Cork teenager Aaron Hill beat world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan at the European Masters. Photograph: @We AreWST on Twitter

Cork 18-year-old beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in just his second game as a professional

Rob Kearney, Brad Thorn and Isa Nacewa celebrate after beating Ulster in the 2012 Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

The province’s European successes have seen key inputs from world stars

Saracens’ Billy Vunipola is confronted by a Munster fan after the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final at the  Ricoh Arena in  Coventry in April 2019. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Often used as motivation, the club and supporters are aware of their pariah status

John Cooney: scrumhalf returns to the Ulster starting line-up as one of four changes to the side that played Leinster in the Pro14 final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Formidable pack and outstanding backline ensure French aristocrats hold all the aces

 They snake along the winding roads of rural France. Their flashing energy, our slumbering indolence. It’s all so super curative, fantastically restorative. Photograph: Marco  Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

Watching these extraordinary athletes has been therapeutic but questions linger

Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee  in action during the Guinness Pro 14 semi-final against Edinburgh at  Murrayfield. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

Head coach admits Leinster final defeat took 48 hours to put behind him

Most of the people surveyed, 93%, say they participate in sport primarily for mental and physical health reasons. File photograph: Getty

Irish Sports Monitor notes uptick of 3% in activity since previous survey compiled 2017

People take part in a spin class in Dublin - personal exercise remains the most popular form of sport undertaken by people in Ireland. Photograph: Inpho

Swimming, running, cycling and soccer make up the top-five in latest ISM survey

Japan’s  Naomi Osaka  wearing a mask with the name of George Floyd on it during an interview following her  quarter-final  win against Shelby Rogers of the United States at the US Open. Photograph:   Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The banning of all protest at next year’s Olympics is flying in face of the new reality

Conor Niland of Ireland waves to the crowd as he walks off court after losing his first round match to Adrian Mannarino in 2011. Photo: Getty Images

Irish tennis usually watches Wimbledon from afar but that nearly changed in 2011

Ulster’s Ian Madigan converts the final kick of the game to pip Edinburgh in the semi-final last weekend. Photograph: Ian Rutherford/Inpho

Experienced outhalf pleased to be playing his part for McFarland’s Ulster regime

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland  oversees the pre-match warm up prior to  the Guinness Pro 14 semi-final against Edinburgh at Murrayfield. Photograph:  Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

‘I’m not planning on them making any mistakes. We go in believing we can win the game’

Connacht head coach Andy Friend watches his team beat Ulster at an empty Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Connacht prove they’re far from misfits with winning return at ghostly Aviva Stadium

Connacht’s Jack Aungier scores a try despite Tom O’Toole’s best efforts. Photograph: Inpho

Bundee Aki marked his 100th Connacht appearance with a try at the Aviva Stadium

Katie Taylor in action against Delfine Persoon on Saturday night.  Photograph: Matchroom boxing

Taylor keeps on winning as brutal encounter leaves Eddie Hearn purring with satisfaction

Katie Taylor pictured ahead of her rematch against Delfine Persoon on Saturday night. Photograph: Mark Robinson/Inpho/Matchroom Boxing

Last summer’s dogfight must be avoided if Irish fighter wants to add to unbeaten run

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney in 1988. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Former Irish Olympic swimming coach’s destructive life is a fitting subject for 10-part BBC podcast

La Rochelle head coach Ronan O’Gara ahead of the Heineken Champions Cup match against Exeter at Sandy Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘I think the people who are very capable or very open to adapting may prosper in the long run’

Fergus McFadden has suffered a calf injury that could rule him out for up to six weeks. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

Felipe Contepomi says Ireland international suffered a ‘bad luck injury’

Munster reported no new cases of Covid-19. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Academy player who tested positive in isolation while close contacts were negative

FAI headquarters at Abbotstown: Governance was the issue that framed it as a ramshackle organisation. Governance was the issue that brought it to collapse and financial ruin. Now governance is central to causing fatal conflict and division. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Division and discord over key governance issue revives memories of OCI implosion

Ireland’s Curtis Campher during the second ODI cricket match against England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Photograph: Getty Images

He made an empowering, mature debut against England last week with bat and ball

  Patrick Corkery  during his 12.5km circuit of the Bull Island with his kayak escort. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Sea swimmer completes first ever swim around Bull Island

Michael Dunlop is comforted on the podium by his girlfriend Jill after winning the 250cc race at the North West 200 just two days after his father Robert was killed during practice for the same race. Photo: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker

After Robert Dunlop was killed in practice, his two sons defied organisers to race

Roisin Upton in action for Ireland against Canada last November. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The 2018 World Cup run was built on defence but Sean Dancer’s side are looking to adapt

