Wexford Youths Katrina Parrock celebrates scoring the winning goal against Peamount United in the women’s FAI Cup final at the Aviva. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Just a few thousand turned out to watch the women’s FAI Cup final at the Aviva

In October  1972,  Lynn Blackstone, Jane Muhrcke, Liz Franceschini, Pat Barrett, Nina Kuscsik and Cathy Miller made their sit-down protest at the New York City Marathon.

Joanne O’Riordan: A group of female athletes took dramatic action to agitate for change

 Evanne Ní Chuilinn, Heather Thornton, Jessica Harrington (horse trainer), Sarah Keane (President Olympic Federation of Ireland), Sarah Colgan, Casey Stoney (Manchester United women’s coach), Rena Buckley (18 times All-Ireland winner), Mary O’Connor, Graham Shaw (Ireland women’s hockey coach) and Ger Gilroy are pictured at the launch of 20x20, a new campaign presented by the Federation of Irish Sport. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The 20x20 initiative is a great start but it’s up to us to make it work in the long-term

A passenger bus drives past an advertising poster for an underwear brand, showing a picture of Cristiano Ronaldo in downtown Rome. Ronaldo faces rape allegations after US police re-opened an investigation into claims by former American model Kathryn Mayorga that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in June 2009. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/Getty Images

Movement had a significant impact in other industries and may now do so in football

Martina McMahon: pipped Catriona Casey in another riveting All-Ireland final clash between the pair. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

Martina McMahon and Catriona Casey rivalry producing truly outstanding fare

Ellen Keane won the bronze medal in the  2018 World Para Swimming  European Championships at the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin in August.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

This year has brought fresh female athletes to look up to, but we must support them too

Referee Eamon Cassidy during the camogie final. “Maybe camogie is being officiated in the wrong way. I’m not saying let’s all go out and allow all hell to break loose, but  . . let’s celebrate some physicality in women’s sports.”  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Real narrative of camogie final heroics and Osaka’s achievement overlooked

Jake Buiuc-Keegan, 3 from Tallaght raises the Sam Maguire with Dublin players at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

As USA teams give Trump the thumbs down, our GAA stars strike a blow for inclusivity

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford: did the pope sign his P45 last weekend? Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The outrageous treatment of Carnacon is a sign they’re obsessing over the wrong things

Can Donegal’s Geraldine McLaughlin outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in a whole season or will the Cork defence keep her locked down this weekend? Photograph:   Tom Beary/Inpho

Expectations are high for Saturday’s All-Ireland senior women’s semi-finals

If a big draw and storyline such as the Tiger Woods comeback are not enticing people to watch, then there lies a tragedy. Photograph: iStock

The sheer hassle of signing up to Sports Eleven to see Woods caused me to switch off

Donegal’s  Sarah Jane McDonald has her shot saved by Kerry’s Laura Fitzgerald during the clash at Hyde Park  in Roscommon. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Imminent Super 8s deserve the support of all GAA fans

Páirc Uí Chaoimh: at the centre of controversy over the appropriate venue for a charity game in honour of the late Republic of Ireland international Liam Miller. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Croke Park is out of touch with the members when it comes to the Liam Miller charity match

 Tipperary’s Orla O’Dwyer: dual players like her are consistently facing and making   unnecessary decisions. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Lack of structure in season means players suffer for excelling in more than one sport

Visitors on Vorobyovy Hills enjoy the view of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow ahead of the  World Cup semi-final  between England and Croatia. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Joanne O'Riordan: Alas, my story of Euro 2012 is one of brotherly lies, deceit and betrayal

Introducing US World Cup winner Hope Solo to the RTÉ panel, for me, is a massive win for the broadcaster.

