Hijabs and Hat-tricks: Training together are Alena Munir, Aseel Bukhatwa, Skalla Waissi, Leila Mohamed, Chantelle O’Neill and Gugulethu Banda; and (front) Mahdiyah Ayub, Zara Himayat, Arooj Hussain, Fadhila Hajji, Amina Mustafa, Iesha Moustafa and Pauline Biron. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Growing up in Tallaght, Fadhila Hajji loved playing football with her brothers. Kicking a ball around the yard during her teen years was the perfect (...)

Damien Duff celebrates his goal for the Republic of Ireland against Saudi Arabia     at the International Stadium  in Yokohama, Japan during the 2002 World Cup. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Former Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff has brought down the curtain on his illustrious playing career after 20 years. The 36-year-old from Bal(...)

 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

The build-up was long – so long that keeping awake was a real achievement. On this couch it was a matter of pulling out all the stops. Coffee. Open wi(...)

Stephen Kenny: has assembled a Dundalk team that has won successive league titles. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

It’s the guts of two decades now since Stephen Kenny sat opposite Vinny Perth and suggested the then teenage Dubliner’s career in football might be(...)

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

A few days after Seamus Heaney died in 2013, there was an Ireland soccer international in Lansdowne. It was against Sweden, right at the fag end of th(...)

Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova starts a kiss-a-thon with Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke on stage during the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Saint Petersburg on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images.

“And Djibouti play Swaziland.” (Silence.) No more than ourselves, George Hamilton tuned in to the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw a bit early, like whe(...)

In his role as club manager or pundit you couldn’t listen to Martin O’Neill without grasping how enthralled he is by the game. As Ireland manager, he has cut a much more subdued figure. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘If they were in swimming, they’d be doing it,” Brian Kerr said about the night-after-night training repetition required of 10- and 11-year-olds with (...)

Sally (left), Jill (right) and Hilary O’Herlihy, daughters and wife of Bill O’Herlihy at the funeral Mass of the RTÉ presenter at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in  Foxrock, south Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Together for the last time, they moved slowly towards the church door as the funeral bell tolled. And in our imagination, we half expected to hear Joh(...)

Sally, Jill and Hilary O’Herlihy, daughters and wife of Bill O’Herlihy at the funeral mass of the RTÉ presenter at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The funeral has taken place of the broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy who died suddenly this week at the age of 76. The congregation at a packed Our Lady of (...)

A  memorial book during the funeral of Ray Treacy at the Church of St Laurence O’Toole, Kilmacud, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mourners at the funeral of former Ireland international soccer player Ray Treacy were asked to smile one more time for a man held dear in the world of(...)