Nameless, faceless band of brothers are an essential component in the Association

Cork manager Kieran Kingston and assistant manage Diarmuid O’Sullivan celebrates at the final whistle of the  Munster senior hurling semi-dinal against Waterford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kieran Kingston's side have too much for curiously wan Waterford

 Kildare’s Chris Healy and Fionn Dowling celebrate after the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cian O'Neill's side were far superior, with their full-forward line scoring 2-9 from play.

Cork’s Conor Lehane looks to secure possession under pressure from Tadgh de Burca during Cork’s Munster SHC semi-final win over Waterford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Rebels too lively for leaden opponents as they defy baking heat to reach Munster SHC final

Cathal McNally celebrates scoring Kildare’s opening goal in their win over Meath in Tullamore. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

O’Neill’s side show they are Dublin’s closest Leinster challengers after first half rout

Cian O’Neill with his young Kildare team. “I would see us as similar in terms of our stage of development,” he says of Meath.  “Two very young teams, both in terms of players and what the managers are trying to do.”  Photograph: Donal Farmer/Inpho

Experienced coach aiming to lead his native county to a first Leinster final since 2011

Kildare’s Daniel Flynn with Darren Strong of Laois in close attendance. Photograph: Inpho

Westmeath retain edge over Offaly going into this replay with home advantage set to tell

Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty stretches away from Conor Hamill of Antrim during the Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final.  Photograph: John McIlwaine/Presseye

Roscommon wary of young Leitrim outfit keen to break fixture’s 17-year losing streak

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn take a selfie with supporters after last year’s All-Ireland final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Social media is the biggest change in intercounty football in a generation

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody looks to get his side going before their loss to Wexford. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Of seven matches they’ve played this year, Cody’s men have only beaten Dublin and Cork

Wexford’s Lee Chin is mobbed by supporters after the victory over Kilkenny in the Leinster SHC semi-final at Wexford Park on Saturday night. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Inspirational performance from captain sets off incredible scenes at Wexford Park

 Wexford’s Lee Chin celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny decidedly second best at Wexford Park as Slaneysiders secure famous win

Liam Dunne: “I wanted to stay on for another year, everybody knew that. It didn’t happen and I think, in fairness, it’s been good for me and good for the players.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former manager says Wexford must expect to be ‘hit head-on’ by a fired-up Kilkenny

Brian Cody stands above the cityscape of the championship always, a stately Eiffel in the distance. Photograph: Inpho

In football and hurling, this weekend’s intriguing match-ups hold huge promise

Evan Comerford: Tipperary’s goalkeeper is suspended and will miss the championship game against Cork. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Suspension and injuries could ruin their chances against a vulnerable Cork team

Louth’s Patrick Reilly is shown a yellow during his side’s defeat to Meath, a result which saw them drop into the qualifiers where they will play Longford. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Leinster sides both on an upward curve, Carlow can bounce back against London

Clare’s Shane O’Donnelly scores his second goal against Limerick at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Talented duo to the fore as Clare book place in the Munster final for first time since 2008

Clare’s Shane O’Donnell scores his second goal during the Munster SHC semi-final against Limerick at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Shane O’Donnell grabs two goals as Banner back in final for first time since 2008

Carlow midfielder  Brendan Murphy  receives a red card following a second yellow from referee Sean Hurson during the Leinster SFC quarter-final against Dublin  at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Diarmuid Connolly’s discipline will be a talking point long after the game is forgotten

Carlow celebrate their victory over Wexford in the first round of the Leinster championship at Netwatch Cullen Park.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

It’s as low-key an entry into the summer’s business as Jim Gavin’s side have seen

Armagh’s Aidan Forker in action against Tipperary’s Robbie Kiely during the league clash at the Athletic Grounds.   Photograph: Philip Magowan/Presseye/Inpho

All-Ireland champions Dublin begin their campaign against Carlow, Clare face Limerick

Kerry footballer Brendan O’Sullivan: The tangled machinations of the GAA’s disciplinary system are labyrinthine enough at the best of times. Add in lawyers and Sport Ireland and doping and the weeds get thicker with every step. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Kerry footballer owned up straight away to minor offence, but appeals delayed the case

Tyrone’s Peter Harte is tackled by Derry’s Niall Keenan during his side’s comfortable Ulster championship win. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Tyrone have pulled well clear of bitter rivals Derry and it is symbolic of a wider pattern

Jonathan Sexton, George North and Jonathan Davies dejected after defeat in the second Test to Australia in 2013.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Test series against the All Blacks will be great sport but players cannot sustain the pressure

An extra week after the end of the season would have made all the difference

Shane Kingston of Cork celebrates scoring a goal. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