Ireland’s Curtis Campher (left) celebrates with team-mate Harry Tector after taking the wicket of England’s Moeen Ali during the third One-Day International match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Although they disagreed on many things, the most English of games was common ground

FBD brand ambassador Nhat Nguyen is hoping to make it into the world’s top-50 when international competition resumes. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish badminton targets place in world’s top-50 when competition starts up again

Mark Tumilty took charge of the Ireland men’s international team on a short-term basis by Hockey Ireland. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Mark Tumility had filled the role for Tokyo Olympic qualifying series

Newbridge College beat St Michael’s to reach the Leinster Senior Schools Cup final back in March. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Vincent Martin believes Newbridge College and Clongowes Wood should be allowed play

Referee Richard Steele looks on as Irish boxer Barry McGuigan falls during his defence of the WBA world featherweight title against Steve Cruz  at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, June 23rd, 1986. McGuigan led during the first half of the match, only to suffer severe dehydration, which contributed to a unanimous points decision against him after 15 rounds. Photo: Mike Powell/Getty Images

Sporting Cathedrals: In the stifling heat of the Nevada desert the Clones Cyclone suffered

In 1980 Muhammad Ali fought Larry Holmes for the WBC belt in an attempt to win the heavyweight championship a fourth time at 38, but it was not to be. File photograph: The Irish Times

From chain-blue lightening fighters to centre court maestros, time waits for no man

 Wicklow Sailing Club has scrapped the Round Ireland yacht race with the next staging of the race to take place in June 2022. Photograph: Inpho

Entry numbers for the rescheduled race set for August held around the 50-boat mark

Ireland travel to play Bulgaria in the Nations League on September 3rd. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

We can only hope that the rush to return to international competition doesn’t backfire

 An aerial photograph  shows a general view of The All England Lawn Tennis Club  on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. Photograph: Thomas Lovelock/AFP via Getty Images

Not afraid to modernise, the All England club always keeps one eye on its long history

Chloe Watkins: “Twelve months might seem not that bad, but when you’ve been at it for 10-plus years, another 12 months can be quite a challenge.” Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Ireland women’s team should have been moving into the athletes’ village in Tokyo this week

Governing body take case after Lisnagarvey appeal upheld to play in EuroHockey League

He was a chip off the same granite block as Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Brian Clough

 Alex Honnold took three hours and 56 minutes to free solo up El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in California. Photograph: Jimmy Chin/National Geographic

American climber’s free solo ascent is arguably the greatest athletic feat ever accomplished

Teenage wrestler Justin Anene training at the Fight Factory in Dublin’s  East Wall. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Competing professionally since the age of 14 the Dubliner has ambitions to go all the way

At the expense of competing to his potential in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Gary O’Toole became the catalyst for George Gibney’s victims to share and report their experiences. Photograph: Inpho

At expense of 1992 Olympics chances, swimmer sought justice for George Gibney’s victims

James Cronin:  the one-month ban he was given meant there are virtually no lasting consequences. He was back playing rugby with Munster on May 16th and sat out the suspension during a period there was no rugby played. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA

Wada policy aims of justice, equity and integrity undermined by recent Irish cases

Croatia’s  Goran Ivanisevic celebrates after defeating Pat Rafter to win the 2001 Wimbledon men’s singles final. Photograph:  Gary M Prior/Allsport

The tall Croat battled his demons on an epic journey to Centre Court glory in 2001

Ireland captain Kathryn Mullan celebrates their victory over India with her team-mates in the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Underdogs enjoyed a magical journey, only to be beaten by Netherlands in the final

Peter O’Mahony  at a recent Munster training session ahead of the the restart of the Pro 14 season in August. Photograph: Inpho

Good luck to any player earning €500k or €200k refusing a 20% pay cut in present climate

Ken Doherty with the Embassy World Trophy kisses his mother Rose after arriving home to Dublin Airport. Photo: Matt Browne/Inpho

A world title can change people but Doherty retained the charm of a not so ordinary Joe

Ireland’s Katie Taylor drops to her knees after being announced as the winner of the women’s lightweight final against Russia’s Sofya Ochigava at the ExCel Arena during the 2012 London Olympics. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Nothing left to chance as Bray lightweight fulfilled Olympic destiny in London

Grainne Walsh with her bronze medal after the 2019 European Games. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Irish boxer’s path to the top bears striking resemblance to that of Katie Taylor

 ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and Daniel Kinahan  at the funeral of David Byrne who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel attack. Photogtaph: Collins Dublin.

