Pauric Mahony at the launch of the GPA’s new ‘Fair Play Campaign’  at Tailor’s Hall, Back Lane, Dublin. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Missing the championship campaign a cruel blow for Déise’s top scorer

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly scores his side’s  fourth goal against Kildare in the Leinster semi-final at Croke Park last Sunday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Qualifier against Offaly no easy assignment for Jason Ryan’s Lilywhites

Katie Taylor celebrates her gold medal win in the European Games in Baku with her coaches Pete Taylor, Zaur Anita and Billy Walsh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Coach Billy Walsh prepared Irish boxers by bringing them on training camp in Azerbaijan

Katie Taylor’s determination to keep winning gold medals shows no signs of tapering off. Photograph: Ryan Byrne

Katie Taylor refuses to rest on laurels as her focus turns towards Olympics

Katie Taylor dominanted Estelle Mossley to win Ireland’s first gold medal of the European Games. Photograph: Inpho

Golden day for Ireland as Taylor sees off Mossely before O’Reilly stuns the Crystal Hall

 Katie Taylor in action against Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna in the women’s light 57-60kg semi-finals in Baku. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Olympic champion aiming for 18th major title in her bout against Estelle Mossely

Ireland badminton player Scott Evans in action during the European Games in Baku. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Sean McComb happy to be going home with bronze while Scott Evans is gracious in defeat

The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev congratulates gold medalist and compatriot Ilham Zakiyev at the European Games in Baku. Photograph: Getty.

Jury still out on whether inaugural European Games was a real success

Katie Taylor is through to the lightweight final at the European Games after a semi-final win over Yana Alekseevna. Photograph: Inpho

World champion edges a split decision over Yana Alekseevna and a partisan home crowd

 Grainne Dwyer of Ireland holds off Tatiana Petrushina of Russia during the 3X3 basketball quarter-final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Irish swimming quartet finish sixth in women’s 4x100m medley relay final

Azerbaijan medal hopeful Collazo Sotomayor was born in Cuba. Photograph: Getty.

Azerbaijan’s huge investment not reaping all the rewards they may have wished for

Russia’s Bator Sagaluev beat Brendan Irvine of Ireland in the light flyweight final of the European Games at Crystal Hall, Baku. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Ireland’s first medal winner at European Games is looking to greater things for future

Ireland’s Brendan Irvine takes a strong left from Russia’s  Bator Sagaluev during their  light-flyweight final at the European Games in Baku, which was won by the Russian on a split decision. Photo: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Belfast fighter loses narrowly to Russia’s Bator Sagaluev in light flyweight final

Belfast boxer and badminton top seed Scott Evans set sights on greatest prize

Katie Taylor in action against Ida Lundblad of Sweden in the women’s lightweight quarter-finals at the European Games in Baku. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Even if judges favour home boxers, Taylor ready to rumble against Yana Alekseevna

Martin Fagan: 31-year-old athlete said he is “happier not running right now”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mullingar athlete (31) says working 50 hours a week ‘took away from the enjoyment’

 Ida Lundblad of Sweden (red) and Katie Taylor of Ireland (blue) compete in the Women’s Boxing Lightweight (57-60kg) Quarter Final during day twelve of the Baku 2015 European Games. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Michael O’Reilly also secured another boxing medal but Darren O’Neill falls short in Baku

Ireland boxing coach Billy Walsh wants an irish boxer to qualify for all 10 weight divisions at Rio Olympics. Photograph: Inpho

Boxing coach set on qualifying an Irish boxer in each of Rio’s 10 weight divisions

3x3 basketball and badminton teams also compete as temperatures rise in Baku

After 12days the European Games are feeling more and more like the OIympics. Photograph: Epa

Impressive operation ran in Baku could make it may be good training for Rio – or 2024

Ireland’s Sean McComb is into the semi-finals of the European Games. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Unanimous victory for Belfast fighter, oozing confidence and winning all three rounds

Ireland’s Scott Evans is a serious medal candidate in badminton at the European Games in Baku. Photograph: Getty.

Sonia O’Sullivan agrees European Games are lacking top-level track and field events

Scott Evans only needed 24 minutes to defeat his first opponent, Georgios Charalambidis from Greece (21-7, 21-9) at European Games in Baku. Photograph: Getty.

Ireland’s badminton star looking for rewards at European Games

Brendan Irvine celebrates after beating home favourite and top seed Salman Alizada. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ceire Smith and Dean Gardiner miss out but six more Irish quarter-finals to come

Another victory there will guarantee Katie Taylor at least a bronze medal at the European Games.

