Damien Duff bows to the crowd after scoring Ireland’s third goal during the 2002 World Cup Group E game against  Saudi Arabia at  Yokohama Stadium. Photograph:  David Maher/Sportsfile

Part VI: Sliding Doors and the legacy two decades later

A big screen in The Temple Bar Sports Bar shows Roy Keane’s interview with Tommie Gorman on the RTÉ News. Photograph: Tom Honan/Inpho

The many attempts to get the Ireland captain back to Japan were doomed for all sorts of reasons

Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane pass each other during training in Saipan on May 21st, 2002. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

‘How the meeting didn’t end in physical violence is the mystery of the thing for us now’

Roy Keane shakes hands with manager Mick McCarthy after the World Cup qualifier against Holland at Lansdowne Road on September 1st, 2001. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Parts 1 and 2: 'How they ended up in Saipan is such an Irish story. Ray Treacy met an ex-pat Dub at an airport who was living out (...)

Derry City’s Cameron Dummigan celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal on Friday night. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Win at Richmond Park leaves Ruaidhrí Higgins’ side three points clear at the top

St Patrick’s Athletic manger Tim Clancy: ‘Career paths for everyone are different.’ Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

League of Ireland: player turned manager has grown into the job at Richmond Park

Daniel Mandroiu of Shamrock Rovers is congratulated by teammates after scoring the winner against Dundalk at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Champions can expect a stiff test from arch-rivals Bohemians at Dalymount

Bohs celebrate Liam Burt’s goal. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Two northside clubs at different stages of development and it shows at Tolka Park

Jack Byrne is substituted at Tolka Park. He is struggling to recapture the form that made him the outstanding player on the island. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Champions face intriguing derby with Pat’s while Duff’s Shels face tough trip north

The Republic of Ireland will open their Nations League campaign away to Armenia in Yerevan on Saturday, June 4th. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

New fixture list confirmed as Uefa fix dates for Scotland v Ukraine playoff tie

 Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels:   did not apologise for saying what he believed to be true. Just for the offence that it caused. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Northern Ireland women’s manager claimed female footballers more emotional than men

Sweden vs Republic of Ireland:  Ireland’s Katie McCabe  on the ball during yesterday’s World Cup qualifier. Photograph: Inpho

September’s crucial game against Finland set for Tallaght, but pressure mounts for Aviva

Ireland’s Katie McCabe (R) celebrates with Denise O’Sullivan (L) and Lucy Quinn (C) after scoring against Sweden. Photograph: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/EPA

Honours even in Gothenburg as Vera Pauw’s women clinch an away draw against the odds

Republic of Ireland and Arsenal star Katie McCabe: ‘We’re playing more games at the Emirates so maybe a national game in the Aviva would be nice.’ Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Getty Images

Republic of Ireland not buying opponents’ marketing gimmick but face uphill task

 Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt comes under pressure from Ireland’s Denise O’Sullivan and Saoirse Noonan in last year’s World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Pauw says her team play passionately but always by the rules ahead of Women’s World Cup qualifier

Dynamic midfielder has put a difficult period at North Carolina Courage fully behind her

Shamrock Rovers’ Aaron Greene scores his side’s second goal at Tolka Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cruel but fair result closes gap to three points behind league leaders Derry City

Stephen O’Donnell:  spoke this week about “a lot of hullabaloo” around his move to Dundalk and the subsequent court proceedings taken by his former club, St Patrick’s. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Manager made controversial switch to Dundalk after claiming cup glory with Saints last season

Vera Pauw: senior  Republic of Ireland manager. However all the Republic of Ireland underage female squads have male head coaches.   Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Decision-making bodies lack anyone with a direct link to the women’s game in Ireland

Derry City’s Ronan Boyce scores  their second goal during the SSE Airtricity  League Premier Division match against UCD  at UCD Bowl. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Two late goals secure the points for the Candystripes against bottom side UCD

Rovers’ manager Stephen Bradley before the game with Bohemians. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Three-in-a-row title chasers figuring out how to juggle players who might demand minutes

Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw has announced her Ireland squad to face Sweden. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

Both Dianne Caldwell (arm) and Savannah McCarthy (knee) have been ruled out

The Ireland team ahead of Tuesday’s win over Lithuania - the Ireland jersey is increasing the value of the players wearing it. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Troy Parrott the latest to show their worth as Stephen Kenny’s squad continues to develop