Who writes the cheques has never been a concern for boxers

Tyson Fury: “I’m just after getting off the phone with Daniel Kinahan. He’s just informed me the biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed.”

Saudi Arabia expected to host first meeting between British heavyweights in 2021

Ireland international secondrow James Ryan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former Wales coach also outlines Maro Itoje’s captaincy credentials

Brendan Hyland back in training at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Olympic hopeful Brendan Hyland returns to training with a year of possibility ahead

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has told Aviva Stadium 10-year ticket holders that their final payments have been deferred pending clarity on when spectators will be allowed return. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Union waiting for clarity on when spectators will be allowed to return to the Aviva Stadium

Ireland players celebrate with their silver medals after the Women’s World Cup final against the Netherlands at Lee Valley Stadium in London in August 2018. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Having found a way into our sporting hearts they deserve their chance to shine once more

Kellie Harrington: “None of the other girls are fighting now either so we’re all in the same boat. I think I’ll be different [when I’m back]. I think I’ll be a little bit more aggressive.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Experience on frontline helps world lightweight champion keep boxing goals in perspective

 The Liverpool team coach arrives at the stadium as fans let off flares prior to the  Champions League round of 16, second leg match against Atletico Madrid at Anfield on March 11th. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

In time the events will stand alongside Heysel, Ibrox and Hillsborough as avoidable catastrophe

Crusaders players practice during a training session at Rugby Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Wednesday.  New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa will start on June 13th in a new five-team, 10-week competition. Photograph: Mark Baker/AP

We watch with hope – and a little envy – as NZ gets sporting life up and running again

Aviva Stadium: Many 10-year ticket holders for international rugby games  in the Aviva Stadium are  seeking clarity on what the IRFU intend to do with regard to the €15,000 per ticket they are paying.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

IRFU to meet later this week to discuss approach to 10-year Aviva Stadium tickets

Rory McIlroy talks to the then Republican presendential candidate Donald Trump  during the 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral Blue Monster Course on March 6, 2016 in Doral, Florida. Photograph:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In distancing himself from Donald Trump, McIlroy makes himself an outlier on the PGA Tour

Pat Hickey opens his hotel room  door to a Rio police officer on the morning  of August 17th, 2016.

Sporting Controversies: On August 17th, 2016, an Irish Olympic dynasty began to unravel

 Seapoint beach and swimming area has been closed off to the public during the lockdown. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

People have rediscovered simple joys of running, walking, cycling and swimming

Queens in London. The west Kensington club may be exclusive but it’s popularity is undimmed and it boasts a  15-year waiting list.

Ross Niland is chief executive of the world-famous Queens club in London

“We are aware that there is an issue. Over 70s feel they should be allowed to go out and play tennis. But they are not the only group that is restricted in this phase,”said Tennis Ireland chief executive Richard Fahey.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tennis Ireland's Richard Fahey says restrictions in place for health and wellbeing reasons

A view of Tullamore Tennis Club. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Advanced booking is essential while players must use only their own tennis balls

Novak Djokovic is running out of time to break Roger Federer’s record. Photograph: Getty Images

Whole New Ball Game: He believes in science when it helps him win, but forget vaccines

Michelle Smith of Ireland celebrates after winning the 400m freestyle event during the 1996 Olympic Games. Photograph: Allsport

From unbelievable glory at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to catastrophe two years later

Munster prop James Cronin was handed a ban that was so meaningless as to be cynical for an anti-doping violation. Photograph: Inpho

The prop is the latest Munster player to become embroiled in a doping scandal

Former Irish Times equestrian correspondent Grania Willis with  Col Billy Ringrose. Photograph: Frank Miller

Former CO of the Army Equitation School competed in two Olympic Games

Ken Doherty:  a willing participant in the  HeadsUp challenge. Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images

Doherty and Ward helping to fund raise for one of Ireland’s oldest charities

 John McEnroe  curls into a ball during his match against Andre Agassi at the 1992 Wimbledon Championships. Photograph:  Bob Martin/Allsport

Knowing when to bow out is a skill that few master in the world of sport

George Best leaves the pitch in Windsor Park in 1970 having been sent off against Scotland.