World champion will meet Sweden’s Ida Lundblad in quarter-finals on Wednesday morning

Ireland’s Brendan Irvine celebrates with boxing coach Billy Walsh. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘I’m delighted to win the medal, but this is only the start of the journey for me’

Ireland’s Darren O’Neill, who fights in the  Men’s Heavy 91kg class. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Smith, Irvine and Gardiner all in action today with medal glory within grasp

Katie Taylor talks to the media after beating Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseeva in the women’s Light 60kg round of 16 at the European Games in Baku. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Olympic champion hunting down 18th major title in 10 years at European Games

Ireland’s Kieran Behan on his way to finishing fourth at the European Games. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images for BEGOC

Gymnast who has defied host of obstacles misses out on medal by .144 of a point

Katie Taylor celebrates after beating Bulgaria’s  Denitsa Eliseeva in a women’s lightweight bout at the European Games   in Baku. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Olympic champion gets European bid off on the right foot in Baku

Ireland’s Kieran Behan finished in fourth place in Baku. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘Of course fourth place is one of those agonising positions to be in’

Ireland’s super-heavyweight Dean Gardiner beat Italy’s Guido Vianello at the Crystla Hall in Baku to make the quarter-finals of the European Games. Photo:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Irish trio enjoy wins in Baku as Miles Casey and Michaela Walsh fall short

 Ireland’s Kieran Behan competing at European Games in Baku. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Sean McComb hungry to get on podium as Irish boxers get ready for busy day

Katie Taylor will meet Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseeva in Sunday’s bout at the European Games in Baku. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Olympic champion wants gold in Baku with Bulgarian rival providing first hurdle

Ireland’s Brendan Irvine in action during his victory over Bulgarian Tinko Banabakov in the light flyweight last 16 clash in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cavan’s Ceire Smith also in the last eight after a unanimous win over a Norwegian

The Crystal Hall arena in Baku, Azerbaijan, the venue of several sports competitions of the 2015 European Games. Photograph: EPA.

One of the problems with these European Games is that the medals mean different things to the different events

Ryan Mullen in the Men’s Individual Time Trial during day six of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Irishman pedals through pain barrier to record eighth best time in men’s time trial

Ireland’s Kieran Behan in action at the National Gymnastics Arena, Baku, Azerbaijan, in the European Games. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Olympian gymnast finds championship a profitable stop on road to Rio Games

Judges take little notice as an athlete competes in the trampoline individual qualification during day five of in Baku yesterday. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

In the absence of proper athletics events, European games may struggle to gain credibility

Baku 2015 European Games, National Gymnastics Arena, Baku, Azerbaijan 15/6/2015Gymnastics ArtisticIreland's Kieran Behan Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Hopes are high for the 12-strong Irish boxing team, but it won’t be a pushover

Irish gymnast Ellis O’Reilly in action on the vault yesterday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland’s Aileen Reid endures disappointing triathlon, finishing sixth

Ireland’s Mark English could only finish seventh behind winner David Rudisha in the 800 metres at the New York Diamond League meeting. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

David Rudisha storms to victory in the 800m in a season’s best time

Aileen Reid finished sixth in the triathalon at the European Games. Photograph: Epa

Reid comes sixth after Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig leads breakaway group to win gold

Boxer Katie Taylor leads the Ireland team into the stadium during the opening ceremony for the  2015 European Games at the National Stadium  in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Katie Taylor and Aileen Reid among Irish trying to win medals – and a bit of history

Men wave as they pose for a picture in front of the Olympic stadium in Baku yesterday. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/ AFP/Getty Images

Why now, why Azerbaijan, and how will the Irish do

The Baku Aquatics Centre which has been built for the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Tobias Schwartz/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Host Azerbaijan is under fire for its human rights record and for suppressing dissent

Limerick’s Cian Lynch with Tipperary’s Steven O’Brien after they were named Opel Players of the Month for May in hurling and football respectively.  Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Impressive debutant the talk of the county following his display against Clare

Tipperary’s Steven O’Brien in action against Waterford’s  Tommy Prendergast: “The target is to win a Munster title, whenever we win it.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Talented midfielder has an unblemished record against Kingdom at underage level

Meath manager Mick O’Dowd will be without  five first-choice players  for Sunday’s Leinster football quarter-final against Wicklow

Three regulars out for Cork as they meet Clare, while Donegal set to appeal bans

A shoulder injury will keep Paul Murphy out of Kerry’s opening defence of their Munster and All-Ireland titles against Tipperary at Semple Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Injury problems beset the defending champions ahead of Sunday’s opener

Sonia O’Sullivan celebrates with her gold medal after winning the women’s 5,000m final at the 1995 World Athletics Championships at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo:  Mike Hewitt/Allsport

It’s 20 years since Ireland’s greatest female athlete claimed 5,000m world glory in Gothenburg

Liam Rushe can’t keep fighting fires for Dublin all over the park. Photo: Cathal Noone/Inpho

Dublin’s hurlers all at sea . . . hurling’s hottest rivalry continues to give . . . Bradley proves his worth to Derry

Derry’s Fergal Doherty gets his pass away despite the attentions of  Down’s Kevin McKernan. Photograph: Inpho/Lorcan Doherty.

