Leicester’s Jamie Vardy of whom Paul Merson said: “If I was on ’oliday and I was reading a Ladybird book and that was the story, you’d put the book down Jeff, you’d put the book down.”  Photo:  Nigel French/PA Wire.

Succession of sporting wins for Ireland is threatening our famed national humility

Lisa Fallon works as football analyst for Cork City and Northern Ireland

New e-book by Inpho Sports Photography - ‘Irish Women In Sports 2000-2015’

 Ireland manager Martin O’Neill  celebrates with two-goal hero Jon Walters.   Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Martin and Roy man-hugging, half the stadium weeping, Dunphy too.

Ireland International Chloe Watkins was among the scorers for Hermes. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Unbeaten Ulster Elks stay on leaders’ shoulder after victory over Ards

Robbie Brady celebrates after scoring.

All-seeing super powers was night’s major conundrum

Hermes put their unbeaten record on the line against high-flying Railway Union. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Leaders aiming to prolong their perfect start in the EY Hockey League at Park Avenue

Republic of Ireland captain and leading scorer Robbie Keane during a press conference at the FAI National Training Centre, Abbotstown, Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Veteran LA Galaxy striker confident Martin O’Neill’s team have what it takes to advance

Noelle Lenihan was second on her debut at World Championships. Photograph by Francois Nel/Getty Images.

Silver medalist in Discus at Paralymic Athletics World Championships sets Cork girl apart

The TV3 presentation team that covered the 2015 Ruby World Cup. We can expect the see some of the same faces during the 2018 Six Nations Championship.  Photograph: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile.

Mary Hannigan: Advertising breaks set to enrage purists who yearn for old ways of RTÉ

Richard Keogh: “The change of manager has helped me, he has shown a lot of faith in me and I feel like I’ve taken the opportunities he has given me.” Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Derby defender says victory over Germany has bred confidence in Republic of Ireland panel

Daryl Murphy with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew: he may make his fourth start of the qualifying campaign when Ireland take on Bosnia on Friday night. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ipswich striker now keen to claim first goal for Ireland if called upon by Martin O’Neill

Anna O’Flanagan: scored hat-trick for Hermes in 8-1 defeat of  Greenfields. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster Elks and Railway Union both drop points, while Pegasus lose again

Wexford Youths celebrate winning the FAI Cup for the first time after a  penalty shoot-out against Shelbourne at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Despite the weather, nothing was going to rain on Wexford side’s parade, even Cork City players warming up during their penalty sh(...)

Ulster  Elks’  Gemma Frazer: made her senior international debut for Ireland against Scotland: Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Champions Pegasus in danger of falling well off the pace as they face Cork Harlequins

New Zealand’s fullback Ben Smith  passes to his captain Richie McCaw during World Cup final against Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

World Cup final’s dramatic second half even had heretics rejoicing

GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 21/9/2014Donegal vs KerryDonegal’s manager Jim McGuinnessMandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Mary Hannigan talks to the former Donegal manager about the highs and the lows

Elena Tice: the 17-year-old from Loreto, a cricket international at 13, has been included in Ireland’s hockey squad.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Loreto youngster and Ulster Elks’ Gemma Frazer in squad for Scotland series

Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan dejected after losing his UFC fight against  Louis Smolka. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Paddy Holohan’s pick-me up after UFC pummelling? A nice cup of tea . . .

Emma Gray: won 118 caps for Ireland in an illustrious career.

Goalkeeper who won 118 caps will continue to play for her club Hermes

Cork’s Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley: have won ten All-Ireland football medals and six All-Ireland camogie medals each. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

An unparalleled record of achievement, their longevity is as startling as their success.

Republic of Ireland’s Richard Keogh challenges Poland’s Robert Lewandowski for the ball during the European Championship Qualifying match at the National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Tony Marshall/PA Wire

Ireland’s players are disappointed but staying optimistic about going to France

Republic of Ireland Fans in Warsaw Ahead of the Euro 2016 Qualifier against  Poland. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s RWC and Euro 2016 clashes

Ireland’s Shane Long celebrates with Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan at the end of the game. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Liamo: ‘For me, this is the greatest result for Ireland since 2001. Quite incredible’

Roy Keane advises Alex Pearce at the Republic of Ireland squad training session at Abbotstown ahead of the key Germany fixture. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Heroism should not be in short supply for Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Germany

