Limerick’s Conor Boylan in action against Tipperary earlier this month. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Plenty of teams have begun their All-Ireland defence well in recent years, only to fizzle out

Former Limerick hurler Andrew O’Shaughnessy in attendance at the Laochra Gael launch at the Dean Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Former Limerick star among those featured in the latest TG4 series of Laochra Gael

Former Dublin goalkeeper Paddy Cullen, left, and former Kerry footballer Mikey Sheehy during the launch of the GAA Digital Archive at Croke Park in Dublin. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

There is footage from 60 years of All-Ireland finals, but some big gaps need to be filled

Castleblayney’s Fergal Rafter: “The reason that I stuck at it and probably anyone in Blayney too is that it does need a core group of lads driving it.” Photograph: Fintan McTiernan

Monaghan side take on Kilkenny's Dunnamaggin in All-Ireland Junior Club decider on Sunday

RTÉ head of sport Declan McBennett: “I’m not going to apologise for coming from Monaghan where hockey and hurling were not big things.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Head of sport has expanded RTÉ’s GAA coverage as a result of losing Six Nations rights

Knock-on effect: Boris Johnson dumps the border problem right inside the Irish defensive line.  Photograph: Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images

It’s apt that Eddie Jones’s men arrive as our two governments are locked in a battle of wills

Referee Derek O’Mahoney shows a black card to Galway’s Peter Cooke and Killian Brady of Cavan during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match at  Pearse Stadium, Galway on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Players and managers welcome change, but it’s time to question the sharpness of its teeth

Dublin’s Michael Darragh Macauley clashes with Monaghan’s Darren Hughes during the Allianz Football League Division 1 clash between the counties in  Clones on January 27th Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Not the first opening league game defeat for Dubs but still no cracks visible yet

In his introduction to “McIlvanny On Boxing”, the sports writer gave an insight into his modus operandi when it came to Muhammad Ali – not to mention the advantages he had as a Sunday writer. He died aged 84 last Thursday. File photograph: PA Wire

Tipping Point: McIlvanney's writing will live on - because nobody did it better

Monaghan’s Conor McManus celebrates with Stephen O’Hanlon following victory over Dublin in the Allianz Football League Division 1 game in  Clones. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Introduction of Stephen O’Hanlon and Conor McManus changes game in Clones

Mayo’s Brian Reape is one of the fringe players to get a chance on the opening weekend of the Allianz League. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin and Seán Moran take a look at the match-ups across the four divisions

Dublin’s Brian Fenton and Ciarán Kilkenny celebrate with the Allianz Football League Division One  trophy in 2018. Photograph: Inpho/Bryan Keane

Dublin will take some serious beating once again but others have room for improvement

Liam Sheedy: former manager has returned to  guide the fortunes of the Tipperary hurlers. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Still comes as a splash of water to the face when ball is thrown in and leagues begin

Cillian McDaid: back from Australia and could prove a major addition to Galway’s attack. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

McDaid, Gavin, Hyland and O’Donnell will be looking for opportunities to press their case

Martin Keoghan: versatile young Kilkenny man clearly relishes the physical exchanges and can become a fixture in Cody’s side. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Keoghan, Dalton, McGrath and Gannon have lots of potential

Mickey Graham celebrates at the final whistle of Mullinalaghta’s win over Kilmacud Crokes in the Leinster club SFC final. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Division One football beckons after a fairytale year with the Longford champions

Cahir Healy has made the switch from Laois hurlers to footballers. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Down and Laois are favourites while Louth will be wary of the slippery slope

Daithi Waters is back in the Wexford fold. Photograph: Brian Keane/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin: Who will be this season’s Carlow? Wexford look the best placed

Kilkenny’s Luke Scanlon and Cathal Barrett of Tipperary in action at the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Final at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny last April.

Tipping Point: With no relegation from 1A to 1B, managers can ease into the season

Former Kerry star Kieran Donaghy and Dublin All-Ireland winner Lyndsey Davey Pictured at Dublin’s Sandymount Strand for the launch of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé 2019 GAA Football Festival, which takes place in the Dingle Peninsula from 15th to 17th February. Photograph: Thomas White

Former Kerry forward suggests a simplified version of proposed handpass rule

Declan Bonner: “It’s crazy, I don’t know how 10 men can sit around a table and come up with the three handpass rule. They can’t have much to do,” says the Donegal manager.  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Evidence-based guiding principles are behind the proposed rule changes

 Derek McGrath, former Waterford manager, addressing the GAA Games Development Conference at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph:  by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Former Déise manager enthralls GAA conference with compelling address on player wellbeing

Usada,  still chasing a follow-up to their 2012  effort with Lance Armstrong, have snapped on the rubber gloves for real this time and set about cleaning up the cesspool of nonagenarian doping in sport. Photograph:  Phil Walter/Getty Images

Enterprising anti-doping agent stealing a march in the age 90-94 track cycling scene

Jason Sherlock: “Once I got through it and I did what I did, there was an overwhelming sense of calm and peace because in my own head I had come to terms with my father as a person.”