Women have had difficulty getting roles in sports broadcasting. That needs to change

Cork’s Ciara O’Sullivan   scores her side’s fourth goal in their victory over Kerry   at CIT, Cork. Photograph: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Not getting to play in Páirc Uí Chaoimh is shameful but side didn’t let that affect them

Sport is a massive key to unlocking the door to difference and learning to embrace new cultures. Photograph: Getty Images

The Special Olympics – changing attitudes and battling stigma and labels since 1968

Egypt fans gather near Red Square on the eve of the World Cup. Photograph: Gleb Garnaich/Reuters

Viewing contracts need to be drawn up as the eyes of the west turn towards Mother Russia

Andrea Murphy of Kerry and  Kate McGrath of Waterford during the women’s   championship semi-final at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, on June 2nd. Photograph:  Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Midfield of Kerry women’s team blitzes through Waterford at Fitzgerald Stadium

Tiger Woods: made a public apology at a press conference for cheating on his then wife. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty

Karius the latest sports figure to publicly don sackcloth and ashes

Survival of the fittest: Mayo’s Chris Barrett  and Galway’s Damien Comer at MacHale Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Joanne O’Riordan: Evolution says we’re always improving. That hasn’t happened here

Arsenal kit manager Vic Akers salutes the fans after his final home game before leaving the club during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Joanne O’Riordan: More than a kitman, Vic Akers is a legend of the women’s game

UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin arrives on the red carpet before the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Photograph:  Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Shazier and Shaquem Griffin – two athletes of indomitable spirit

 The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Invesco Field at Mile High stadium in Denver, Colorado. Photograph:  Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Is it time to call a halt on this sporting anachronism or is that dictating to women?

Fans let off flares as the the Manchester City team bus  arrived at Anfield  for their UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg match. Photograph: PA

There is nothing wrong with sporadic and mindless attempts at cheering on your team

 City Cork manager John Caulfield, speaking at the launch event for  the Focus Ireland Big Rebel Sleep Out,  said:  “Creating awareness of the issue of homelessness, helping the families Focus Ireland works with locally is so prominent.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

From athletes to chefs, we all have our part to play in helping raise awareness

The Minnesota Lynx raise the Championship trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Sparks in Game Five of the 2017 WNBA Finals  in Minneapolis. Photograph: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

WNBA led the way in sport’s support of Black Lives Matter movement

Cesar and Jose Richard, who is  registered as deaf-blind, have become  online sensations after a video of them emerged showing the carer using sign language and a board to allow Jose to experience the Catalan derby

Touching video of deaf-blind Barca fan summarises bond between carers and child

Referee Cuneyt Cakir shows a yellow card to an indignant Luiz Suarez during Barcelona’s Champions League clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Referees are not getting worse – scrutiny of their decisions is just becoming too intense

Cork City manager John Caulfield celebrates with the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title at  Turner’s Cross. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

After finally relieving Dundalk of the title, City now face the task of defending the crown

Cork’s Eimear Scally  continues to mix speed with delightful accuracy – her dinky finish against Monaghan has become the must-see women’s football video of the week. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Chance to share the big bill with Dubs and Donegal a major boost for women’s football

Ireland players celebrate after the Podhale Amp Futbol Cup. Photograph: irishamputeefootballassociation.com

Don’t say ‘aw’ say ‘wow’ to efforts of these superhumans who let nothing stop them

Inmaculate Cabecerán, here being chaired by team-mates, laid the foundations for Barcelona women’s football. Photograph: Barcawomen/Twitter

Joanne O’Riordan: The forgotten story of the pioneering Inmaculada Cabecerán Soler

Cahir Ladies celebrate winning the Camogie Club Championship Final in Croke  Park in 2016. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Joanne O’Riordan: County champions have the dedication and talent to go all the way

Mayo have endured so many painful defeats but their supporters remain loyal and their ability to keep smiling still impresses me. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Chill out, leave social media abuse to the hapless trolls and don't stop believing

We’ll be back: Conor Keane of Killarney Legion is dejected after their loss to South Kerry in the Kerry Senior Football Championship final replay in November 2015.  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

For Killarney Legion and me, losing a bunch of finals is just a small chapter in our story

The Republic of Ireland’s Cyrus Christie shows his dejection following the World Cup defeat to Denmark. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Racist scapegoating of Cyrus Christie is a new low for so-called fans of the national team

A player wears a “legacy” wristband to protest the abominable treatment of women’s rugby by the IRFU. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

With all eyes on 2023, the men in blazers were just paying lip service to the women’s game

 The new West Ham United manager David Moyes during a  press conference. Photograph:  Reuters/John Sibley

West Ham fans, if you think it’s all doom and gloom – well, it very likely is going to be

Cork City celebrate winning the Women’s FAI Cup at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork City women’s team have literally gone from zeros to Cup-winning heroes

