Cian O’Neill: “We have to put in a massive performance, bigger than any performance that we have put in during my three years.”   Photograph: Donall Farmer /Inpho

Kildare manager looking forward to challenge of league opener against Dublin

Mikey Sheehy at Croke Park for the launch of the 2018 Allianz Football League. “Dublin are the best that are there at present and there’s nobody to touch them at the moment.”   Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Legend says level of support for Kingdom in semi-final replay against Mayo was ‘shocking’

David Moran and Kerry women’s captain Aislinn Desmond at the launch of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé club tournament.

Experienced midfielder knows all about the ups and downs of life as a senior footballer

Waterford’s Jamie Barron: “Obviously it would be nice to be a professional GAA player. But at the end of the day it’s not the GAA ethos.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

GAA News: Teaching makes sense for hurler of the year candidate and two-time All Star

Wexford’s Kevin Foley breaks his hurley in a challenge by  Cian McBride and Donal Burke of Dublin during the Bord na Mona Walsh Cup semi-final at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Pat Gilroy’s experimental team impressed despite eventual defeat at Parnell Park

 Gerbrandt Grobler: the Munster recruit served a two-year ban after testing positive for the anabolic steroid drostanolone. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

What message does Gerbrandt Grobler's signing for Munster get across to academy players?

Michael Bennett: “We do have certain spikes when more members use our services, such as the start of the new year, especially with the transfer window”

PFA head of welfare Michael Bennett says gambling has become a major concern

Dermot Earley: “It’s important for anyone in that situation to know there is help, have no fear, and most of all talk about it.”

Last year 77 players made contact with the organisation’s personal counselling service

 John McGrath raises one of the local kids over his head in the Mbekweni township, close to Paarl city, the former home to World Champion long jumper Luvo Manyonga. Photograph: Barbara McCarthy

The Waterford man whose only limits are those of his imagination

Ireland’s Cormac Comerford competes in the first run of the men’s slalom race at the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St Moritz. Photograph:  Dimitar Kilkoff/AFP/Getty

Slalom skier Cormac Comerford remains determined to push himself as far as he can

A disappointed  Andy Moran with  daughter Charlotte at the end of 2017 All-Ireland final in Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Some big names in Mayo panel for game against Galway in Connacht FBD league

Dublin’s Adam Rogers and Killian O’Gara with Aaron Elliot of the Dubs Stars. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Jim Gavin opts for team holiday again, leaving rookies to compete for O’Byrne Cup

Mo Farah reacts after losing the 5,000m final at the World Athletics Championship. Photo: Getty Images

Mo Farah and Usain Bolt bid farewell, but not in the manner most had expected them to

 Gina Akpe-Moses celebrates  after winning the European U20 100m Women title in 11.71 seconds at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Grosseto, Italy. Photograph: Sportsfile

Barring Rob Heffernan’s effort, World Championships proved devoid of cheer

The ease of access and entry of walking is part of the lure, and it’s an open season sport too

Survey finds 37% of those actually active in sport put walking as a clear number one

Alan Brogan: “I had 13, 14 really good years with Dublin, and I knew my race was run. I was 34, with a very good team coming behind me, so I knew it was time to step away.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Dublin star ready to join thousands in annual mile race in aid of the charity

With 21 per cent, Katie Taylor topped the poll and  regained the title of Ireland’s most admired sports star. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

McGregor v Mayweather fight named most memorable Irish sporting moment of year

Stephen Maguire (left) and Christian Malcolm (centre) receive the coach of the the year during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Irishman Stephen Maguire is head of British sprinting and well versed on the ins and outs

Chris Froome of Sky team addresses the media at the end of the 20th stage of the Vuelta a Espana. He has tested  positive for an excessive level of a legal asthma drug during the race. EPA/Javier Lizon

Though his drug use killed him, Tom Simpson remains a revered figure in cycling world