14-man Down make McIver’s men work for their win

 Great Britain’s Mo Farah (right) celebrates  winning the Men’s 10,000m at the London Olympics with silver medalist, and fellow Salazar protege,  the  USA’s Galen Rupp.    Photo:  Martin Rickett/PA

Britain’s feted Olympic champion tainted by his long association with dubious trainer

Noel Connors: “Everyone is going to raise their game, come championship. Cork being a good traditional team you wouldn’t expect anything else really.” Photograph: cathal noonan/inpho

Accomplished corner back says Déise will continue to focus on their own strengths

Sunday’s 27-point hammering of Longford in the Leinster quarter-final at Croke Park was Ciarán Kilkenny’s first championship appearance for Dublin since 2013 following a cruciate injury. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Choosing football over his most loved sport was not an easy decision to make for the 21-year-old

Cork’s Brian Murphy with Tony Kelly in the All-Ireland final of 2013. Photograph: Inpho/Morgan Treacy

Defender only back in panel two weeks after 2013 retirement

Thomas Barr: Waterford athlete broke his own record in Rome

The 23 year-old Waterford athlete records 48.65 seconds at Rome meeting

Dublin’s Niall Corcoran believes atmosphere at Croke Park was a bit flat. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Leinster quarter-final replay to be shown live on RTÉ 2 before Champions League final

Waterford’s Philip Mahony, battling here with Tipperary’s Brendan Maher, says Cork will be determined to exact revenge for their league final loss. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Waterford wing back insists team must rise above absence of forward against Cork

Cork’s Seamus Harnedy: “Against Waterford you have to be very careful.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

St Ita’s club man is fully aware of the rivalry between Cork and their neighbours

Longford manager Jack Sheedy: “So either take Dublin out of the Leinster championship and leave it to the rest of us, or else there has to be a new format, it needs to be reviewed”

Sheedy says review of championship format badly needed after 27-point loss

Joseph Cooney  fires home Galway’s goal  despite the efforts of Dublin’s Peter Kelly during the Leinster SHC quarter-final  at Croke Park. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Anxiety gets the better of both sides in a curiously uninspiring clash

Ciara Neville of Castletroy College, Co Limerick, wins the Girls 100 metre intermediate final at the Irish Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore. Photograph: Sportsfile.

Winds defied in Tullamore as a number of records fall in annual showcase of rising athletics talent

Over 40,000 will participate in the Dublin Women’s mini-marathon on Monday. Photograph: Inpho.

Marathons, triathlons and obstacle-course type events now a major part of Irish life

Ger Cunninghan believes his Dublin side will learn from losing the Allianz Hurling League semi-final  against Cork. Photo:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Hurling manager believes Allianz League semi-final defeat to Cork part of a learning curve

Cathal Manion will make his senior hurling championship debut for Galway against Dublin at Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: Cathal Mannion/Inpho.

Pundit says sorry for ‘ugly’ comments, which is ‘graciously accepted’ by commentator

Dean Rock has established himself as Dublin’s first-choice free-taker. Mick Galvin believes it will be a “big Summer” for the 25-year-old. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Former county star says not enough competition in province for reigning champions

Brian Murphy: will add his considerable experience to Cork’s defence. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Experienced defender’s return a boost for Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy

Galway’s David Collins in action against Dublin’s Mark Schutte during the league clash at Parnell Park. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Veteran says Tribesmen are eager to defeat Dublin and avoid perilous qualifier route

Dublin’s Liam Rushe in action against Iarlaith Tannian of Galway in a National League match in March. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

All Star defender likely to get the No 11 jersey for Leinster quarter-final clash

Mark English was pipped into second place in the Golden Spike in Ostrava. Photograph: Inpho

Kenyan David Rudisha pulls up meaning Poland’s Adam Kszczot sneaks victory

James O’Donoghue: “I felt great for two or three months after winning the All-Ireland, but now I am kind of back to square one again.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

With shoulder rehab now behind him, Footballer of the Year is ready to rock

No Grand Tour has ever been won without some tale of hardship –  Dutch rider Rick Flens of Team LottoNL-Jumbo after crashing during the 13th stage of the 98th Giro d’Italia yesterday. Photograph:  Claudio Peri/EPA

Beyond doping, etiquette of ride on, don’t look back, deal with consequences later holds

Kilkenny hurling legend Henry Shefflin never experienced sledging on a hurling field in the course of a glittering career. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Kilkenny stalwart turned pundit believes a unified Banner county can edge out Limerick

The proposed Centre of Excellence at Tralee IT.

