John Leonard: “I don’t want this book to read as a celebration of drugs. The reality is I lost my mind a lot of times. I was very close to losing friends and losing sanity.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

“That’s a tricky one,” laughs John Leonard when asked which felt better: being E’d out of his head on countless nights in the Kitchen and other venues(...)

Barry Cahill in action during Dublin’s 2011 All-Ireland final triumph against Kerry at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

When Dublin last met Kerry in an All-Ireland final four years ago Barry Cahill was playing. One of a half-forward line, with Paul Flynn and then capta(...)

Dublin’s Denis Bastick: “A lot of it is mental. We are a better team. We have been improving the last few years but there is the mental factor in that.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

There aren’t many 34-year-old footballers would who confidently declare himself “in the shape of his life”, and for Denis Bastick, that’s not just in (...)

A crowd of 58,680 were present for Sunday’s All-Ireland football championship double header. Photograph: Inpho

Capital crowds The announcement in Croke Park on Sunday that the attendance was 58,680 drew an acerbic response from one of the more ‘seasoned’ member(...)

The phrase “behind closed doors” has always been one of the most loaded in the GAA lexicon. Ostensibly, the in-camera match arrangement allows both te(...)

Former All-Ireland winning Dublin captain John O’Leary:  “What you’re trying to do is bring a style of football through the development squads.” Photograph: Sportsfile

When John O’Leary is asked about managers he has fair experience to fall back on. Dublin’s All-Ireland winning captain from 20 years ago and five-tim(...)

Longford’s Barry Gilleran and manager Jack Sheedy celebrate the championship victory over Offaly at Tullamore. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Standing in the tunnel in O’Connor Park a fortnight ago after Longford had beaten Offaly, it wasn’t hard to discern which dressingroom belonged to the(...)

James McCarthy has been ruled out of Dublin’s clash with Longford on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

A two year extension to Jim Gavin’s reign as Dublin football manager was ratified last November. It’s just that nobody noticed. The 43 year old(...)

Jim Gavin’s Dublin are challenging for their third league title in a row but no longer possess the aura of invincibility that developed around the side last year. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Hindsight is everything but there may have been times over the usual winter ruminations when Jim Gavin and his Dublin players must have wondered if wi(...)

“I’m lucky in that I’m part of a great team in St Vincent’s and a great team with Dublin over the last three or four years.” – Diarmuid Connolly. photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

So under the body armour and behind the often ruthless football streak is a humble and tender Diarmuid Connolly. He may still be somewhat mercurial o(...)