‘The many Church reform associations around the world should be appreciated as resources. They are concerned critics, not enemies. Their members typically have experience of family life and have reflected on it, some prayerfully.’ Photograph: Getty Images

A synod on the family entirely composed of celibate bishops is not only “bonkers”, as former president Mary McAleese has commented, it is dangerous. I(...)

Tipperary’s Barry Grogan (left) celebrates scoring a late goal with Peter Acheson in the  All-Ireland Senior Championship Qualifier Series Round 3A game at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

When the last tale is told of Championship 2014, make sure there’s room for a mention of a manic night in Portlaoise. Let the people know that whateve(...)

Dublin manager Jim Gavin: man in possession keeps jersey unless challenger earns a shot. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

GAVIN CUMMISKEY Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Dublin’s entry into the football championship, this Sunday against Laois in Croke Park, is how (...)

Ross Munnelly of Laois wins the ball ahead of Wicklow’s  Rory Finn at Aughrim. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Laois 0-21 Wicklow 1-11Strange how so pretty a setting can serve up something so mundane. Aughrim seems such a natural playground for football, even i(...)

Wicklow’s Paul McLoughlin shows his disappointment at the end of the game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Laois 0-21 Wicklow 1-11Laois have set themselves up with a glamour clash against All-Ireland champions Dublin after easing past Wicklow in the drizzli(...)

UCD 1-14 Laois 3-6UCD will play the champions Kildare in next week’s O’Byrne cup semi-final after they scored a convincing win over Laois at Portarlin(...)

Wexford’s Rory Quinlivan tries to stop John O’Loughlin of Laois at Wexford Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Laois 0-16 Wexford 2-8Laois had to survive many unnerving moments before eventually seeing of the challenge of a wasteful Wexford side in this thrilli(...)

Laois’ John O’Loughlin battles past the opposition cover at Wexford Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Laois 0-16 Wexford 2-08: Laois made it seven straight wins in the All-Ireland football qualifiers with a hard-fought two-point victory over Wexford a(...)

The second game in the double-header at Cusack Park on Saturday proved to be a one-sided affair like the opener. But on this occasion it was the Laois(...)

Clare manager Mick O’Dwyer in the dugout during the qualifier game against Laois at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland football qualifiers: Clare manager Mick O’Dwyer confirmed that he will step down from the post following his side’s 0-10 to 3-17 loss to L(...)