At the  launch of the national women’s soccer  league    in March were  Ciara Delany (Kilkenny United), Louise Corrigan (Peamount United), Kylie Murphy (Wexford Youths), Pearl Slattery (Shelbourne), Meabh de Burca (Galway), Emily Cahill (UCD Waves) and Saoirse Noonan (Cork City). Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

With correct marketing in a rapidly changing digital world, there are opportunites

Cork City players celebrate their Premier Division success. To see the community’s joy in Turner’s Cross that night would bring a tear to a stone. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Turner’s Cross was a special place to be as the Premier Division title was finally claimed

Norway star Ada Hegerberg welcomed the news that the women’s team are to receive the same pay as the nation’s men’s team. Photograph:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Will the Norwegians’ example herald a similar change in other countries?

Sultan Kakar of Munster and Shane Curran of Connacht during the M Donnelly wheelchair hurling interprovincial All-Ireland finals at IT Blanchardstown in 2016. Photograph:  Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

The GAA has shown how serious it is about wheelchair hurling and let's hope others follow

Barcelona taking on Las Palmas in front of a deserted Camp Nou. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Silence of an empty Camp Nou as Barcelona played a poignant sign of disturbing crisis

England women’s coach Mark Sampson: despite his departure, tensions will surely simmer among the group and it’s difficult to see how this will affect the team in the future. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images

Issues such as race and ethnicity are still a taboo topic in the women’s game

Cork’s Rena Buckley lifting the  O’Duffy Cup. There are certain things in life like taxes and death, but you can add  Buckley winning an All-Ireland medal to that list.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Psychologists want to know what makes her tick, but people who know her say ‘that’s just Rena’

Mayo’s Cora Staunton celebrates the victory over Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at  Kingspan Breffni Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Joanne O'Riordan: Too radical a step to put the women’s final on with the men’s?

Irish team Sunday’s Well Rebels and the winners, Selección Argentina de Mixed Ability Rugby (Rugby Inclusivo), after the final of the mixed ability rugby World Cup. Photograph: Twitter

Ireland’s only mixed ability rugby team defended their world title in this rising sport

The women’s Gaelic football and Camogie All-Ireland finals have been designated as “events of major importance to Irish society” and added to the list of sporting events that must be shown on free-to-air television. At the announcement on Wednesday  were Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, Camogie Association president Catherine Neary, Kilkenny’s Miriam Fribsy, Mayo’s Sarah Rowe, and Ladies Gaelic Football Association president Marie Hickey.

Responsibility lies with all to make sure women’s sports are thought about all year and every year

Grigory Rodchenkov and Brian Fogel in the Netflix documentary Icarus.

Netflix documentary 'Icarus' an eye-opener on drugs in sport

Just two professional teams will compete at the Women’s Rugby World Cup with 10 amateur teams. Photo: Paul Faith/Getty Images

Comradery and pride are clear to see after meeting the Australian women’s rugby team

Dr Hyde Park has the backdrop of a graveyard. Photo: Inpho

Joanne O’Riordan: Sky deal is just the latest factor in the GAA moving away from its roots

Serena Williams: has she been properly recognised for her amazing tally of 23 Grand Slam wins? Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Exceptional women’s player will never get the credit accorded to, say, Roger Federer

The 2,000 plus who attend created an atmosphere in Turners Cross as addictive as the temple of the Camp Nou. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

John Delaney’s problematic children have become my problematic favourites

Joyous Cork fans celebrate a score during the county’s Munster senior hurling semi-final victory over Waterford at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Normally sober and sane folk can get carried away when it comes to their chosen team

Women’s sports need to be marketed better. Why are Republic of Ireland women’s international soccer games kicking off  on a Thursday afternoon at 3pm? Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

A celebration of Ireland’s talented sports women could help the next generation

Dermot Connolly: Branagan stood and watched as Connolly  was being dragged, pulled and hammered by Carlow players with  his hands out in a “do you see this?” fashion.

Will those on moral high horses now demand a similar punishment for Cork’s Paul Kerrigan?

Brazil’s Formiga has been playing football for the last 22 years, making her World Cup debut in 1995 at the age of 17. Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty

Brazilian midfielder has overcome adversity and scaled the heights during an epic career

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