Daniel Lynch was rewarded for generous offer of clemency with a ticket for the the Grand Slam decider. Photograph: Frank McNally

Thousands who travelled for Six Nations decider witness true ‘I was there’ occasion

Grand-slam decider: Dylan Hartley and Rory Best, the England and Ireland captains. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Frank McNally: Grand slam would make view from Six Nations summit all the sweeter

Mickey Spillane was a product of the two countries that play in Lansdowne Road today. Photograph: Lou Krasky/AP

The visitors can expect a céad míle fáilte today but next year in Edinburgh, it’ll be a ceud mìle fàilte in return

You would often find Milo  peeping out from under blankets or other womb-substitutes

My neighbours’ cat has started visiting and I can't decide how I feel about it

An Béal Bocht debut:  TG4, on Christmas Day

Like all Flannoraks, I look forward to An Béal Bocht’s imminent TV debut, via TG4, on Christmas Day

Perhaps this hasn’t been a vintage year for words. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Youthquake’ made its debut in these pages only via a report from the London fashion shows of 1967

Shane McGowan:  The Pogues’ Fairytale is now 30 years old. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘The Pogues’ Fairytale is now 30 years old. And on Christmas Day, the son of Tipperary who wrote it will be twice that age’

 British Field Marshal Frederick Roberts. Photograph: Getty Images

As the inscription says, he was for 23 years the ‘charger and faithful friend’ of Lord Roberts of Kandahar, Kipling’s favourite ge(...)

‘Clearly not Flann’: Robert Farren, aka Roibéard Ó Faracháin, the poet.

O’Nolan spent his career pretending to be other people.  And sometimes even the other people were not who they were supposed to be

Novena of poems:   Caitríona Ní Chléirchín   reads “In Memory of My Mother” at the graveside of  Patrick Kavanagh in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, as part of a tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of  his death. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ceremony in Inniskeen celebrates ‘Stony Grey Soil’ poet 50 years after his death

The Republic of Ireland’s James McClean (right) and Daryl Murphy stand dejected after a 5-1 defeat to Denmark on Tuesday night ended their World Cup qualification hopes. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Norsemen cast cold eye on best efforts of O’Neill’s men, then pass by, en route to Russia

‘Call me a grinch, if you like, but I suffer a just-as-visceral reaction to the grotesquely-premature lights that are already decorating some Dublin shops.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Many famous verifiers breathed their last in the eleventh month, including Kavanagh and Wilde and Milton

‘The writer said Conor McGregor had grown up in “the Gaelic speaking, council estate badlands of Tallaght, south of Dublin”.’ Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

‘Suddenly, I was in Leopold Bloom’s kitchen, circa 1904, trying to fry kidneys (which burned, with the result that I smelled smoke(...)

Storm Ophelia passing Porthcawl in Wales. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters

Translated from the original Gaelic (and other sources)

Sheep thrills: Irish fans celebrate Ireland’s goal by James McClean at the Woolshed in Dublin’s Parnell Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

They had gathered in the Woolshed pub, but the cheers turned to bleats of disappointment

The crowd in the Aviva Stadium was in general on the small side, physically if not in numbers. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Moldovan TV crew’s prediction was right: three handy points for the hosts

The Marquis de Favra

A man who will misuse an apostrophe is capable of anything, as Con Houlihan knew

Mayo supporting pupils from Scoil Mhuire NS, Stephen Murphy, Ruairí Kernan, Tomás Thornton and Oran Malone surrounded by fellow Dublin supporting pupils on the eve of the All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Mayo. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pupils in Marino’s Scoil Mhuire and a landmark building hold their own against the blue tide

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