Troy Parrott is mobbed by his Ireland team-mates after scoring the late winner against Lithuania at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny praises striker for his poise in scoring late winner

Troy Parrott scores a later winner for the Republic of Ireland in the friendly international against Lithuania at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Getty Images

Striker scores deep into injury-time to save Ireland’s blushes against lowly Lithuania

Republic of Ireland defender John Egan challenges Belgium’s Thorgan Hazard during the friendly international at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Central defender has become a key player for Stephen Kenny’s Ireland side

Republic of Ireland assistant manager  Keith Andrews talks to the media on Monday. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland assistant more interested in getting side ready for Lithuania friendly

Ireland’s Jason Knight tackles Belgium’s Youri Tielemans during the friendly international at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

‘I want to play my best for the club. And when I come away with Ireland it is the same’

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and assistant coach Thierry Henry  on the sideline during the international friendly match against Ireland at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Manager admits Thierry Henry won’t ‘be too upset’ over boos from the crowd

Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi after scoring against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Chiedozie Ogbene scores superb overhead goal while Alan Browne heads in late on

Séamus Coleman during Ireland training ahead of the friendly with Belgium. Photo: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Stephen Kenny has no intentions of changing his philosophy with results improving

Turkey striker Hakan Sükür scored twice to knock Belgium out of  Euro 2000 in Brussels. Photograph: Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images

FAI can learn from how Belgium reinvented themselves after home tournament ended in failure

Caoimhín Kelleher in Republic of Ireland training. Stephen Kenny has previously said it is beautiful to watch him. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Bazunu’s misfortune offers Liverpool man a chance to impress against Belgium

Republic of Ireland  manager Stephen Kenny: ‘The football infrastructure in this country is nowhere near where it needs to be.’  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland boss wary of tournament costs when League of Ireland needs ‘serious investment’

Troy Parrott: for a player who made his Spurs debut at 17, the past few years must have been a shock to the system. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dubliner picking up plenty of wisdom during his loan move to MK Dons

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny: ‘The football infrastructure in this country is nowhere near wherever that needs to be and it needs serious Government investment and I think the Taoiseach [Micheál Martin] has acknowledged that.’ Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Republic of Ireland manager believes hosting tournament would be a ‘good news story’

John Eustace is already filling the Anthony Barry role at Irish training in Abbotstown. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Queens Park Rangers coach will double job on the club and country scenes

Republic’s manager includes uncapped pair Conor Ronan (St Mirren) and Oxford’s Mark Sykes

Promise Omochere was on target for Bohemians against UCD. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Colm Whelan’s late attempt was well saved by goalkeeper James Talbot

Connor Ronan has earned his first call-up to the Ireland senior squad. Photograph:  Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images

Belfast-born Oxford midfielder Sykes makes squad after representing NI at underage level

Belgium have rested their big names ahead of their trip to take on Stephen Kenny’s Ireland in Dublin. Photograph:  Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard among names missing as 50-cap veterans rested

Ireland’s Aaron Connolly in action against João Palhinha of Portugal: the   player had multiple chances to become a national hero that night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Manager focusing on getting balance right in attack so players complement each other

Jordan Flores of Bohemians challenges Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne  during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Stephen Bradley still figuring out the most efficient way to build around Jack Byrne

 Grant Horton scores Bohemians’ equaliser during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Shelbourne at Dalymount Park. Photograph:  Ben Brady/Inpho

Seán Boyd scores 24 seconds after coming on for Shels but lead doesn’t last long

 Shamrock Rovers’ Rory Gaffney scores the only goal of Friday night’s match at Tallaght stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fresh legs of Richie Towell, Danny Mandroiu and Barry Cotter finish the job for Rovers

The Ireland boss shook up the usual press conference format by taking reporters into his office and offering plenty of detail on tactics. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Ireland boss explains the importance of adapting formation to suit the opposition

Shamrock Rovers welcome Bohs to Tallaght Stadium on Friday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland hopefuls taking comfort in Stephen Kenny paying close attention to the league

Robbie Keane’s contract expires in the summer despite not having worked with Ireland since 2020. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill says association apologised to Keane over situation

 Stephen Bradley says Shamrock Rovers are monitoring the sudden influx of all Russian and Ukrainian based club players into the open market. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Stephen Bradley says ‘there are obviously some very good players on the list’

Stephen Kenny and Ireland were due to host Ukraine on June 4th. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Scotland v Ukraine playoff semi-final set to be played during June international window