We picked our way through rubble of sectarian battles to share in a common love

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Almost 50% increase in visits to Sport Ireland’s Institute during 2019

George Best celebrates scoring Manchester United’s second goal during the 1968 European Cup Final against Benfica at Wembley. Photograph:   Popperfoto/Getty Images

From George Best to Christy Ring, theirs is an eye that picks up things others do not

Action from the Olympic qualifying event at Copper Box Arena in London, England. Photograph: James Chance/Getty Images

Ireland sent a team of 13 boxers to the competition in London earlier this month

The  Copper Box Arena in London where the Road to Tokyo European Boxing Olympic Qualifying Event took place. Photograph: James Chance/Getty Images

Team of 13 had competed at Olympic qualifying event in London

Hockey Ireland has announced that the 2019-2020 domestic hockey season has ended. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Working group set up to make proposals on standings, promotions, relegations and European slots

‘It is essential to stress the importance of good social distancing and staying at home’

The Leinster Schools Cup finals have been postponed due to coronavirus. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Getty

Rob Kearney left in contract limbo, Jamie Roberts does his bit for the NHS in Cardiff

A framed picture of Benjamin Robinson. Photograph: Kieran Dodds/The New York Times

‘His eyes close. I tell him I am here. I tell him mummy is here’

Ireland’s Brendan Irvine lands a straight right to Hungary’s Istvan Szaka during their flyweight bout at the Tokyo European Boxing Olympic qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena in London. Photograph: James Chance/Getty Images

Kurt Walker loses out on place in Tokyo ahead of postponement of qualifier

Kellie Harrington is part of the 13-strong Irish team at the Olympic qualifiers in London. Photo: Soenar Chamid/Inpho

Olympic qualifiers in London managed to survive the heap of coronavirus cancellations

Ireland’s Emmet Brennan (red) on his way to defeating Bosnia’s Radenko Tomic (blue) during day two of the Boxing Road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena, London. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

George Bates and Afanasev Kirill also through but Christina Desmond loses

As the  team will not be travelling they will therefore fall under the Hockey Ireland Covid-19 policy guidelines that were issued on Thursday. File photograph: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Trip was part of the Irish players’ preparation for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games

Women’s Irish hockey team: visit to South Africa for warm weather training will proceed. Photograph: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Sole exception is S Africa trip for women’s national team training ahead of Olympics

Andy Farrell: ‘From day one, every single time we come into camp, the first thing that the doctor stands up and says is ‘hygiene’ ”. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

'As a head coach you've to deal with everything, and this is unprecedented'

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell: “We don’t know where we are going to be in a month’s time, do we? Never mind in a few moths time.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Irish coach Andy Farrell had hoped to bounce back from England defeat

UCD’s Ewan Ramsey in action against  Alastair Haughton of Three Rock Rovers. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Students facing an uphill struggle as they face second-placed Banbridge

Peter O’Mahony is happy to fight for his place despite initially being overlooked by Andy Farrell in this Six Nations. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ireland backrow remains in the chill position despite pressure and some criticism

Munster head coach Johann van Graan  has called on three Academy players for their clash with Scarlets. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Jack O’Donoghue misses out on selection after aggravating neck injury last week

Max Deegan: number eight Deegan, right wing Dave Kearney, scrumhalf Luke McGrath and flanker Will Connors have all been  released from the Ireland camp and will line out against Glasgow. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dave Rennie includes 15 capped players in the 23-man squad bound for Dublin

Geoff Cole: was on target for Monkstown in the 5-1 victory over Corinthians last week. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ulster side lead by five points heading into intriguing top of the table clash at Rathdown

Johnny Sexton: “Cian Healy, James Ryan, Tadhg Furlong, CJ Stander – they’re pretty physical to me,” he says “Josh [van der Flier] is pretty physical. Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw.” Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

‘We all have to be as physical as we ever have been’ says Ireland captain

Eugene Magee: played in Rio as part of the first Irish team to qualify for an Olympic Games and he also scored against Germany. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty for FIH

Banbridge Olympian retires with 295 caps and 60 international goals

Hugo Keenan: forms part of a pacy Leinster backline with James Lowe and Cian Kelleher for the visit to Ospreys.  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Coach Cullen makes several changes for the visit to south Wales

Thomas Clarkson will start at tighhead prop for  Ireland against England in the Under-20 Six Nations match at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Noel McNamara boosted after a number of Ulster players recover from the mumps

Jacob Stockdale has impressed so far in this year’s Six Nations with some trademark big carries. Photograph:   Warren Little/Getty Images

Johnny Watterson looks at Andy Farrell’s starting XV for Twickenham

Leinster’s Dan Leavy meets fans is on the comeback trail. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Word of mouth, by the numbers and Landowne’s new one point-winning habit

England head coach Eddie Jones checks out the pitch conditions ahead of the Six Nations match against  Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Fascinated by the theatre of rugby, the England head coach is often dismissed at the clown

Rónan Kelleher returns to the Leinster side for the visit of Cheetahs to the RDS. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Max Deegan and Rónan Kelleher are back in the starting line-up for Cheetahs test

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