 Sonia O’Sullivan presenting Mary Davis of Special Olympics the Outstanding Achievement award at The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Awards in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tireless work on behalf of the Special Olympic movement merits due recognition

The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Jessica Harrington with the  award winners from the last 12 months. Back Row. Eve McCrystal, Katie-George Dunlevy, Ita Keirnan (on behalf of Leanne Kiernan), Aoife Ní Chasaide, Chloe Magee, Gráinne Dwyer, Paula Fitzpatrick, Rena Buckley, Sinead Aherne, Sue Ronan (on behalf of Katie McCabe). Front Row: Vonnie Noonan (on behalf of Leona Maguire) Gina Akpe-Moses, Jessica Harrington (overall winner), Mary Davis (Outstanding Achievement), Sonia O’Sullivan, Annalise Murphy. Photograph:  Tom Honan.

Each monthly winner ‘raises the bar’ for all that follow – Sports Editor Malachy Logan

 Jessica Harrington  the overall winner of the   Sportswoman of the Year Award with Mary Davis who claimed the Outstanding Achievement award at the  The Irish Times-Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Awards in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Trainer honoured by Irish Times/Sport Ireland for a phenomenal year of achievement

OCI president Sarah Keane: “The decision to restore State funding is recognition of the hard work that has taken place this year at the OCI.” Photograph:  Alan Betson

OCI president Keane says council can now move ahead confidently with its 2018 plans

The Olympic Council of Ireland president Sarah Keane has welcomed the news. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Reuters

It had withheld funds from the OCI since the arrest of Pat Hickey in Rio ticketing scandal

 Saoirse Moore, aged five,  wins the race against her brothers Cian and Rossa, while Dublin footballer Jack McCaffrey and Ireland rugby star Jamie Heaslip look on at the   2017 GOAL Miles launch at Irishtown Stadium. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

Dublin footballer targeting a return from cruciate injury in time for the championship

John Costello: “These conceited Dubs might be liked by some but they’ll never be loved; these unpatriotic Dubs they should be forced to surrender the GPO!” Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin chief executive makes a sprited defence of the county's All-Ireland-winning side

Dublin GAA chief executive John Costello: “The Super 8s are here for a three-year trial period so please give them a chance to sink or swim.” Photograph: Getty Images

Dublin boss says it may be time to trial two referees in senior intercounty matches

John Costello and Jim Gavin after this year’s All-Ireland SFC final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Chief executive’s report to the county convention suggests trialling a second referee

Galway’s Joe Canning celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy cup. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpbho

County board make a surplus in its best ever year on pitch while Mayo are also in the black

New Cork hurling manager John Meyler will open his term in charge against Limerick in Mallow. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

John Meyler’s first game in charge of Cork against Limerick while Clare play Kerry

Fionnuala McCormack came 12th in the European Cross Country in Slovakia. Photograph: Sasa Pahic Szabo/Inpho

Men’s team finish fifth but Kenyan-born Turkish runners dominate in Slovakia

Ireland has one the highest rates of cocaine use among young people in Europe.

In recent times jockeys and even greyhounds have tested positive for the use of the drug

World champion Stephen Roche atop Sean Kelly’s shoulders at the Nissan Classic in 1987, the year Roche won the Tour de France

Ian O’Riordan reviews Barry Ryan’s insightful account of the rocky road to the top

Hugh Armstrong: “It’s very special, a very proud day for me, especially the first time.”