Croke Park could be set to host games at Euro 2028. Photograph:  Stu Forster/Getty Images

Decisions to be made around Windsor and Casement Parks but two Dublin venues likely

 Chris Forrester celebrates scoring the winner with teammates. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jack Byrne reminds Stephen Kenny of his class but ends up on wrong side of the result

 Fifa president Gianni Infantino with Russian president Vladimir Putin.  Photograph:  Fred Lee/Getty Images

Uefa also cancels its €40 million a year sponsorship deal with Gazprom

Bohemians’ Rory Feely celebrates at the final whistle over their victory over St Pat’s at Dalymount Park. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

Long’s men earn first victory of the season as rivals’ sluggish start continues

Fifa president Gianni Infantino with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the World Cup final in 2018. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Uefa ends relationship with Gazprom while RB Leipzig progress to last eight of Europa League

Shelbourne picked up their first league win under new manager Damien Duff on Friday night. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

Mark Coyle’s breakaway and neat finish put the cherry on top of win in Drogheda

Ireland’s Denise O’Sullivan celebrates scoring during the Pinatar Cup third-place playoff at La Manga in Spain. Photograph: Martin Seras Lima/Inpho

Denise O’Sullivan’s 17th international goal secured 1-0 win over Wales at La Manga

Ireland’s Denise O’Sullivan celebrates scoring during the Pinatar Cup third-place playoff at  La Manga in Spain. Photograph: Martin Seras Lima/Inpho

Playmaker’s quick thinking pays off as she scores 17th international goal

Megan Walsh has impressed between the sticks for Ireland. Photograph: Martin Seras Lima/Inpho

Megan Walsh expected to keep goalkeeper spot after proving to be a real find on tour

Damief Duff is adamant that Shelbourne belong at the top table despite a heavy defeat. Photograph: Ben Whitley/Inpho

Former Ireland international brought back to Earth after 3-0 defeat to St Pat’s at home

Brighton goalkeeper Megan Walsh enjoyed an excellent debut at La Manga stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Martin Seras Lima/Inpho

Denise O’Sullivan and Katie McCabe came on late in the game to almost snatch a draw

  Tolka Park: Shelbourne and Bohemians currently share the grounds. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

League of Ireland football club plan to transform it into multi-sport stadium

Shelbourne manager Damien Duff during  his team’s defeat to St Patrick’s. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

No shortage of effort but St Patrick’s prove their title credentials in Dublin derby

Adam Idah’s season is over after he picked up a knee injury. Photograph:  Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

Norwich manager Dean Smith confirms striker had operation on meniscus issue

It’s the champions Shamrock Rovers  who look impregnable. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

‘Horrific’ facilities can’t dampen cloud burst of entertainment on offer in coming season

 Shelbourne manager Damien Duff: ‘It’s probably the hardest, most time consuming thing I’ve ever done in my life.’ Photograph: Evan Treacy/inpho

Life as manager for the former Ireland international goes way beyond what happens on the pitch

Ireland’s Louise Quinn scores her side’s second goal against Poland in La Manga, Spain on Wednesday. Photograph: Martin Seras Lima/Inpho

The women’s team are a force to be taken seriously. Can’t say the same about the FAI

Niamh Fahey: the Liverpool skipper is expected to win her 100th cap for the Republic of Ireland in the game against Poland at La Manga in Spain.  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Pauw’s squad face Poland in Spain in the first of three matches in six days

 Savannah McCarthy  wants to see a a semi-professional domestic game that offers genuine alternatives to leaving home. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

With the English WSL on their doorstep, more players are contemplating leaving home

Vera Pauw has warned that the Champions League qualification structure for Irish teams needs to change if the LOI is to remain  viable. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland boss speaks of the need for change ahead of upcoming Pinatar cup in Spain

Vera Pauw has named a 27 strong squad for the Pinatar Cup in Spain next week. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ireland are guaranteed three games in Spain, starting on Wednesday against Poland

Udinese-bound James Abankwah is one of a number of young talents on display. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Udinese-bound James Abankwah set to feature as is Caper Verde star Roberto Lopes

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley and player Ronan Finn with the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division trophy at the launch of the SSE Airtricity Premier & First Division and Women’s National League 2022 season, at HBV Studios in Clarehall, Dublin. Photograph: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Clubs are hopeful that dire need for funding is not hindered by FAI’s Euro 2028 bid

