Sean Cavanagh  lifts the cup after Tyrone win the Ulster championship. Of the four provincial champions, only Tyrone had  to play a Division One team along the way. Photograph: INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

None of the four provincial football championship winners have really been tested

Kevin Feely:  has been the most eye-catching centrefielder in the country this season. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kildare centrefielder can dispute any of the three black cards he has received this season

The construction at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last year – the renovated stadium will open this weekend. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

GAA claim demand justifies the decision to stage matches as stand-alone fixtures

 Kevin McManamon with his seven-month-old  nephew Liam after Dublin won their seventh straight Leinster football title at Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dubs have now lost just one match in the province since 2004

Dublin’s Eric Lowndes takes possession under pressure from Kildare’s  Paddy Brophy. Photograph: Inpho/Donall Farmer

Manager pays tribute to his ‘selfless’ captain Stephen Cluxton

 Harry Edwards: teaches sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. He also works to place minorities into the front offices of professional football teams. Photograph: by Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Ex-Black Panther turned sociologist addressed GAA Summer School on Sport and Politics

Armagh’s Jamie Clarke attempts to pass Tipperary’s  Alan Campbell and Josh Keane. Photograph: Presseye/Philip Magowan

All-Ireland qualifier previews: round 3B

Dublin’s Brian Fenton: he will be well tested by the Kildare pairing. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Kildare looked well-conditioned against Meath, and used their athleticism to dominate

Tyrone’s Darren McCurry and manager Mickey Harte celebrate their semifinal win. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Down’s attacking verve has gained many fans but Tyrone will have their number

Former player and manager James McCartan remembers the days against Tyrone

Even before the Sky deal, the number of live broadcasts was reduced by 10 because of the impact they were having on attendances at local club fixtures.  Photographer: Simon Bellis/Bloomberg

Broadcasting rights is seen as an instrument by the GAA rather than an end

Cork’s Alan Cadogan scores the opening goal in Thurles. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kieran Kingston’s team race to victory in Thurles, for 52nd Munster championship

Roscommon’s Ciarán Murtagh was a one-man resistance in last year’s Connacht senior final defeat to Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Donegal, Meath and Monaghan should progress from pick of the All-Ireland qualifiers

Cork  forward Conor Lehane: county has the pace to cope with Clare’s movement. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Young Waterford side may struggle to wear down Kilkenny’s sturdy defence

Seánie McGrath: “The Cork public are realistic that it is an outside bet they will win the All-Ireland.” Photograph: Inpho

The current Cork team has evoked comparisons with the former selector’s successful side of 1999

Dublin manager Jim Gavin’s comments on the unfairness of the broadcast coverage on Diarmuid Connolly revived the matter just after the player and county appeared content to accept the 12-week suspension – and in the process started a spat in the Sunday Game. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Suspensions to Diarmuid Connolly and Davy Fitzgerald haven't been fully enforced

Cork’s  Páirc Uí Chaoimh: stadium  has already had to defer its official opening and it’s unknown whether it will  host the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals in two weeks’ time

Keys to be handed over on Friday but CCCC will meet next week for final decision

Dublin CEO John Costello expressed his content over the selected venue for the All Ireland qualifier. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ger Cunningham’s side to play Tipperary in Thurles rather than at a neutral venue

Galway’s Joe Canning in action during the Leinster Hurling Final against Wexford at Croke Park. Photograph:   Donall Farmer/Inpho

Westerners have used league and Leinster to make themselves front runners for the first time since 1990

 Liam Ryan breaks Galway’s Niall Burke’s hurley during Sunday’s match in Croke Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Although Wexford competed with gusto, their range of options was never sufficient

Jim Gavin:  refused  to do one-on-one interviews in protest at broadcasters’ coverage of the Diarmuid Connolly affair. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Former Westmeath All Star says there are ‘no agendas’ among broadcasters

Lee Chin: “We knew they [Galway] were going to be a team to beat if we wanted to get a Leinster title and it just so happens that we have them in a Leinster final.”

Wexford talisman excited by a novel Leinster final date against impressive Galway

Jim Gavin: took exception to Pat Spillane’s comments about Dermot Connolly on The Sunday Game. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Pundit merely addressed the incident, the rule book provision and its attendant ban

Brave decision saw Tom Cribbin’s team leave themselves too open and ship record defeat

Conor McManus has looked sharp and in good fettle with two goals to his name already

The best Down can hope for is a more respectable defeat than in Clones 12 months ago

Having stretched Monaghan, Cavan can go one better against Offaly.