 Brendan Rodgers looks dejected during his final game as Liverpool manager. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Carragher and Souness left to analyse decline and fall of another Liverpool manager

Anna O’Flanagan scored twice for Hermes against Ards in the Ey Hockey League at Booterstown on Saturday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Second-half onslaught puts Ards to the sword at Booterstown

Gráinne McElwain: the TG4 woman gives it her best, year in, year out, her efforts bordering on the heroic, but she rarely gets anywhere. Photograph: Bryan Brophy/1IMAGE

TG4’s Gráinne McElwain thwarted in annual attempt to overcome Cork side’s modesty

Briege Corkery: Cork dual star can make history with a win over Dublin in final at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Eamonn Ryan's side are seeking their 10th All-Ireland football title in 11 years

Dublin’s Amy Connolly: “To have the chance to actually play in Croke Park, which I’ve never done. It’s what you dream of as a kid.” Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Busy young mother relishing the chance to face Cork in the All-Ireland final

Cork’s Briege Corkery : “People do ask if we’re not sick of winning. God, you never get sick of that winning feeling. Ever”. Photograph: INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Briege Corkery knows she is lucky to have won so much with team-mate Buckley

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton trotted up and down the pitch “like the slow boat to China”, according to Martin Carney. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Neutrals were having a hard time deciding who not to support as Dublin bring Sam home

Fireworks light up the sky during the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

As they purred at the thought of it on TV3, it was all terribly serious over on UTV

Cork captain Ashling Thompson lifts the O’Duffy Cup in Croke Park after Cork’s victory in the All-Ireland camogie final against Galway. Photograph: Eric Luke

Cork win 26th All-Ireland title with devotion of players obvious to see

Gemma O’Connor gets away from Ursula Jacob in the All-Ireland camogie semi-final between Cork and Wexford at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Gemma O’Connor seeking seventh winners’ medal but wants more support from GAA

Jenny Egan endured more frustration when she was just two seconds off a medal at the World Sprint Championships in Milan, only 11 seconds separating the top six. Photograph:  Inpho

The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman Award for August

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly during the pre-match parade Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Pundits left with little to bemoan after Croke Park spectacle

 Kim Flood (left) in action for Dublin. Flood is a big admirer of Armagh, especially their star midfielder Caroline O’Hanlon. Photograph: Inpho

Women’s All-Ireland football semi-final – Dublin v Armagh, Parnell Park, Saturday, 2pm

Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins gold in the Men’s 100 metres final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Photograph: Getty Images.

Soul of athletics saved, Tiger briefly burns bright and Kerry stand ground

Donegal’s captain Aoife McDonnell after defeating Waterford in the 2010 All-Ireland Intermediate final at Croke Park. McDonnell has returned to the squad after management changes. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

The devotion to the county by returning emigrants has been enriching

Sarah Byrne excelled for Ireland in basketball at the Special Olympics this year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman Award for July

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.

No rushing in St Petersburg as battle lines are drawn for advance on World Cup 2018

 Zach Johnson smiles as he poses  with the Claret Jug  after winning the   British Open at the Old Course  at St Andrews. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Peter Alliss in his element as nation suffers dose of Claretjugigis

Padraig Harrington tees off on the 11th hole during the third round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

It was hard to choose the fishing when such a smorgasbord of sport was on offer

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates beating Switzerland’s Roger Federer in the men’s singles final at Wimbledon. Photograph: EPA.

As the drama at Wimbledon unfolded former finalist puts on his best display

Boxer Katie Taylor when arriving back at Dublin Airport after she won gold at the 2015 European Games, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, last month. Photograph: PA.

World champion not willing to rest on her laurels after European Games triumph

Peter Caruth celebrates scoring Ireland’s second goal in the World Hockey League fifth-place playoff, in Antwerp, Belgium. Photograph: Koen Suyk/Inpho

There weren’t enough buckets this week to hold all the sporting tears

 Jim McGuinness has had a different view of his native Donegal this summer. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Irish punch above their weight, while the English keep a clean sheet

David O’Leary celebrates scoring the winning penalty against Romania on June 25th, 1990. Photograph: Allsport UK/Allsport

On this day 25 years ago David O’Leary sent Ireland into the World Cup quarter-finals. Mary Hannigan imagines what went through th(...)