FAI chairman Roy Barrett with FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill at a media briefing in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Unflinching message of media briefing was that 2022 signifies new era for Irish football

FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill won’t be relocating to Ireland. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Hill believes he can oversee running of Irish football while commuting from London

Aviva Stadium: would be one of the grounds to host the   six to eight matches held in the Republic of Ireland.   Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Republic to join with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to host Euros

The FAI are aiming for 2024 European Championships qualification for Stepehen Kenny’s Ireland. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Irish rebuild includes 2024 Euros and 2023 World Cup; aims to improve infrastructure

The Aviva Stadium would host fixtures at Euro 2028 if the bid is successful. Photograph: Inpho

The Aviva Stadium is nailed on to host fixtures while Casement Park is a wildcard

The Irish Government will be expected to financially support the bid and a range of infrastructure improvements. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Initial aim of the UK and Ireland hosting the 2030 World Cup has been abandoned

 Anthony Barry is joining the Belgium backroom team ahead of the World Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

He joins Roberto Martinez’s backroom team ahead of World Cup in surprise move

FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Association aims for ‘broader, more regionally balanced approach’, says Jonathan Hill

Ireland’s Chiedozie Ogbene celebrates scoring a goal against Luxembourg with Callum Robinson in Stade de Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifying match. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Key figure of Kenny’s new-look Ireland is focused on winning and making his family proud

 Romelu Lukaku scores Belgium’s first goal against the Republic of Ireland during the  Euro 2016  match  at Stade Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux, France. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Kenny's side meet Red Devils on March 16th, Lithuania will also play at the Aviva Stadium

Gavin Gunning’s Chesterfield travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round matches.

Dublin defender’s nomadic footballing life set for career highlight in FA Cup tie

Drogheda United have joined  ‘The Big Step’ campaign against the proliferation of gambling advertising in football. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Louth club join campaign against proliferation of gambling advertising in the sport

St Patrick’s Athletic have announced details of a partnership which is aimed at developing young footballing talent in Pakistan. Photograph: Tomy Dickson/Inpho

Brian Kerr will travel to Pakistan to conduct trials and scout players for Pat’s Under-19s

Stephen Kenny: ‘We have been given a tough schedule of matches, the way it has turned out. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t make us any less determined to get positive results.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Manager confident he will be manager for European Championship campaign

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny celebrates after with goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu after the win away to Azerbaijan in October. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Stephen Kenny’s side avoid some of the big guns but will have work cut out to win group

The Nations League draw will take place on Friday. Photo: William Cherry/Inpho

On Thursday, Ireland will find out who they will face next June and September

A new deal for Stephen Kenny is expected to run up until the 2024 European Championships. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

FAI chief Hill says a contract extension for Ireland manager would be two-years long

The Oireachtas committee met on Wednesday to discuss abuse of referees. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Politicians host sports bodies at Oireachtas committee to discuss epidemic of abuse and assaults on match officials

Denise O’Sullivan heads home Ireland’s sixth goal to complete her hat-trick during the  World Cup qualifier against Georgia at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Denise O’Sullivan scores hat-trick as Vera Pauw’s side boost their goal difference in Tallaght

Ireland’s Katie McCabe applauds the fans after the draw with Slovakia. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Vera Pauw says she will stick to her system after disappointing draw with Slovakia

Stephen Kenny says his Ireland team are aiming to win their Nations League group next year. Photo: Ben Brady/Inpho

Ireland manager is expected to be given, at the least, a short contract extension

St Patrick’s Athletic fans celebrat the opening goal in their FAI Cup final win over Bohemians. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Season finale felt like a major sporting event and showed that the game is on the up here

St Patrick’s Athletic’s Ian Bermingham and Ronan Coughlan celebrate winning the FAI Cup on penalties against Bohemians. Photo: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Robbie Benson scores the winning spot kick after Rory Feely had equalised in extra-time

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny saultes the fans after the recent win away to Luxembourg. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Board meeting could present manager with an option of short-term extension

St Patrick’s Athletic’s Jak Hickman and Liam Burt of Bohemians vie for the ball during a recent league game between the teams. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Keith Long’s side might marginally be the better bet but it looks to be a close call

Composite image of Dalymount Park (left) and Richmond Park (right). Photos: Inpho

Entrenching themselves in their respective communities has moved both clubs forward

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