The opening ceremony of the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham Stadium in London. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

And so it is upon us: the rugby man’s season of heaven on earth. Autumn of 2015 and here we stand in the vague hope that Ireland can become champions (...)

Gareth Thomas paved the way for other gay athletes to feel sufficiently emboldened to also come out. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Rugby fever – and, with it, autumn – is about to sweep through the Old World and, with immaculate timing, Guinness have unveiled two riveting and b(...)

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill celebrates his team’s victory over Georgia. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Next up: the world champions. This long, fitful journey towards next summer’s European championships in France has been reduced to a grim game of blin(...)

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid and Eoin Larkin tackle Padraig Mannion of Galway during Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Inpho

See them as they stand on another Monday morning: this band of brothers. Irish sport has seen nothing like the Kilkenny hurling teams which have pl(...)

The Dublin team in Croke Park last Sunday. Imagine the agony of Dublin fans watching it all dissolve. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

And what about Dublin’s football ghosts? Let us not suppose here, as the world and the circling planets warms hands on the fire that will emanate from(...)

Galway forward Jason Flynn: “I don’t think many players are remembered if you don’t win an All-Ireland; it’s as simple as that.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Six days after playing a central role in Galway’s incandescent All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary, Jason Flynn was back in maroon. The under(...)

Dublin’s Denis Bastick scores the first goal of Dublin’s demolition of Mayo in Castlebar in March. Photograph: NPHO/Donall Farmer

It took just four minutes for Mayo’s worst fears to come to fruition last Sunday. The ease with which Paul Flynn hot-knifed it through their defence t(...)

Dublin’s Michael Fitzsimons, Jack McCaffrey, Philly McMahon,Tomas Brady, John Small and Paul Flynn foul Colm Boyle of Mayo resulting in a late penalty. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

What compels them? What is it about Mayo that requires them to take these grand, dramatic days to the brink of oblivion before they can summon the ins(...)

Mayo fans celebrate after their side scored a late penalty in their All-Ireland semi-final draw with Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

City and country will meet again next Saturday in Croke Park. Shades of 1985 as Dublin and Mayo clattered into one another in an absorbing and bruisin(...)

Billy Walsh: has overseen spectacular success for Irish boxers in his years as head coach. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Given how cheaply and meekly the Irish State surrendered its sovereign status in recent years, it really should be no surprise that this sorry mess of(...)