Sunday’s European Cross Country in Slovakia marks Ballina man’s Ireland senior debut

Teenage girls who train too hard and don’t get enough nutrients in their diet are at a greater risk of developing health problems. Photograph: Getty Images

Young athletes, particularly teenage girls, who overtrain can develop health problems

Rob Heffernan was named Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards  at the Crowne Plaza hotel  in Santry. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Hall of Fame award winner Ray Flynn ‘surprised’ his mile mark still stands

Luke Dempsey: “Whoever wins on Sunday, it will bring that club on leaps and bounds, and whoever loses, it’s a marvellous occasion to have got there.” Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

St Loman’s boss has amassed 23 years experience – not out – at county or club level

 Athletics Ireland former chief executive John Foley  has held his position  for the last eight years. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Irish women’s team face tough opponents at European Cross Country Championships

Sebastian Coe: “With the welfare of athletes and the integrity of competitions at stake, this is not a process which should be rushed.”Photograph: Jean-Pierre Amet/Reuters

In his four years as Ireland coach, Schmidt has now capped eight ‘foreign’ players

Shane Ross: “We’ve proven we’re worthy of competing, and that we would have been worthy winners, so no, it wouldn’t put me off from doing it. But that would be a matter for the IRFU.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Minister announces €56m in allocations to 1,726 clubs under Sports Capital Programme

The grounds of Ballymun Kickhams GAA club: there was €150,000 for the renewal of the all-weather pitch

Some 1,726 successful allocations in latest round of funding which totalled €56m

Shane Ross: “This is about grassroots, the future Olympians, who play soccer, or champions of GAA. And you have to put money in at this level, if you’re going to get to the top level as well.

Every valid application received assistance as funding almost doubled

Gearóid McInerney sorted the long-standing and confounding problem for Galway at centre-back last season. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway centre back bided his time before making the All-Ireland breakthrough

Band of Brothers: Stephen Cluxton and Paul Flynn.

Multiple All-Ireland winner keen to continue: ‘No intercounty footballer wants it to end’

Mayo’s Alan Dillon, who has announced his retirement,  and Aidan O’Shea celebrate victory over Roscommon in the All-Ireland quarter-final replay last year.  Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Ballintubber stalwart played in six senior All-Ireland finals – but without success

Taekwondoin Jack Wooley at the OCI Tokyo Summer Scholarship announcement. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

A new OCI cholarship scheme is hoped to help more athletes reach the holy grail

Slaughtneil celebrate their Ulster club final victory over Cavan Gaels at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

Remarkable Derry club now focusing on semi-final date with Nemo in the New Year

Nemo Rangers star Paul Kerrigan shakes hands with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD following the Cork club’s side’s win over Dr Crokes in the Munster final.  Photograph: Oisín Keniry

Early indications suggest knee injury not as serious as first feared

Fionnuala McCormack during the 2016 European Cross Country Championships in Italy. Photo: Sasa Pahic Szabo/Inpho

McCormack makes it 35 international selections ahead of European Cross Country championships

Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC on her way to winning the women’s senior cross-country championships  at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photograph:  David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

An Riocht runner leaves Kerry O’Flaherty in chase and is assured of Slovakia selection

Slaughtneil celebrate with the trophy after retaining their Ulster title. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

Cavan Gaels fail to become the first team from Cavan to win Ulster senior football title

The Olympic flag and the Russian national flag fly side by side at the  2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The IOC has since banned 14 Russian athletes for life for doping offences at the Games. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Wada insist nation should be let nowhere near the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang,

 Fionnuala McCormack: has been  building up again for another crack at the European Cross Country title which she claimed  in 2011-12. Photograph:  Eoin Noonan/Sportsfile/Getty Images

Two-time former European champion Fionnuala McCormack a notable absentee

Micheál Donoghue celebrates as Galway beat Waterford in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final at  Croke Park in September. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

After league, Leinster and All-Ireland wins, Galway manager doesn’t mind losing in Boston

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy in Boston for the AIG Super 11’s Fenway Hurling Classic in Boston last weekend. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dublin manager will welcome players who commit to hurling, if it’s for the right reason

The Clare and Galway players clash at Fenway Park in Boston. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

All-Ireland champions beaten in Super 11s format as Dubs and Tipp bow out in semis

John Treacy winning the World Cross-Country title at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, in 1978