Seán Moran looks ahead to round 1B of the football qualifiers and Carlow’s meeting with Laois in the hurling

  Jim Gavin may choose to partner James McCarthy with Brian Fenton in midfield. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

They have yet to hit their stride but Jim Gavin’s side are 1/100 favourites for a reason

Joe Sheridan and Anthony Moyles of Meath contest a high ball with Dublin’s Niall Corkery during the Leinster SFC semi-final of 2010. It is the only loss Dublin have suffered in Leinster since 2004. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dubs haven’t lost for 19 games in Leinster since Meath put five goals past them

Seán Óg Ó hAilpín bringing the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to Cork. “I went from Seán Óg – ‘oh, isn’t the mother from somewhere exotic?’ – to Seán Óg ‘oh yeah, he lives in Park Dale’ and I became one of the community. That’s what the GAA did for us.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Seán Moran: GAA Summer School on ‘Sport and Politics’ promises to be fascinating

Cork’s Mark Coleman scores a sideline cut against Waterford. He has made a huge impression in his first season as a senior intercounty player. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former All-Ireland-winning captain wary of a Clare side assisted by Donal Óg Cusack

Wexford’s Jack O’Connor celebrates after the county’s Leinster semi-final  victory over Kilkenny at Wexford Park.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Henry Shefflin says promotional opportunity lost by deferring the draw for a week

Michael Fennelly: has battled serious injury problems in recent years. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Inflamed Achilles keeping the powerful midfielder sidelined

Cork fans celebrate a point during Sunday’s win over Waterford. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

There’s been a provincial shake-up, with new patterns emerging and old crises dying out

Cork’s Michael Cahalane and Colm Spillane with Waterford’s Tommy Ryan during the Munster senior hurling semi-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Comprehensive win sets up first Munster final with Clare since 1999

Central Council also decides hurling quarter-finals to take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Austin Gleeson: will be expected to prove an influential figure for Waterfrod against Cork at Thurles. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork fret over Lehane and will find scores harder to come by than against Tipperary

Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty stretches away from Conor Hamill of Antrim during the Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final.  Photograph: John McIlwaine/Presseye

Roscommon wary of young Leitrim outfit keen to break fixture’s 17-year losing streak

Leitrim selector John O’Mahony with manager Brendan Guckian. “Losing is not inevitable. They’re entitled to win the odd time as well.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Celebrated manager is a selector and helping current boss Brendan Guckian

Diarmuid Connolly has decided not to appeal his 12-week suspension for pushing an official in Dublin’s win over Carlow. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Statement from Dublin county board says forward has accepted ban and won’t appeal

 Diarmuid Connolly walks down the tunnell at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Any appeal by Diarmuid Connolly will have to be on procedural aspects of the challenge

Diarmuid Connolly has been given a 12-week ban after a hearing on Tuesday  night. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Forward opted for a hearing after being seen pushing linesman during win over Carlow

Dublin’s Philly McMahon: his one-game ban  in respect of the league final  on 9th April  was announced on Twitter after a hearing on 22nd May – more than seven weeks later. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Seán Moran: Lack of transparency does a disservice to an effective structure

Galway manager Kevin Walsh is congratulated by supporters after the match. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘We take the two imposters the same, winning and losing,’ the Galway manager said

Galway’s Damien Comer celebrates after winning a free during the final moments in Salthill. Photograph: Inpho

Connacht champions reinforce superiority over the neighbours as Higgins sees red

Andy Moran: the veteran Mayo forward still has the ability to  pose a threat to Galway’s defence in the Connacht SFC semi-final at Salthill. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Stakes unusually high for June as both sides seek to avoid the taxing qualifier route

Wexford’s Conor McDonald celebrates scoring  a goal in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A quarter-final against Kilkenny at  Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

The meeting of Galway and Mayo tops the bill on Sunday with one other semi-final

 Davy Fitzgerald: led Wexford to a rare away win over  Brian Cody’s Kilkenny in the league quarter-final at Nowlan Park.  Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

Brian Cody will have learnt from the league defeat and be intent on turning the tables

Tom Cribbin: “We’ve changed a lot of lads in the panel in the last few years and developed a lot of young lads.” Photograph: Inpho

Manager says proposed suspension for Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly is “not fair”

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly confronts linesman Ciaran Branagan at the Leinster GAA Senior Football Championship quarter-final against Carlow at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, last Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