New documentary provides poignant insight into life of former favourite of Hill 16

 Mullinalaghta’s Patrick Fox celebrates their win over Kilmacud. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Story of tiny Longford club’s Leinster title win is one for the ages as they beat Dublin superclub

Kellie Harrington, Sinéad Aherne, Katie Taylor, Rachael Blackmore and Sanita Puspure.

There are five nominees in this group due to joint winners in September and October

Leona Maguire, Natalya Coyle and Rachael Blackmore make up this trio of nominees.

Katie Walsh, Leona Maguire and Natalya Coyle are the three up for nomination

Phil Healy, Cora Staunton and Fiona McHale make up the nominees.

Athletics, Gaelic football and Australian Rules are all included in our first three

 Dublin’s Brian Fenton challenges Graham Reilly of Meath. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Challenge match in Navan is in aid of soccer attack victim raises €80,000

Ruby Walsh: 'This is what I do, this is what I’m able to do and what I like doing. I’ll do it as long as I can get away with it.' Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Interview: Legendary jockey’s appetite to compete on the biggest days is as keen as ever

The first ever early-morning meeting in Irish greyhound racing got underway in Kilkenny on Wednesday. Photograph: Inpho

Breakfast time in Kilkenny is prime time in Melbourne, just past midnight in Las Vegas

‘The Lost Soul of Eamonn Magee with Paul D. Gibson was announced as the eir sport Sports Book of the Year 2018 winner. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Paul Gibson’s book on the Belfast boxer has been named Eir Irish Sports Book of the Year

Mourneabbey players celebrate with the Dolores Tyrrell Memorial Cup after beating Foxrock-Cabinteely in the All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Club Championship Final   at Parnell Park in Dublin. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

After losing three All-Ireland finals in four years, the Cork club made sure this time

Mourneabbey’s Brid O’Sullivan challenged by Foxrock-Cabinteely’s Laura Nerney. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Sharp-shooting in the Parnell Park wind sees Cork champions blitz Foxrock-Cabinteely

‘Between you and me and the post’ – Like sentry guards, Jack McCaffrey and umpire Tom O’Kane watch the ball squirm away from the goal, one of the few moments of danger for Dublin in a relatively straight-forward semi-final win over Galway. Photo: “A Season of Sundays 2018”/Sportsfile

Malachy Clerkin looks at some of the volumes taking up the sports sections this year

 Dublin’s Coleen Barrett in action with Lorraine Muckian of Laois. Barret is recovering from a cruciate injury. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

‘An Taobhlíne’ tracks players’ recoveries from injuries that have become so common

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Adrian Mullen celebrates scoring a goal with Eoin Cody. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Kilkenny champions ease to Leinster club final victory to set up clash with Ballygunner

Pa O’Dwyer from Rathkeale is the winner of Ireland and UK’s Strongest Man competition. Photo: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Limerick man became the first Irish competitor to win UK’s Ultimate Strongman

Dublin’s Ciarán Kilkenny plays a handpass during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Galway. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Early use of the rules in O’Byrne Cup is likely to be stilted and confused before they bed in

New Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy with FAI chief John Delaney at the Aviva Stadium. “Really it’s going to be about winning games.” Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

New manager knows he has to do a bit of panel beating to knock dinged-up squad into shape

The Irish team lifting the Tier 3 trophy at the Homeless World Cup in Mexico City

World Cup and street leagues offer hope and sense of inclusion to those who need it most

Former Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane now has a choice to make whether to stay in management or not. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

At one stage the odds-on favourite to succeed O’Neill, Cork man’s stock has now taken a hit

Irish athlete David Gillick won the first series of Celebrity Masterchef Ireland  in 2013. Photograph:  Getty Images/Inpho

Athletes’ competitive edge and ability to deal with pressure key to their success

Celebrations at the Aviva.  But we are not a people who do well with being told we’re the best in the world at anything. We all know this to be true.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Beating the All Blacks is a notions bonanza and thus laden with danger for Irish rugby