An epic encounter in Thurles saw the championship blown wide open early on

Ched Evans playing for Chesterfield in February. Photograph: Pete Norton/Getty Images

If Evans is going to talk about rape culture he needs to steer clear of victim-shaming first

Shane Kingston celebrates scoring during Cork’s epic win over Tipperary in Semple Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Munster championship roars into life as vibrant Rebels ransack Semple Stadium

Monaghan’s Jack McCarron is challenged by Fermanagh’s Ryan McCluskey during his side’s Ulster Championship win in Clones. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Visitors give a good account of themselves in Clones but can’t keep pace after the break

 Tomás Corrigan: “Coming from Fermanagh, I didn’t realise that there were Irish people who didn’t know what Gaelic football was. People who didn’t follow it”

Fermanagh’s Tomás Corrigan was fourth highest scorer in last year’s championship

Jack Barry is among the Kerry young guns who inspired the Kingdom to league final  victory. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster: Tipperary hoping for another good campaign with Cork still vulnerable

Conor McManus and Monaghan can reach the All-Ireland semi-finals. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ulster: Mickey Harte has built another Tyrone side nobody wants to come up against

Can Meath lay down the foundations to rediscover past glories and challenge Dublin again? Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The Dubs should make it seven-in-a-row in 2017 but they may soon get a real challenge

A view of Páirc Uí Chaoimh from overhead. Photo: Cork County Board

Cork ground is looking all the better for its €70 million makeover with opening looming

Maurice Deegan: “The black card has been a massive, massive change. It has cleaned up the game an awful lot, definitely.” Photograph: Inpho

The referee believes the controversial black card initiative has helped to clean up football

Killiney Hill: Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky. Photograph: Andrew Sheridan

Andy Sheridan is an accidental photographer, and night-time trips have led to a deeply personal project for Pieta House

Dr Crokes’s Johnny Buckley lifts the AIB All-Ireland senior club football championship cup in Croke Park in March. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Despite tracker scandal and fines, alcohol sponsorship is seen as being more toxic

Galway captain David Burke receives the cup from President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

It's hard to imagine any other team putting such hurt on the All-Ireland champions

 Darren Gleeson saves a shot from Jason Flynn during Tipperary’s heavy NHL final defeat to Galway. Photgraph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jason Flynn, Conor Whelan and Joe Canning lead Tribesmen to 16-point win

Michael Ryan: The template for how to proceed with the riches arrayed in front of him is there to cut out and keep – Brian Cody’s template. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The parallels between Tipperary 2017 and Kilkenny 2007 are uncanny

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Aidan Nolan clash with Jason Forde of Tipperary. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Five-goal push from All-Ireland champions overshadowed by Wexford manager

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald clashes with Tipperary’s Jason Forde  on the pitch during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A semi-final at  Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

John and Noel McGrath grab two goals apiece at Nowlan Park

A mural in memory of MMA fighter João Carvalho in Pragal near Lisbon. Photograph: Malachy Clerkin

The Portuguese MMA fighter who died a year ago this week was more than just a headline. He was somebody. This is his story.

Portuguese MMA fighter João Carvalho during his fight with Charlie Ward  in Dublin last year.  Carvalho died due to blunt force trauma to the head he sustained in the fight. Photograph: Dave Fogarty

Year after João Carvalho’s death, top neurologist calls for Sport Ireland to recognise MMA

Kerry celebrate with the trophy after defeating Dublin by a point in the Allianz League final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Diarmuid Connolly black card costs champions dear as Kingdom end unbeaten streak

Dublin’s Michael Darragh McAuley and Paul Mannion battle Kerry’s Ronan Shanahan and David Moran during Kerry’s AFL final win. Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Lost art of midfield play revived as Michael Darragh Macauley makes a huge impact

Kevin Feely has been a revelation for Kildare in the league this year and looks like he could carry the county’s midfield for years to come. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cian O’Neill’s side have got a little better dealing with leads as they face Galway

Kerry’s Colm Cooper lifts the Sam Maguire back in 2014. The 33-year-old is set to call time on his career. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘Gooch’ completed haul of all major senior honours three weeks ago with Dr Crokes

Wexford’s Conor McDonald celebrates scoring his side’s second goal against Kilkenny. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

County players know they will get back from their public multiples of what they put in

Wexford’s Conor McDonald celebrates scoring his side’s second goal. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Visitors were noticeably fitter, slicker, quicker and more urgent in all they did

Kilkenny and Wexford managers Brian Cody and Davy Fitzgerald will renew rivalries at Nowlan Park in the Division One quarter-final. Photograph: Inpho

Wexford will look for positives from Division 1A quarter-final clash against Kilkenny

Nowlan Park in Kilkenny will host the quarter-final meeting of Kilkenny and Wexford on Sunday.