Branden Grace watches his tee shot on the 10th hole as a structure fire burns outside of the golf course during the third round of the US Open at Chambers Bay. Photo: Matt York/AP

Kilkenny and Tipp progress serenely while frustrated golfers bite their lip

 Leona Maguire’s form in the US has been so exceptional she has reached the top of the world amateur rankings after three tournament wins in her first season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Madeleine Perry signs off in fitting style while Leona Maguire goes from strength to strength

England fans sing their national anthem before the friendly match with the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

‘When we said we wanted Ireland-England to pass off without incident, I think someone misunderstood’

The anti-Blatter? Soon after UEFA president Michel Platini  voted for Qatar to host the World Cup,  his  son was appointed  chief executive of a Qatar-owned sports company. Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

Whiff of hypocrisy never far off as Virtuous Voices of Football finally turn on Sepp Blatter

 Bill O’Herlihy with John Giles (left) and Eamon Dunphy:  Some treat sport too seriously, others not seriously enough, because they don’t get the impact it can have on people’s lives – O’Herlihy got the balance just right. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Time in his company was enriching, he was a walking, talking cure for cynicism

Newcastle United caretaker manager John Carver celebrates after Newcastle United’s Argentinian midfielder Jonas Gutierrez scores during their Premier League match against West Ham United at St James Park. Photograph: AFP

Swings and roundabouts as West Ham fans point to exit for Allardyce and emotional Kane sheds tears . . . after Spurs clinch Europa(...)

The RTE panel of Colm O’Rourke, Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane were back this weekend. Photo: Inpho

Panel’s pessimism about new season dispersed by Donegal and Tyrone

 Katie Walsh  after winning the Irish Grand National Steeplechase on board the 20-1 shot Thunder And Roses, trained by Sandra Hughes, at Fairyhouse, Co. Meath. Photograph: Inpho

Amateur jockey became just the third woman to win the Irish Grand National

Floyd Mayweather jnr, in action here against Manny Pacquiao, picked up $180 million for his win. Photograph: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

The yellow had been sunk without a trace, the reds were all over the place and the blue was holding its position quite steadily . (...)

Mayweather versus Pacquiao was unavoidable be it outside Operation Princess HQ or with Chris Eubank on Clare Balding’s couch. Photograph: Esther Lin/EPA

Babies and boxing hog the screen, even on Clare Balding’s hyperbole hour

Tony McCoy with Jonjo O’Neill at Sandown racecourse. “We’ll never see the likes of him again,” said O’Neill. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

There’ll be plenty of dinners now the greatest jockey of them all

Madeline Perry of Ireland won the Irish Open.  Photo: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

The 38-year-old won the Irish Open at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club

 Madeline Perry  claimed her sixth Irish Open squash title at Fitzwilliam on Saturday in her final game on the pro circuit. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Irish star beats Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes in final professional tournament

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs with the Six  Nations trophy. Briggs is the March Sportswoman of the Month,  an easy choice both for her own performances and as captain and representative of the 2015 Six Nations champions. Photograph: Inpho

Player chosen both for her own performances and as captain of the 2015 Six Nations champions

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus joined Ewen Murray in the Sky commentary box. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Richie Benaud knew the value of being economical with his words

Liam Brady is reunited with his former manager and stereo repair man Giovanni Trapattoni. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Zamora’s goal is blown out of the water and Liam Brady throws Roy Keane in the bin

Lukasz Fabianski saves a header from Robbie Keane. Photograph: Ryan Byrne

Early optimism takes a battering before Long shot gets the panel dancing

Robbie Brady and Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane at Friday’s training session at Gannon Park in Malahide ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier  against Poland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Hull player would ‘give it 110 per cent’ if asked to play left back

Stephen Quinn has played in three of Ireland’s four European qualifiers so far. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Hull midfielder not taking place for granted after years in the international wilderness

 Megan Frazer and her Ireland team-mates celebrate winning  the World League Two final at UCD last week. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Leinster champions meet underdogs Ulster Elks in novel final clash

James McClean says will be happy to play anywhere for Martin O’Neill. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Winger hungry for victory at Aviva Stadium before he returns to relegation battle

Harry Arter training with the Republic of Ireland squad at Gannon Park, Malahide. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The Bournemouth midfielder is relishing his call-up to the full Republic of Ireland squad

The first half was lively. The second? Well, usually some of us would have enjoyed yesterday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final a bit more than your average rugby half, but, okay, yes, it was a bit good. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wales, stampeding England and Yoann Huget had us gnawing at our elbows