In the NCAAs in 1992 it felt like half the teams were built around Irish runners

Dublin and Galway during the Fenway Hurling Classic in Boston on November 22nd, 2015, The game can  be remembered for the brawl  between the teams. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Super-11s is a shortened version of hurling designed for overseas players

Ronan Lynch in action for  Na Piarsaigh in the Limerick SHC Final against Kilmallock at the  Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Na Piarsaigh and Limerick hurler on the search for another Munster title

Pat Gilroy and Mickey Whelan pictured in 2011 during their time as manager and coach of the Dublin football team. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Anthony Cunningham, Mickey Whelan and Paddy O’Donoghue also brought in

Cork goalkeeper still aiming for Munster success with his club Kanturk

Rathnew arrive on the pitch for Sunday’s Leinster GAA Senior Club Football Championship quarter-final against St Vincent’s in Aughrim, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Tommy Grealy

Rathnew’s win over St Vincent’s could boost confidence in Wicklow county team

Rathnew’s Warren Kavanagh battles with Diarmuid Connolly of St Vincent’s during the Leinster club quarter-final in  Aughrim, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Leinster senior club football quarter-final: Wicklow side finish with 1-3 to seal progress

James Stafford’s late goal helped Rathnew to a surprise victory over St Vincent’s. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

James Stafford’s late goal ends Dublin champions’ hopes of eighth Leinster title

 During his career champion jockey Kieren Fallon resorted to “flipping”, when he would eat a normal meal, then almost immediately stick his finger down his throat and “pop the lot out”. Photograph: Inpho

Former champion jockey explored the ‘dark art of starving’ in order to succeed

Pat Hickey will not now return to Rio de Janeiro from Ireland for the trial date of November 29th, as was originally scheduled. Photograph: Alan Betson

The charges include alleged ticket touting, tax evasion and money laundering

Rathnew captain Leighton Glynn:  “We know it’s a massive challenge on Sunday, obviously.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Rathnew captain says his side will utilise their strength in midfield in testing clash

Carlow’s Mark Rennick and Dublin’s Paul Mannion during their  Leinster quarter-final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, in June. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dublin footballers were on the road for their last two opening championship games

Clare joint managers Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney. Former Galway minor coach Gavin Keary has been added to the backroom team. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy yet to officially announce make-up of backroom team

Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers crossing  the line  in  Merrion Square  during   Dublin Marathon 2017.  Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Events around Dublin Marathon give O’Hanlon the national title he deserves

Stephen Martin is to step down as the chief executive officer of the Olympic Council of Ireland. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Martin has held position of CEO since 2006, following a career as deputy CEO of Team GB

 Na Piarsaigh’s Shane Dowling: “Once we get out of our county we try to express ourselves. The hardest part is trying to get out of your county.”  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Defending the Munster title has been the problem for the Limerick hurling club

Galway’s Gearóid McInerney and Jamie Barron of Waterford in the senior All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Both have collected an All-Star award. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Waterford next best represented county with five awards

Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers A.C reacts after crossing the finish line during the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2017 at Merrion Square in Dublin City. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Freddy Sittuk came home first in Dublin marathon but result has been overturned

All-Ireland hurling final: 2018’s final will be played on August 19th. Photograph: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images

GAA director general Páraic Duffy says ‘dramatic’ changes will help club players

 The redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The Rugby World Cup evaluation report  raises questions over its  suitability. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Eight GAA grounds have joined four rugby stadiums as part of Ireland’s World Cup bid

The first round of the leagues at the end of January will include a Croke Park double header. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster and Munster hurling finals to take place on the one day in the 2018 season

Men’s national medalists at the Dublin Marathon, second-placed Gary O’Hanlon, Clonliffe Harriers A.C, race winner Freddy Sittuk of Raheny Shamrock, and third-placed Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Disappointed Gary O’Hanlon initially assumed he was the first Irish finisher on the day

 Laura Graham of Mourne Runners, Co Down, crosses the line at Merrion Square in Dublin city to be the first Irish finisher in the women’s category of the Dublin Marathon. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Co Down mother retains Irish title and places fourth overall with improved time of 2:39:06

Freddy Sittuk of Raheny Shamrocks after crossing the line to take the Irish title. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Sittuk won Irish men’s title despite hailing from, and training in, his native Kenya

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a double espresso about 30 minutes before the start of a marathon except to say it always works well for me. 

