Cormac Costello of Dublin with Oisin Duffy of Derry. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The extra bit of attacking class edges the Leinster champions on in final 10 minutes

Séamus Hickey: “For us, there was pressure on to try and get promoted but when you finish the league it’s easy to leave it behind you. I’m not sure that’s the same if you’re after being relegated.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Quarter-final against Dublin at Croke Park an opportunity to gauge where they stand

Henry Shefflin   announcing his retirement: he deserves to know that he meant something beyond the endless titles and medals and glory he brought to Kilkenny and Ballyhale – although that is what he holds dearest. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Retirement of Henry Shefflin followed by overwhelming and lavish praise

Henry Shefflin won 10 All-Ireland hurling titles with Kilkenny. Photograph: Inpho

36-year-old Kilkenny centre-forward won 10 All-Ireland titles and 13 Leinster medals

Niamh Briggs with the Six Nations trophy Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

‘We have the potential to keep improving now, I think we’ve shown that,’ says Briggs

Ireland coach Tom Tierney won the championship in his first Six Nations campaign. Photograph: Inpho

Sunday’s 73-3 victory over Scotland secured a stunning second title in three seasons

Dublin’s Shane Durkin challenges with Joe Cooney during his side’s win over Galway. Photograph: Inpho.

Ger Cunningham’s side leave nothing to chance as strong second half seals victory at Parnell Park

Katie Walsh:  ‘I never in my life went down to the start of a race thinking that I was girl in a field of lads.’ Photograph: Spencer Murphy

Katie Walsh, Hayley O’Connor and Jessica Harrington are united by their love of horse racing

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA: Padraig Harrington waves to the gallery as he walks up to the 17th green during the second play-off hole during the final round of the Honda Classic. Photograph: Peter Casey/USA Today

Famine ends: Ever-popular golfer wins big US tournament for first time in seven years

Tommy O’Donnell is tackled by Billy Vunipola and Richard Wigglesworth after coming on for Seán O’Brien in Ireland’s 19-9 victory against England. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Flanker has contributed more than most in Ireland’s Six Nations success thus far

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor make his first start of the year as his side face Monaghan at MacHale Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin and Kerry’s clash in Killarney the highlight of the weekend's actions

Irish Times sports journalist Carl O’Malley, who passed away suddenly on Thursday at the age of 36

Father-of-three will be hugely missed by everyone in the paper

Aogán Farrell: his big pitch on the campaign trail  was for clarity and due respect to finally be brought about for club players. Photograph: Inpho.

Dromgoon man’s long and distinguished record of service stretches back 40 years

Shane O’Donnell and Domhnall O’Donovan after winning the 2013 All-Ireland final replay in which O’Donnell scored a hat-trick. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare star glad to put celebrity madness and injuries behind him ahead of Cork rematch

Dublin’s Danny Suttcliffe evades  Kieran Bergin of Tipperary during the Dubs Allianz League win. (Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer)

Tipp All Stars soundly beaten as bookies favourites all lose opening top flight Allianz League games

St Vincent’s Ger Brennan with Garrycastle’s Dessie Dolan. “He is an exceptional player for Vincent’s and he’s the one person that makes them tick,” says Dolan. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

All-Ireland champions aim to extend their long unbeaten run at Corofin’s expense

Cork’s Donal Og Hodnett tries to get past Monaghan’s Stephen Gollogly. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Tyrone record convincing win in Mayo as Kerry see off Derry

Dublin’s Dean Rock played more rugby than football at school and modelled his place-kicking technique on England’s Jonny Wilkinson. photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Dublin forward started only first league game last week and is determined to make up for lost time

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Michael Murphy of Donegal during last year’s All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

Croke Park evening highlight gives capital a chance of revenge for last autumn’s defeat

Dublin’s Kevin McManamon and Odhran Mac Niallais of Donegal will renew battle at Croke Park in their Allianz League Division One clash. Photograph: Inpho

Croke Park are expecting something in the neighbourhood of 25,000 for Dublin v Donegal Division One clash

A long-standing fixture on RTÉ’s rugby panel alongside host Tom McGurk and fellow panellist Brent Pope, George Hook is bowing out (...)

 Conor Ridge (left) of Horizon Sports Management leaving the Four Courts after reaching an agreement with golfer Rory McIlroy’s legal team  on February 4th, 2015. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Deal thought to consist of fees owing, future earnings now lost and general damages

Rory McIlroy and Conor Ridge of Horizon Sports, who have settled their High Course case. Photograph: Getty

Hugs all round as golfer and Horizon Sports reach a settlement

Golfer Rory McIlroy arrives at the High Court in Dublin on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Collins.

