Council chairman Kieran Mulvey has promised boxer fraternity best financial support possible. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Billy Walsh needed permission from CEO to talk to media, according to new details

Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council is still hopeful of securing Billy Walsh’s return. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

The IABA are to hold an emergency meeting following Kieran Mulvey’s comments

“There’s a lot more to this sport than training hard and turning up for a fight. The game does that to you,” says Conor McGregor. Photograph: Emily Harney/Inpho.

The Dublin fighter is well aware of what it takes to get to the top of his game

Despondant Ireland fans watch on in Clondalkin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

While the pundits tried to get their heads around it most had theirs in their hands

Kerry’s Daniel Collins shoots at the Antrim goal during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B relegation/promotion play-off at Parnell Park, Dublin, in May. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho.

Kingdom coming as Leinster hurling has new and unlikely contestants for 2016

Everyone knows what the problem with TV3’s coverage is. It’s the ads.

Comment: They’re worth €6m to the station, but the endless ads are a source of irritation

Kerry’s James O’Donoghue: “Maybe this year I kind of owe it back to the club to battle on.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kerry star must decide when operation on troublesome shoulder will be carried out

Milford GAA and Cork camogie star Ashling Thompson at the launch of the AIB Club Championships. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork captain admits she was little concussed after winning All-Ireland camogie final

Irish and French fans  ahead of  the Pool D clash at  the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP

A Super Sunday of sport finds heroes at every turn both sides of the remote control

Germany’s Matthias Ginter and Republic of Ireland’s Jonathan Walters  battle for the ball. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Reigning World champions shown up by the tireless effort of Ireland's midfield pair

Gary Kelly celebrates after scoring for Ireland against Germany in Hanover in 1994, the only occasion that Ireland have  beaten  holders of world cup. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Heroics on historic scale will be required to topple World Cup holders Germany

Germany coach Joachim Löw at Wednesday’s press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Germany coach says his side will be wary of being caught on counter at the Aviva

Lukas Podolski is Germany manager Joachim Löw’s only injury concern ahead of Thursday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland. Photograph: PA

Lukas Podolski the world champion’s only injury concern ahead of Thursday’s fixture

Ireland supporters feel the strain during the World Cup Pool D game against Italy at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland played with all the intensity of men blessing themselves as a funeral passed by

Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes have announced their decision to stand down as Mayo senior football managers. Photograph: Inpho

Managerial duo announced their decision to step aside at McHale Park on Friday night

Reports say 30 Mayo players turned up to a county board meeting on Thursday night. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Local media report that 30 players were in attendance at Thursday night’s meeting

Cork’s Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

While it was a close game, experience and grit eventually paid off for the Leesiders

Cork’s Valerie Mulcahy and Mairead Corkery celebrate at the end of the game as they beat Dublin to claim their fifth All-Ireland title in a row. Photo: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Mulcahy may have been off target but patience paid off in a tough test

 Cork’s Briege Corkery leaves Dublin’s Sinead Finnegan in her wake during the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final in Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Rebelettes’ second half performance was enough to see them narrowly past the Dubs

Dublin’s James McCarthy, Rory O’Carroll and Philly McMahon tackle Kieran Donaghy of Kerry during yesterday’s All-Ireland football final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Dubs’ energy and commitment all over the pitch prove too much for the Kingdom

James McCarthy celebrates at the final whistle as Dublin are crowned All-Ireland champions 12 months ater semi-final heartbreak against Donegal. Photo: James Crombie/INPHO

Dublin players adamant that last year’s sem-final defeat to Donegal spurred them on

Canada’s flanker John Moonlight: “Ill met by Moonlight,” Barnes cracked. The guffaws from Conor McNamara and Liam Toland in the commentary box told us it was funny. So did Google, once we’d established that Barnes was referencing a 1950s Dirk Bogarde war movie from a non-fiction book by W Stanley Moss. You get a different level of badinage with the rugby lads.

TV3’s coverage of Ireland’s win also witnesses the birth of the ‘underlap’

Maurice Fitzgerald of Kerry in full flight. Photograph: Inpho

Maurice Fitzgerald is a reluctant interviewee, but Darragh Ó Sé draws foul and fair from him

Jerry Grogan PA stadium announcer for Croke Park with the Sam Maguire Cup which he is responsible for on the day of the All Ireland Final which takes place on Sunday between Dublin and Kerry. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

The voice of Croke Park, the stadium announcer - explaining why he’s a Kerry Blue

Head over heels: Cork celebrate with the O’Duffy Cup following their win over Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Late goal seals yet another victory for the Munster side in one-sided final at Croke Park

Cork players celebrate with the O’Duffy Cup after winning the Liberty Insurance  Senior Camogie Championship Final against Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Briege Corkery’s 54th-minute goal settles decider against Galway

Galway’s Niamh McGrath will be vital to the county’s title hopes in Croke Park. Throw in is at 4pm with full live coverage on TG4. Photo: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Galway are looking to stop Cork from lifting a second consecutive camogie title

This, as all TV slobs will readily attest to, is bad news. Not so much because we want all rugby all the time, you understand. It’s more that when you know there is a game every night, you don’t have to waste brain power wondering when the next one is.