Jared Payne of Ireland is tackled by Taulupe Faletau of Wales during the  Six Nations match at the  Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Our Grand Slam dreams may be dead but all’s not lost if we can beat Scotland

The Irish women’s hockey team begins its qualification campaign for the Rio Olympic Games. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ukraine the opening opponents in World League at Belfield

Just five years after taking up the game Sophie Spence was a member of Ireland’s Grand-Slam winning team. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Lock has been the cornerstone of Ireland’s phase play in this year’s Six Nations

John Inverdale: “This is looking at it through rose-c**ted … eh, eh…. rose-rose-tinted glasses from the past … I, I, I apologise there for a slip of the tongue….. but Lizzie your love of the sport just shines through.”

BBC man produces mother of all bloopers

Ireland’s John Mooney: endless reruns of his foot near Pepsi sign a godsend for company. Photo:  Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

It’s not cricket when a soft drinks company gets so much free coverage

‘Kool and the Gang’: Keith Wood was full of praise for Mike Ross during Ireland’s Six Nations defeat of England at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Tom McGurk and George Hook, on the home stretch, were happy not to pull any punches

 Niamh Small’s goal secured Loreto’s 3-1 win against Ards in the Irish Hockey League pool B. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Hermes take Leinster title with victory over Loreto as UCD pay price for ineligible player

UCD have work cut out on both fronts to retains titles

Clare players go through a warm up drill before the game against Cork. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork v Clare in Pairc Ui Rinn, quick rasher sandwich, then off to Dunedin for the cricket

Gillian Pinder is one of five UCD players in Darren Smith’s Ireland squad. Photograph: Inpho

World Hockey League II in Dublin is the first step in Olympic qualification process

Gráinne Dwyer of Team Montenotte Hotel in action in the National Cup final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Team Montenotte Glanmire star was MVP in National Cup final

The Gray brothers, Richie and Jonny, singing ‘Flower of Scotland’ before the match against Wales. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Pundit up in arms over suggestion that anyone on French team is fat

 Caitríona  McGilp  was on target in Hermes’ 3-1  victory over Trinity. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

UCD and Railway Union remain in the hunt for first division crown

Pegasus’s Grace Irwin in action against Andrea Desneaux of Ulster Elks during the recent Irish Hockey League clash. Photo: Rowland White/Inpho

Pembroke meet Railway Union in crucial top of the table clash

Ireland’s win  in Italy puts the achievements of Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the ha’penny place.  Photograph: Ryan ByrneINPHO

Mandela, Gandhi and Rory Best the stars of RTÉ’s Six Nations ‘Generation Game’

After a 10-week break the Irish Hockey League returns tomorrow with the penultimate round of pool matches. Photograph: Inpho

Hermes, Pegasus, Loreto and UCD in top positions for second-last round of pool matches

Jeamie Deacon in action for Blackrock.

Mary Hannigan talks to the former UCD star and Irish hockey international about her belated switch to rugby and call-up to Tom Tie(...)

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the  Australian Open in Melbourne. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Champion’s smile is getting bigger too – please take note, Mr Moody Murray

The  top five teams in the Leinster first division scored 22 goals without reply against the bottom five. Photgraph: Ryan Byrne /Inpho

Railway Union, UCD, Loreto and Pembroke also secure wins without conceding goals

Hermes play bottom club North Kildare twice before end of season. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Second-placed Railway three points behind with game in hand

Andy Murray: took grilling over his forthcoming wedding in good spirits.  Photograph:  Issei Kato/Reuters

Meanwhile, rugby pundit O’Driscoll may have gained a few grey hairs

Leinster league leaders should prove too strong for Belfast Harlequins

Jockey Brian Hughes celebrates onboard Katie T after winning the BoyleSports Hurdle. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Foxrock sent Walsh into the clouds as Henry brought va-va-voom to Sky

Hermes haven’t tasted defeat since their first their first league game of the season and  they now  look to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games when they take on Old Alexandra at Milltown. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Second-placed Railway Union are host to bottom of league club North Kildare

Ann Marie McGlynn (left) with the bronze medal-winning Ireland team at the European Cross Country Championships. Photograph: Inpho.

Ireland’s cross country team captain had retired over illness of baby son

‘Stephanie got 1.1 million votes, which meant at least 3.5 million failed to get to the polls’

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