If the case is taking a toll, the world’s top golfer is displaying little sign of it

Ireland’s players singing ‘Ireland’s Call’. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Liked by some, loathed by others, Phil Coulter’s song was the answer to enduring problem

Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh in McKenna Cup action recently. The veteran is named at full forward to face Monaghan at Healy Park. Photograph: Inpho

Division One Dublin holders kick off campaign against Cork who have just three home

Donal Óg Cusack: For Coming Out Of The Curve, the documentary he has made for RTÉ, he spent a year travelling to different parts of the world to feel his way around what it is to be gay. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Documentary to air on RTÉ tonight shows sportsman reflecting on what it is to be gay

Cork’s Jennifer O’Leary celebrates scoring their first goal of the All-Ireland final win against Kilkenny. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The eight-time All Star ends on a high after the Rebels’ latest All-Ireland success

Cork hurling manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy takes chance to survey options against UL at Cork IT. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

College sides need to pick up game ahead of Sigerson Cup

Former Dublin captain Bryan Cullen has retired from intercounty football. Photograph: Cathal Noonan / Inpho

All-Ireland winning captain Cullen was 12 years with Dubs, Hayes is Tribesmen’s all-time leading championship goalscorer

 Zoe Mangan, Padraic Hartigan and Ross Fitzgerald from Salesian Secondary College, Limerick with their project The Silent Whistle a wearable device to help sports players with hearing impairments acknowledge the whistle of a referee during a match or training at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2015. Photograph: Alan Betson

From seaweed golf tees to boots for hurling the Young Scientists Exhibition is a vision of the future

Wexford senior football manager David Power. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

County’s players have had to duck for cover under a media onslaught for far too long

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher: “There’s an element of freshness to it and it’s very much into the unknown for some of them. So you get them in and you see if they can make the step up.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

New manager ready to run the rule over new talent while welcoming old stalwarts back

  Kilkenny’s Eoin Larkin and Paddy Stapleton of Tipperary collide in the drawn All-Ireland hurling final on September 7th at Croke Park.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne / Inpho

Malachy Clerkin on the All-Ireland hurling final that had everything but a winner

The Ireland team faced up to the New Zealand haka and beat their vaunted opponents in last summer’s Rugby World Cup pool match in Paris. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As part of The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman of the Year awards we look at the current state of Irish women’s sport(...)

2014 TG4 All Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 28/9/2014Dublin vs Cork Cork Manager Eamon Ryan celebrates with his team after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

How a county who had never won a senior trophy turned into the best team in Irish sport

 Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle has died. He was 68. Photo Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tireless worker for Dublin oversaw a period of great success for the county

Dublin’s Kevin McManamon and Odhrán Mác Niallais of Donegal at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan / Inpho

Malachy Clerkin on a raid for the ages, Jim McGuinness’s best ever trick

GAA, soccer and rugby followers have lots of choice this Christmas with stories that range from the personal to the universal

St. Vincent’s forward Diarmuid Connolly after the All-Ireland club final win ver Castlebar Mitchells’s at Croke Park in March 2014. Photograph: Cathal Noonan / Inpho

The distance between the best of the best and the great unwashed rest can be an ocean

Henry Shefflin: the Ballyhale Shamrocks player has been awarded Hurler of the Year three times throughout his career.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Kilcormac/Killoughey won’t be cowed by Ballyhale’s stars but it won’t be enough

James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick: will be helping Ballyhale Shamrocks’ bid to claim another title when they face Offaly champions Kilcormac-Killoughey

Ballyhale star has no regrets about decision to end his intercounty career with Kilkenny at just 26

Cork’s Rhona Ní Bhuachalla (left) and Val  Mulcahy (13) and team-mates celebrate   after their remarkable win over Dublin in the 2014 TG4 All Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne / Inpho

‘The most striking thing about it was the complete absence of panic in the Cork side’

Austin Stacks manager Stephen Stack celebrates with Kieran Donaghy after the final whistle in the Munster club final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Austin Stacks star now has Munster club success to add to All-Ireland medal in 2014

 Ben Foster of West Brom: You would think the most cash-rich league in the world could source 20 goalkeepers who can kick the ball with both feet. But apparently not. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Despite the massive money in the game now, maybe there are aren’t enough good players to go around

Double Paralympic gold medalist Mark Rohan talking to locals in Zambia during his trip there with Alan Kerins’s Discovery charity.