Before we know it the tournament will be over - so make the most of the feast on TV

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid celebrates as he leaves the Croke Park pitch after yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling final win over Galway. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Kilkenny’s unerring and deadly marksman exacts punishment for every Galway error

Galway boss Anthony Cunningham believes his side can learn and improve from their All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny. Photograph: Inpho

‘If we stay at the same level we won’t be back here . . . So we have got to work harder ’

In waiting: in the three games Kilkenny have needed to make it to the final, Cody has used just eight substitutes. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Cody’s bench for this year’s All-Ireland final looks the thinnest one for quite a while

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea under pressure from Cian O’Sullivan and Philly McMahon of Dublin during the All-Ireland semi-final. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

With ‘home’ advantage Dublin should not be coming out the wrong side of the free count

Republic of Ireland’s Wes Hoolahan in action during the Euro 2016 Group D qualifier against Gibraltar in Faro, Portugal. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Jon Walters puts club issues behind him despite not scoring against Gibraltar

Dublin’s goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Jack McCaffrey block  a goalbound effort from Mayo’s Andy Moran in  yesterday’s All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final in Croke Park. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin manager believes game will stand Leinster champions in good stead next day

Aidan O’Shea shakes hands with Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton after the All-Ireland semi-final ends all square at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Mayo forward earns ire of Hill 16 and will relish chance to stir pot in capital once more

A view of the match programme. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

A look at some of the best reads during championship 2015 thus far

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea will pose a huge threat to Dublin’s ambitions at  Croke Park. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Experienced full back will have the unenviable task of stopping Mayo’s talisman

Kieran Donaghy of Kerry gets surrounded Tyrone players during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Kerry’s half-forward line were the difference against a formidable Tyrone defence

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was left ruing his side’s missed chances after they lost out to Kerry in the All-Ireland senior football championship semi-finals. Photo: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Sean Cavanagh left distraught as Tyrone pass up chance to reach first final since 2008

 Kerry’s Johnny Buckley competes with Mattie Donnelly and Colm Cavanagh of Tyrone: You’d have to imagine Kerry have enough about them to see their way to September. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kingdom’s patience and precision should be enough to win day over Red Hand

Darren McCurry  played championship before he ever got a run in the league. Photograph: Inpho.

Not many would have bet on Darren McCurry and Connor McAliskey being the players to make it from Tyrone’s underage pack

Tyrone’s Ryan McMenamin in action against Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan during an All-Ireland qualifier match in 2012. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Some of the commentary last week was borderline xenophobic

Tipperary’s manager Eamon O’Shea after the defeat against Galway on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tipperary boss - ‘I just feel that we gave it everything every time we went out. We tried to win’

Shane Moloney of Galway scores the winning point in injury time. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

An abrasive and elusive Galway side bounce their way to a stunning victory over Tipperary

Galway’s Iarla Tannian: “He was an All Star in 2012, unlucky not to make the shortlist for Hurler of the Year. The Sunday Game panel made him Man of the Match in the drawn All-Ireland final.”  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Galway managers have used him in different positions – but he always figures somewhere

Tyrone’s Mickey Harte: “It’s typical of our game indeed in general where you have lots of nit-picking going on and fault-finders and they think that’s their brief in life.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Tyrone manager confirms county board will be appealing the CCCC decision

European Tour CEO Keith Pelley said on Tuesday morning that they will be withdrawing their support for the WGC tournament next year - which Shane Lowry won last week in Akron, Ohio. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Money won in invitational won’t count towards Race to Dubai or Ryder Cup points

 TJ Reid celebrates scoring his goal against Waterford. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Seán Moran and Malachy Clerkin on Kilkenny’s dominance in semi-finals and Monaghan’s inability to reach the next level

Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

For all the advances made by the mid-ranking teams, All-Irelands are still being won by the sides whose main aim is to attack

TJ Reid celebrates scoring the opening goal against Waterford. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

TJ Reid’s goal crucial in giving Cats the necessary platform for victory

 Mark Bradley and Darren McCurry celebrate a Peter Harte point during Tyrone’s All-Ireland quarter-final win over Monaghan at Croke Park. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster champions dealt a masterclass as Mickey Harte’s side reach All-Ireland semis

Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy finds the Mayo net in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final replay in Limerick. Of the four teams that have contested All-Irelands in the past five seasons, Mayo have consistently conceded more goals than Dublin, Donegal and Kerry. photograph: Cathal  Noonan/Inpho

Donegal will look to exploit high-pressing game that leaves holes at the back

Formerly a wing back for the county, Conor McManus has developed into Monaghan’s standout forward, scoring 1-19 out of the county’s total of 1-47 during the championship this year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Clontibret clubman hoping to propel his county to a first semi-final since 1988

Mickey Harte leads Tyrone into their 10th football quarter-final in 13 years. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Croke Park will have bumper weekend as promise of glory attacts fans from all quarters

Cathal McCarron is one of Tyrone manager Mickey Harte’s solid back-line options. Photograph: Inpho.

Malachy O’Rourke’s side have all the momentum after Ulster final triumph

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has certainly mastered the qualifier route. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Across 140 minutes of football on Sunday no cards were flashed by the referees

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan celebrates scoring a goal past Fermanagh goalkeeper Thomas Treacy during the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Despite never threatening to overturn Dublin, Pete McGrath’s side never gave in

Galway manager Kevin Walsh appears to have infused his charges with some backbone, with the team conceding only one goal so far in the championship. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Galway haven’t won in Croke Park since the 2001 All-Ireland despite underage success

Kerry midfielders David Moran and  Anthony Maher in action against Mayo last summer. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Duo have been best pairing in championship – but they took while to find each other

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