Caffeine drinks, caffeine gels, caffeine powders, caffeine pills and no sex

A competitor in the Dublin Marathon last year. Jerry Kiernan’s time  of  2:13:45, set in 1982, remains  the fastest run by an Irish man in Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jerry Kiernan: ‘Gym culture’ and strength and conditioning of little use to runners

Laura Graham crosses the finish line to win the ladies race in the 2017 Belfast City Marathon last May. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Mother of four who started running at 31 is favourite for Sunday’s Dublin Marathon

Ireland athletics manager Patsy McGonagle has stepped down from his position. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Donegal man held the position for 25 years which included four Olympic Games

Joe Kernan: “The beauty of this series is that there are players who are going to come out of the woodwork that you would not have thought of.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

But no Dublin players available to travel to the two-Test series in Australia

Donal Og Cusack will not be involved with the Clare hurlers again in 2018. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cusack acted as a coach and selector with Moloney and O’Connor this season

 Ryan McHugh:  “You can’t blame Dublin, they’re setting the bar at that level. It’s about trying to be the best we can be.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

McHugh’s club has set up Ulster showdown against Monaghan champions Scotstown

Limerick’s Shane Dowling:  “I don’t think Limerick are a million miles away, but time will tell.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Na Piarsaigh face into a Munster campaign looking to repeat All-Ireland run of 2015/2016

Sonia O’Sullivan on her way to finishing second in the 1500m at the 1993 World Championships. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Wada are taking the matter seriously having reviewed documentary aired on German TV

Shona Heaslip competes in the  5,000m Women’s Final at the World Student  Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

An Riocht AC representative displays strong development over 6km at national campus

Chinese athletics coach Ma Junren at a press conference in Beijing, 1993. Photograph: Manuel Ceneta/AFP/Getty Images

Former team doctor says all Chinese medals won in the 1980s and 1990s are tainted

Brother John Dooley reckons in all there are 55 to 60 Irish athletes on scholarship this year, a still-successful side of the sport that is sometimes forgotten. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

For young Irish athletes, the scholarship path to US universities is far from a dead end

Roscommon’s Enda Smith:   was speaking at a promotion for AIB-produced Behind The Gates, a four-part miniseries about Roscommon’s championship. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Player ready to give it a go as his side look to build on quarter-final replay defeat to Mayo

 John Meyler has been confirmed as the new Cork hurling manager. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former under-21 manager and father of David takes over from Kieran Kingston

Johnny Coen in Croke Park to launch the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic. “There’s a serious effort required, hopefully we can replicate what we did this year.”  Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Midfielder says panel’s eventful trip to Boston in 2015 helped bring squad together

Pat Gilroy: “This team will have a different culture to the football team, and will have a different culture to this current football team. Things just adapt based on the people that are in the group.” 

‘The thing for Dublin is to try and become a top-four team consistently,’ says new boss

 Michael Cahill in Croke Park to launch the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival. “Whatever it is about Tipperary, rumours seem to fly.”  Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Thurles Sarsfields defender hopeful Cathal Barrett returns to Tipp squad for new season

 New Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy in Croke Park to launch the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

‘A lot of it is their mindset, their physical conditioning, their diets - all the package’

The Budget will present Leo Varadkar with the chance to set send out a statement about exactly how much he values sport in what will be his first properly financial act as Taoiseach.

Budget will present Varadkar with chance to set send out statement about sport's value

Already there is some uncertainty surrounding the date for next year’s All-Ireland Football final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Date of football final in doubt due to planned papal visit to Ireland in late August

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