Paralympic champion gained fresh perspective on life and career on Zambia charity trip

Austin Stacks’ Mikey Collins in action against Diarmuid Wall of The Nire during the AIB Munster Club Senior Football Championship Final at Páirc Ui Chaoimh. Photograph:   Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Fast start had Waterford side six points ahead after eight minutes at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

FAI chief exeutive John Delaney

Constant drip-drip of headlines reflects poorly on the football association

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt actually said: “I’m just an interested observer who puts a few subs on.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Beating Australia and South Africa may not be enough when perfection is all that will do

St Vincent’s Tomás Quinn: scored two goals, including a late penalty to help his side defeat Garrycastle. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Late Tomás Quinn penalty finally ends Westmeath champions’ comeback

Philly McMahon: “There are little things in everybody’s body that they won’t understand unless they change their diet and do little experiments.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Player saw gap in market to create an ‘affordable’ healthy food delivery service

Robbie Brady celebrates scoring Ireland’s fourth goal and his second  with Hull City clubmate David Meyler (left). Photograph: Donall Farmer / Inpho

O’Neill points to positives in second half and Robbie Brady’s attacking performance

USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann smiles during the press conference at the Aviva Stadium where his side face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly. Photograph: Inpho.

Head coach wants to take his USA side onwards and upwards

Convicted rapist Ched Evans is training with Sheffield United having been released from prison. Photograph:  Jon Buckle/PA Wire.

To be dispassionate about issue it is to pretend that rape is just like any other crime

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill as police are investigating abusive tweets about the Olympic gold medallist after she said Sheffield United should not re-sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.  Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Reluctance to wash their hands of Evans feeds into something far more insidious. The notion is allowed to endure that maybe he was(...)

Ireland prop forward Dave Kilcoyne tries to burst through the Georgia defence in yesterday’s Test match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan sheridan/Inpho

Prop fights physical Georgians on front line before try opens floodgates for home side

Clontibret’s Conor McManus has won five Monaghan senior football championship medals. Photograph:Inpho.

Monaghan’s All Star forward could play three games on three continents in 14 days

 Kieran Donaghy of Austin Stacks: hoping for another fruitful outing against a Cork team.

Club championships and county finals

Roy Keane  arrives ahead of this morning’s training session in Malahide. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Ireland’s assistant manager refuses to be drawn on hotel incident at Ireland training session

 Derval O’Rourke celebrates winning  silver in the women’s 100m hurdles final at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. Since her retirement she has turned her focus to food. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The former hurdler on why athletes who take up cooking come up with healthy and tasty recipes

James McCarthy: chose to play for the Republic of Ireland instead of his native Scotland. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

But Gordon Strachan is right – this is pantomime booing – lots of noise but nothing more

Ger Cunningham: “A lot of those Dublin guys have All-Ireland medals in football. It would be great to see them get All-Ireland medals in hurling.” Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘I think it’s a great compliment that Dublin have put the next three years into my hands’

Seanie Johnston in action for Kildare. “I can’t worry about what people think. I did for a long time and eventually I came to the conclusion that you can’t control what people are thinking or saying.” Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Classy forward just glad to be involved in his club’s push for provincial glory

New Dublin hurling manager Ger Cunningham pictured at Parnell Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former Cork goalkeeper wants to get best team possible on the pitch

 Loughmore-Castleiney’s Tomas McGrath with Pádraic Maher of Thurles Sarsfields during the Tipperary SHC final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Denis Maher and Stephen Cahill outstanding as Loughmore-Castleiney are blown away

Clontibret will look to their stand-out forward Dessi Mone for inspiration. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Cushendall’s stout defence could prove to be the difference in Ulster hurling final

Conor Mortimer: His new book is entitled One Sunday: A Day In The Life Of The Mayo Football Team. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

‘I don’t feel good about the finals. It’s a bit of a stain on the whole thing’ he reveals in his new book

Pádraig Harrington outside the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin at the launch of ‘An Evening With Padraig Harrington’ in aid of ISPCC and The Pádraig Harrington Charitable Foundation. The event takes place at the Gaiety on Tuesday, January 20th. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Major winner still confident he retains the ability to contend for future titles

Former Wexford goalkeeper Damien Fitzhenry:  had previously been doing some occasional coaching with the Wexford goalkeepers. Photograph: Inpho

All-Ireland-winning goalkeeper will replace Tomás Codd as a selector under Liam Dunne

Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea with Michael Ryan (right).  Ryan has been a selector now under both O’Shea and Liam Sheedy. Photograph: James Crombie/inpho

Eamon O’Shea’s right-hand man to be groomed as successor for 2016 and beyond

Austin Stacks’ William Kirby in action against Colm Cooper of Dr Crokes. “Your career is short enough and I’m finding it hard to walk away.” Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/inpho

Former Kingdom star, now nearly 40, hoping to win a first Kerry county medal when Austin Stacks take on Mid Kerry

 Cathal McInerney is one of Cratloe’s established county players as they prepare to face Waterford champions Ballygunner. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerry club final up for grabs as the provincial championships begin

John Miskella: former Cork All-Ireland winner and All Star has helped guide his club to their first Cork senior football final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

One of Cork’s oldest clubs face Carbery Rangers in first senior football final

St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh’s Bernard Brogan: will bid  to earn a county final place with his club when they face St Jude’s. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin and Seán Moran look ahead to the weekend’s GAA action

Kieran Joyce and Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher tussle for possession in the crunch half-back area during yesterday’s final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Cats first and last job all day was to flock bodies to that line of the pitch, win the war and govern the peace . . . and that’s w(...)