Both the final round of football games and the hurling quarter-finals to take place on Sunday

Roscommon were on the wrong end of a 21-point thrashing at Croke Park on Saturday night. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

League suggests there could be a Leinster awakening stirring in Dublin’s shadows

Pádraig Harrington will be part of Sky’s coverage of Masters: there’s a mischievous side to him that likes to stir the pot. Photograph: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

It’s hard to think of a sport less blessed by the quality of its ex-pro punditry than golf

Lee Keegan rises highest to win the ball ahead of Ronan McNamee during Mayo’s one-point win over Tyrone. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho

Stephen Rochford’s side win Tyrone clash to move towards safety

Munster’s Francis Saili scores his second try against Ospreys in the Guinness PRO12 at Musgrave Park. Taken on Canon EOS-1D X, 100th sec @ f2.8. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Reader competition: The best sporting picture wins a Canon EOS 750D camera

Roscommon manager Kevin McStay on the sideline with  selector Liam McHale  during the league game against Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kevin McStay’s tenure promised so much but the decline has been quick and awful

The Wales team lines up ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Dublin. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over the visitors after an aggressive encounter in Dublin

Gareth Bale of Wales shoots from a free kick during the 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

There was a downbeat mood among the Ireland squad as they left the ground

 James McClean reacts after a missed chance during the World Cup Group D qualifier  against Wales at the   Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over Martin O’Neill’s side after Aviva Stadium draw in Dublin

Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s Kerry side almost managed to stop Dublin from completing a historic unbeaten run. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kerry manager was impressed with his side after they managed a draw against Dublin

Punters outside Austin Stack Park on Saturday evening: “They’re just early. Way early. Even the stewards haven’t been let in. And still the diehards are here hours before throw-in.” Photograph: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Boisterous roses are in bloom, but it’s a long way to Tralee if you haven’t got a beer

Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan saw his side take a surprise 1-14 to 0-15 win over Mayo at MacHale Park in Division Two on Sunday. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

With only a straight final between top two sides in Division One this year, it’s cut-throat business

Kerry’s Paul Geaney tackles Michael Darragh Macauley of Dublin during Saturday’s draw in Tralee. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Paul Mannion’s late point denies the Kingdom victory in physical Tralee encounter

Cuala’s red and white colours fly on flags and bunting on Castle Street in Dalkey. The club’s hurlers play Clare’s Ballyea in the final of the AIB club championship  at Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Two Darts have been commandeered to bring the Dalkey club’s supporters - Ultras and all - to Croke Park for the club hurling final(...)

Andrew McNamara on Hi Cloy (red and white) comes up on the outside to beat the race leader Central House ridden by Roger Loughran who appeared to think he had won. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jockey who showed class under pressure over a decade ago one of racing’s good guys

Istabraq and Charlie Swan are led back after winning their third  Champion Hurdle in a row in 2000. Photograph: Healy Racing

The Cheltenham Festival is a busy working week for racing photographer Pat Healy

Jamie Clarke in action against Donegal: “It was being over there and spending time away that made me realise what was at home.” Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

Year in New York has merely whetted the appetite of one of Ireland’s top forwards

Conor Murray tried to play through the pain in Cardiff but was removed early in the second half as Wales all but ended Ireland’s Six Nations title hopes. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

After all the hype the tackle count tells the story of a brutally enthralling encounter

Dublin’s Michael Darragh Macauley and Tom Parsons of Mayo clash for the ball during their Allianz League tie at Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

It’s now 33 games unbeaten for the All-Ireland champions, stretching over two years

Dublin’s Dean Rock gets in a tussle with Diarmuid O’Connor and Keith Higgins of Mayo during their Allianz League clash at Croke Park. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

It’s now 33 games unbeaten for the All Ireland champions as they brushed aside rivals

Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor scores a point against Roscommon in the last round. Mayo haven’t beaten Dublin in 10 attempts in the Jim Gavin era. No better time to start. Photograph: Inpho

Allianz Football League weekend previews

Wexford football manager Seamus McEnaney: “It fairly shortens the journey when you’re winning games.” Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

With the hurlers and footballers both on top of their league, optimism is running high

Bernard Brogan scores a goal against Monaghan. Of the 21 games under Jim Gavin that have been close, Dublin have  won 11, drawn six and lost four. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Mayo return to Croke Park to face a Dublin team they’ve never beaten under Jim Gavin

 GAA Congress: you knew that there was more chance of them turning to face Mecca during Mass that evening than there was of the CPA getting a blessing. Photograph: James McCrombie