CCCC should be allowed to act as a citing authority to ease pressure on referees

 Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly walks away from linesman Ciaran Branagan after he exchanged words during the second half in Portlaoise. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Proposed suspension would see Connolly sidelined for rest of Leinster campaign

Clare’s Patrick O’Connor leads the team during the pre-match parade against Limerick in Thurles. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

For 20 years they’ve under-achieved in their province and it’s about time that changed

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly speaks to linesman Ciaran Branagan at O’Moore Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Player’s fate expected to hinge on whether referee says he’s already adjudicated

 Kildare’s Kevin Feely takes on John O’Loughlin of Laois in Tullamore. Photograph: Inpho

Optimism may have been mild but the arrival of June was surprisingly upbeat

Limerick’s Declan Hannon tries to block Conor McGrath’s strike during the Munster SHC semi-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Shane O’Donnell hits 2-2 as Clare book place in Munster final for first time since 2008

Clare’s Aaron Shanagher and Tom Condon of Limerick in action during Clare’s win last year.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

The Banner and the Treaty hope to kickstart new eras with victory over local rivals

Brendan O’Sullivan:  served a suspension for an inadvertent violation. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Drug testing is necessary in Gaelic games but speculation about players is unfair

Dublin’s Chris Crummey with Gearóid McInerney, Johnny Coen and Joseph Cooney of Galway during the Leinster senior hurling championship quarter-final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Impressive eague winners far too powerful for Ger Cunningham's 14-men in Tullamore

Ger Cunningham:   nearly 20 players have left since he took over as Dublin manager. Photograph:  Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cunningham has presided over period of change but there is little optimism about team's hopes

Joe Canning’s Galway take on Dublin in O’Connnor Park on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ruislip reopens in London, Galway take on Dublin, and a Shannonside derby in Ennis

Galway manager Michael Donoghue says his squad are a “very committed, diligent bunch and really ambitious”. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Manager looking forward to Dublin clash as Tribesmen installed as championship favourites

Conor Counihan: “Championship is championship and you’re hoping that things can turn.”

Reaching a Munster final against Kerry now the Rebel County’s primary target

Cork’s Patrick Horgan fends off the attention of Tipperary’s Padraic Maher during last Sunday’s mathc. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tipp’s inability to retain an All-Ireland since 1965 inevitably comes into renewed focus

Cork manager Kieran Kingston celebrates with his son Shane Kingston after Cork’s win over Tipperary in the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium on Sunday.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Nearly half of the 52 players listed on Sunday have passed through the Cork college

Carlow celebrate after the beating Wexford in the Leinster GAA Senior Football Championship first round at Cullen Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Unexpected victory over Wexford reignites debate over merits of graded championships

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan and Cork manager Kieran Kingston shake hands after the match. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Once again Tipp are struggling with the demands of being champions

Shane Kingston of Cork celebrates scoring a goal against Tipperary in the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork-Tipp rivalry back with a bang in dramatic Munster championship quarter-final

 Kilkenny’s Liam Blanchfield. Photograph: Inpho/Ken Sutton

A look at the 12 counties on the starting line in the race for the Liam MacCarthy

Kevin Heffernan pictured   in 1989. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Exhibition looks at Dublin’s All-Ireland win in 1974 under legendary manager Kevin Heffernan

 Cillian O’Connor and Lee Keegan are getting ready to do it all again. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht: Groundhog day as Rochford’s side ready themselves for another crack at Sam

Dublin are yet to settle on a midfield partner for Brian Fenton. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster: Kildare and Meath will both fancy a crack at Jim Gavin’s All-Ireland champions

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly and Kerry’s Jonathan Lyne do battle in this year’s league final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin’s three-in-a-row bid faces challenge from reinvigorated league-winning Kerry

The  Cork and Tipperary teams parade before the 2006 Munster final which attracted a crowd of 53,076 to Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Latest experiment with competitions will only succeed if GAA public gets behind it

Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh tussles with Tipperary’s Séamus Kennedy during last year’s All-Ireland final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Conor Hayes says new proposals worthwhile but separate club/county windows needed

Carlow’s Darragh Foley: “Our aim is to get over Wexford and see where that takes us, hopefully we get a good run in the championship.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

After a positive league campaign, championship clash with Wexford now looms large

Conor McGraynor: Former Wicklow forward is included in the New York team to host Sligo. Conor McGraynor: Former Wicklow forward is included in the New York team to host Sligo.