Dublin’s Denise Masterson pursues Eimear Scally of Cork in the league division one final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

This final will be her last time in blue and she is determined to go out on a winning note

Tipperary’s Noel McGrath. “He’s probably the most elusive player currently playing the game. You see him on the ball at wing-forward and in the very next play, he seems to be in full-forward again.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The 2009 Young Hurler of the Year has matured into the complete player for Tipperary

Dublin manager Jim Gavin shakes hands with Donegal’s Neil Gallagher after the All-Ireland semi-final defeat. Photograph: Inpho

Coach accepts attacking style sometimes leaves side vulnerable

Dublin football manager Jim Gavin has taken responsibility for his side’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Donegal. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Manager admits balance between attack and defence wasn’t right but vows to stay on front foot

It was Donaghy’s sixth All Ireland final. It was his fourth win. It was his fourth goal. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

A game that felt like it was holding its breath for the first 20 minutes of the second half turned on his goal in the 52nd minute (...)

Kieran Donaghy celebrates scoring a goal during Kerry’s victory over Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Thoroughly likeable off the pitch, Kerry’s full-forward is an incessant trash-talker on it

 Denis O’Brien: ‘The craic (in soccer) is just great. The people you meet. The slagging is lightning. The same kind of fun as rugby but different.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Something doesn’t feel right about billionaire chipping in to bring Johnny Sexton home

 Oliver Brady celebrating his third place with Baron de Feypo in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/Irish Times

Flamboyant Monaghan man fought cancer and heart disease for over a decade

Jack O’Connor: sees Kerry as being in the perfect position in the build-up to Sunday’s All-Ireland final against Donegal. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

‘It will be hard for Donegal to replicate’ intensity of Dublin performance

 Former Mayo manager James Horan has been critical of the county boardfor not backing his team in the week between the drawn All Ireland semi-final against Kerry and its replay. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former manager feels they didn’t back team in week between the drawn semi-final and replay

Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan tussles with goalkeeper Eoin Murphy and Joey Holden of Kilkenny during yesterday’s All-Ireland final draw at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Richie Hogan the best of a brilliant lot with Callanan not too far behind

Eamon O’Shea: “I know what has happened here. I know I’ve worked with a really good group. That’s what matters to me.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Despite playing for Tipp and Dublin for seven seasons, he never won a championship game

Tipperary’s Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher: “People will say there is a rivalry there – maybe there is. Maybe it heightens a little bit, they bring the best out of us and we bring the best out of them as well.” Photo: Cathal Noonan

Army man will to lead the charge from centre-forward as Premier County lock horns again with their great rivals

Stuart Wilson, pitch manager at Croke Park. “For football and hurling, you don’t want the pitch as firm as you would for American football.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Stuart Wilson and team work flat out to ensure pitch is in perfect shape for All-Ireland final

Jim O’Brien at work in his Tipperary workshop on hurleys that will be used by some of the Tipperary players in the All-Ireland final. Photo: Bryan O’Brien

Hurley makers Jim O’Brien (Tipperary) and Brian Dowling (Kilkenny) maintain a noble tradition

Dublin’s Kevin McManamon attempts to block a shot from Donegal’s  Odhrán Mac Niallais. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘We were fully prepared and our focus was always on Donegal and not beyond it,’ adds disappointed Dublin boss

Colm McFadden celebrates scoring Donegal’s  third goal in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Champions of 2012 stun favourites to book final date against Kerry

Paddy Andrews and Bernard Brogan following Dublin’s victory over Monaghan in the quarter-final at Croke Park. “There are so many guys there to take your place. . . I’d say it’s a very good thing because it makes the team perform better.” Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Sometimes he’s confined to a bit-part role but St Brigid’s man will contribute in any way he can to Dublin’s cause

While impressed by Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final opponents Donegal, Dublin manager Jim Gavin (right) notes: “Most of our work over the past two weeks has been on how we’re going to play our game”. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘Each county has their own culture – there is no right or wrong way to set up a team’

 Paddy Andrews, manager Jim Gavin and Phil McMahon. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ger Brennan’s ankle injury suffers minor setback but he hasn’t played for the Dubs since last year’s final

 Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan celebrates scoring his side’s opening goal against Cork in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final on August 17th last in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Squad came through last weekend’s round of club championship matches unscathed

Kerry’s Kieran O’Leary scores the equalising point despite the efforts of Mayo’s Colm Boyle at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Mayo boss James Horan objects but replay looks set for Gaelic Grounds

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