New training facilities worth €5.8m being developed in the Kingdom

Clare’s Shane O’Donnell: “We’re very close. We’ve always been very close.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

‘We were all fairly content with the way everything was dealt with’

Niall McMorrow: midfielder is  going  to see a specialist over his  hand tendon injury he picked up at training, but he has been ruled out for at least the next few weeks. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ger Cunningham loses players ahead of Leinster championship opener

 Limerick’s Cian Lynch in action against Dublin at Croke Park during this year’s league campaign. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Ciarán Carey’s nephew is eager to make an impact in first championship season

Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh tackles Donegal’s  Odhrán MacNiallais during the Ulster SFC clash at Ballybofey. Photo: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho

Tyrone veteran says incidences and level of abuse reaching a new high in game

Dublin GAA football star Alan Brogan, and his son Jamie. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Alan Brogan heading into last championship campaign with Dublin footballers

Leitrim manager Shane Ward shakes hands with Kevin Walsh of Galway after the Connacht Senior Football Championship quarter-final at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmad. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

Leitrim manager Shane Ward bemoans lack of clinical finishing

Galway goalscorer Damien Comer gets a pat on the head from his team-mate Michael Lundy during the Connacht SFC quarter-final match against Leitrim at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in carrick-on-Shannon. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Tribesmen win by double scores in Carrick-on-Shannon, but can they halt Mayo’s march?

Mark English is getting ready for his summer schedule of races  with the aim being to peak at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing at the end of August. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Reaction of some players to issue this week has been distinctly amateurish

With his latest medical exams at UCD now over, English is ready to open his outdoor season. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

European Indoor silver medalist says sport has been badly tarnished by cheats

Roscommon’s Senan Kilbride and Leitrim’s Gary Reynolds. Kilbride believes that Connacht is perhaps at its strongest in several years.

Both Leitrim and Roscommon go into the championships with confidence

Waterford’s Kevin Moran with his GAA/GPA Opel Player of the Month award. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Forward and free-taker could leave clinic after operation on broken shin

Kerry’s David Moran in action for Kerry against Donegal last summer. Photo: Inpho

Son of the legendary ‘Ogie’, Kerry’s man behind enemy lines

Dublin footballer James McCarthy has a therapeutic use exemption for a Ventolin inhaler.

Dublin defender and GPA chief voice fears for young players over banned substances

Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash says GAA players need drug education. Photograph: Inpho

Cork goalkeeper fears implications of positive tests after inadvertent use

Ronnie Delany of Ireland wins the 1500m at the Melbourne Olympic Games of 1956, three years previous he won the Irish schools 800m. Photograph: IOC/Allsport.

Irish Schools Athletics Championships an inspiration for many in all walks of life

Wexford forward PJ Banville has won four county football medals with Horeswood. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Wexford forward has the best of both worlds playing football while travelling

Michael Meehan:  “I suppose there’s hope in Galway every year, but being fair, I’m sure it’s Mayo, followed by Roscommon, followed by Galway.” Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former Galway county star Michael Meehan recalls a close shave in the Big Apple

Colin O’Riordan will captain Tipperary in Saturday’s All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championship final against Tyrone at Parnell Park.

Munster under-21 champions’ surge in football is centred around their captain

Karl Lacey: “It makes a huge difference, it’s unbelievable. I only kind of realise how much of a difference it makes now that I’m doing it.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Classy defender dedicating his summer to Donegal’s cause

Henry Shefflin celebrating another Kilkenny All-Ireland victory. “At the moment it is still a bit of a novelty, that bit of freedom. I have been busy with my family life, my work.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/inpho

Legendary figure maintains Cats are still the team to beat in this year’s championship

Kilkenny hurling legend Henry Shefflin with, from left,  Alice Brannigan (8), Hannah Brannigan (7) and twins Conor  and Tadhg Scanlon (7), at the launch of Kellogg’s renewed sponsorship deal with GAA Cúl Camps.

Retired three-time player of the year in talks with RTÉ and Sky

PJ Banville, the former Wexford player, is now lining out with New York. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

New York host Tribesmen in annual Connacht football championship opener

 Roscommon manager John Evans: “There were a few harsh words at half-time.” Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Half forward hospitalised after getting bang on the eye before Division Two final

Caolan Mooney of Down claims the ball ahead of Roscommon’s  Neil Collins during the Allianz Football League division two final at Croke Park. Photo:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Connacht side pull away from Down in second half to secure back-to-back league silverware

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