Carrying on with Super-8 proposals despite GPA and CPA opposition looks terrible

Director General of the GAA Paraic Duffy speaks to Westmeath county board chairman Sean Sheridan during Annual Congress on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

CPA recognition motion withdrawn, as Congress fail to grasp reality on the ground

GAA Congress has passed a motion to introduce the ‘Super 8’ into the Senior Football Championship. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All-Ireland finals have also been brought forward three weeks into month of August

Jim Gavin: leads Dublin to Ballybofey as the All-Ireland champions seek to preserve their long unbeaten record. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over this weekend's Allianz League matches

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Claudio Ranieri after Wednesday night’s Champions League match with Sevilla. Photograph: Reuters

TV View: Lads, we've this new screen thingy – ye best stand beside it

St Patrick’s Westport’s Brian McDermott lifts the cup after his side’s victory in the All-Ireland intermediate club final. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Glenbeigh-Glencar and Westport were the teams celebrating after two dramatic games

 Waterford’s Pauric Mahony keeps one step ahead of Kilkenny challengers. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Donegal register first win of 2017, while London vanquish hot favourites Carlow

 Monaghan’s Colin Walshe and Conor Moynagh of Cavan. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

Low-scoring game like watching identical twins slap each other in the face for an hour

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald, with the league trophy he won with Clare last year, in Croke Park this week.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/inpho

Allianz Hurling League: round one previews

Micheál Ó Domhnaill and Brian Tyers at Croke Park

For two decades now, the Irish-language station has had sport as a key part of its make-up

John Allen, Aoife Ní Chonchúir & Michael Rice with Dara Ó Cinnéide on Seó Spóirt on TG4. Photo: Seó Spóirt TG4 Twitter

‘I disagree with it, they feel the days of sitting on a couch analysing games is gone,’ he said

Kildare manager Cian O’Neill will want his team to build on Sunday’s win. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Cian O’Neill’s side conjure an excellent response to O’Byrne Cup defeat to Dublin

Patrick McBrearty of Donegal and Darren McCurry of Tyrone at the Allianz Football League launch in Belfast this week. Photograph: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Allianz football league and All-Ireland club hurling semi-final

 Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Oireachtas Committee attacks FAI CEO John Delaney over refusal to answer for Fifa €5m

 Leighton Aspell riding Many Clouds (yellow/green) clears the last to win The BetBright Trial Cotswold Steeple Chase from Thistlecrack (orange) at Cheltenham Racecourse at the weekend. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Was 2015 Grand National winner run until he dropped? And are we okay with that?

Ciara Mageean at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/ ©Inpho

‘The mental legacy of a sports injury is an awful lot more traumatic than the physical’

Richie Sadlier celebrates scoring for Millwall in 2001, two years before injury forced him into retirement. Photograph: Tom Hevesi/ PA Wire

In the first of two-part series, Sadlier and Bryan Cooper speak about injury

Understanding the game? It’s rugby, chief. It ain’t astrophysics. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Golden opportunity wasted to hold chiefs of Irish sport to account on issues of substance

Dublin’s Colm Basquel with Eoin Doyle of Kildare during Saturday’s O’Byrne Cup encounter. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Cian O’Neill: ‘We are disgusted to lose like that, that we should have been controlling’

Lollipop questioning: Páraic Duffy, John Delaney and Philip Browne. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

John Delaney, Páraic Duffy and Philip Browne run rings around Dáil committee

 Dermot Earley: chosen as the new CEO of the Gaelic Players Association. “There is an appetite for change and we have been hearing that for a long time, certainly on the football side.”  Photograph:  Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The former Kildare midfielder is a safe pair of hands but he comes with a hard edge

Séamus Hickey (centre) with new Gaelic Players Association chief executive Dermot Earley (right) at a press conference yesterday. Hickey is the new chairman while  Seán Murphy is a member of the selection committee. Photograph: Sportsfile

Defender agrees seven-goal defeat in Munster Hurling League was unacceptable

The numbers become dizzying when it comes to TV rights cash. Photograph: Reuters

Uefa reckon financial fair play turned clubs’ fortunes around but they’re kidding nobody

Jim Furyk is expected to be announced as the US Ryder Cup captain for the 2018 match in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Lee Westwood’s horse resembled his attempts to win a major

Grassroots: 99 per cent of the GAA’s playing base is  club players. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Formation of Club Players’ Association will give focus to underlying anger with GAA

Kerry’s Brian Ó Seanacháin with Martin Dunne of Tipperary. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Fans brave bleak January to see players test mettle on soggy pitches across country

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