Sligo can survive forecast New York ambush

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Aidan Nolan clash with Tipperary’s Jason Forde  at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Tipperary star and manager says referee Diarmuid Kirwan ‘caused problem’

GAA president Aogán  Ó Fearghail with former Tipperary player/manager Michael ‘Babs’ Keating,  and former Cork player/manager Conor Counihan, left, at the “Imreoir to Bainisteoir” exhibition launch at  Croke Park.  Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

President Aogán Ó Fearghail says proposals will be debated by Central Council in June

Gaelic Park in New York where Sligo will open the Connacht championship on Sunday. Photo: Andy Marlin/Inpho

Justin O’Halloran has named the 26 players set to take on Sligo in the championship

Jim Gavin  at the launch of the Leinster football and hurling championships at  Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham, Dublin. Photograph:  Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Dublin manager surprised by negative narrative about his team prior to league final

 Denis O’Callaghan, AIB, GAA president  Aogán Ó Fearghail, Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea, Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty and Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey at the launch of the  All-Ireland football championship. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Graded competition the only way to provide meaningful games for less successful teams

Dublin’s under-21s celebrate their All-Ireland final win over Galway. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

History between joint-third highest winners and competition has often been strained

Dublin joint captain Con O’Callaghan (right) celebrates with Stephen Smith after their victory over Galway in the EirGrid  All-Ireland U21 Football Final at O’Connor Park in Tullamore. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former Dublin star to step away from football ‘and drive on with other stuff that’s important’

Cillian O’Shea and Con O’Callaghan lift the trophy in Tullamore. Photograph: Inpho

Favourites Galway mount late rally but are unable to claw back big deficit

Con O’Callaghan: will pose a big threat to Galway’s defence as Dublin bid for U-21 All-Ireland crown at Tullamore.   Photograph: Philip Magowan/Presseye/Inpho

Dublin can give U21 championship an unexpected finale

Roscommon manager Donie Shine in 1995. Photo: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

In the mid-1990s he took the reins of the county team and in later years was a popular pundit

Philly McMahon in action for Dublin in the Allianz Football League Division One Final against Kerry at  Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Defender acknowledges ‘more aggressive’ approach from league final opponents

Wexford’s Lee Chin  at the launch of the John West Féile competitions in Croke Park  yesterday.  Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Model County men determined to push on despite the ban on manager Davy Fitzgerald

Galway’s Daithí Burke loses his hurl as he battles for possession with Tipperary’s John McGrath in the league final in Limerick. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sean Moran: Competition that creates incentive not to play at top level must be reviewed

Galway’s Jason Flynn and Michael Cahill of Tipperary in action at the Gaelic Grounds: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Kilkenny’s domination has created unreasonable expectations of All-Ireland winners

 Galway’s Jason Flynn scores the first goal of the game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Title decider sees All-Ireland champions suffer worst day under Michael Ryan

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan: defeat will “hurt nobody more than our players, but it’s done, that’s all we can say about it now”. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Galway manager Micheál Donoghue believes championship is what really defines a team

John McGrath: showed his predatory instincts and patience as he plundered 2-2 for Tipperary in the semi-final win over  Wexford  at Nowlan Park.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland champions can pass another searching test set by old rivals Galway

Jason Forde starts for Tipperary as expected after being proposed a two-game ban. Photo: Inpho

Jason Forde starts for Tipperary after being handed a proposed two-game ban

Westmeath hurling manager Michael Ryan. Photograph: Dylan McIlwaine/Presseye/Inpho

Leinster SHC preliminary group: Home advantage to give Laois the edge

Davy Fitzgerald: faces an eight-week ban proposed by the GAA unless the suspension is appealed.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Player facing a two-week ban for the incident involving Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly and Jonathan Lyne of Kerry in action in the Allianz Football League Division One final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Star Dublin forward restates belief sanction ‘is not a part of the game that we need’

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Aidan Nolan clash with Tipperary’s Jason Forde  during the league semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Deliberately flouting rules to enhance your own team’s chances demands firm response

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald confronts Tipperary’s  Jason Forde during the semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Eight-week suspension would see Wexford boss play no role in run up to Kilkenny clash

Michael Ryan: “We set it out really early in the year that we wanted to have a real go at this league and try and win it. That story hasn’t changed.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Counties have met set six times in last 30 years – with the spoils evenly-shared

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Tipperary’s Michael Ryan shake hands after the Allianz Hurling League semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

“It’s just feeding that competition that we crave inside in Thurles, all the time.”

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