All kickouts must cross the 45 under the proposed new rules. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘Feedback from players would have been mostly negative and frustrated’

 Bryan Cooper: when he lost his job as Gigginstown’s retained rider in the summer of 2017 he  had to start again.  Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Pair are grinding away at what they do best in the hope that planets align again

Tempers flare between Moorefield and Portlaoise. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Laois side roar ahead in first half before holding off Kildare champions in the second

 Michael Shields lifts the trophy as St Finbarr’s celebrate  victory over Duhallow in the Cork county final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

After ending a 33-year famine, famous Cork club face Dr Crokes in Munster semi-final

Keith Pelley, CEO of The European Tour has stayed on script when asked about event in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Tour itself didn’t mention it in season schedule as criticism gets louder every day

Wexford intercounty star   Conor McDonald impressed for Naomh Éanna against Camross. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Stunning start for Wexford side lays groundwork for win over Camross in quarter-finals

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny: “We’re seeded in the Champions League first round and we want to get through that, we’re not thinking negatively at all.”

Dundalk boss says he finds it 'offensive' when people say long ball is in Irish DNA

Andy Lee: “Every decision you make in the ring is potentially career-altering.” Photograph: Myles Shelly

Former Irish Olympian boxer and world champion on life in retirement, taking up acting classes and growing up in a trailer in Engl(...)

Donal Keogan: “We got back together for the first time on Tuesday night. I’d have liked to have done it earlier but look, winning your first one is special and you have to let fellas enjoy it.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

First-time Cavan champions finally got over the line after losing the three previous finals

Dublin’s goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton acknowledges Hill 16 after winning the All-Ireland. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Dubs goalkeeper can feel hard done by but he’s the one who defined modern goalkeeping

Kimacud Crokes players celebrate their  Dublin SFC Final win over St Jude’s at  Parnell Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Dublin star scores 1-6 from play as Stillorgan side win first title since 2010

Bennettsbridge players celebrate their victory over Abbeyknockmoy in the All -Ireland intermediate club final at Croke Park in 2016. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Club’s revival culminates in a return to the Kilkenny senior final for the first time since 1974

Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert catches the ball for a touchdown during the 2012 clash against Navy at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Notre Dame’s clash with Navy the first of five games worth €250m to the local economy

St Jude’s Kevin McManamon takes on St Vincent’s Brendan Egan during the Dublin SFC semi-final at Parnell Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Templeogue club have never won Dublin SFC but have taken major scalps en route to final

Rachael Blackmore.: “I don’t want to change anything. I cannot believe how well it is going so I just want to remain on a low profile.”  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Modest Tipperary woman has proved her mettle during her rise to the top of Irish racing

Ballyea’s Tony Kelly and Cathal Doohan celebrate defeating St Thomas to reach  the All-Ireland club final in 2017. Kelly scored 1-11 from play against Cratloe earlier this season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kelly has Cratloe in his sights again in Clare hurling final

Thomas Delaney (L) and Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel berate Ireland’s Jeff Hendrick after his miss at the Aviva. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Danish midfielder was pick-pocketed by Jeff Hendrick as he tried to put ball out of play

Harry Arter clears Simon Kjaer’s header off the line during Ireland’s goalless draw with Denmark. Photograph: Oisin Kenity/Inpho

Cardiff City midfielder maintains decision to pull out of Wales clash was the right one

 James McClean clashes with Denmark’s  Mathias Jorgensen and Thomas Delaney during the  Nations League match at the  Aviva stadium. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Denmark looked the ordinary team they are shorn of Tottenham's Christian Eriksen

Rob Carroll in Tullamore in 2013 setting up to record Kildare’s statistics. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Rob Carroll sat through 322 matches and pored over around 100,000 handpasses

Francesco Molinari of Europe celebrates winning the Ryder Cup with captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National in Paris, France. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

With five wins from five and not one down the 18th the Italian made his mark in Paris

 Sergio Garcia  and Jon Rahm  celebrate Europe’s Ryder Cup win in Paris. Photograph:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

European captain’s picks outscored US rivals by more than the winning margin

Alex Noren of Europe celebrates with Thorbjorn Olesen after winning his match on the 18th green as Europe win the Ryder Cup  at Le Golf National in Paris, France. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

European team made it feel like Ryder Cups of old while US looked on with grim faces

 Rory McIlroy celebrates a putt on the 5th green. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Europe dominate Saturday’s fourballs to take 8-4 lead over USA in Paris

Justin Thomas of USA  plays his second shot on the fifth hole during the afternoon foursomes  of the  Ryder Cup at Le Golf National  in Paris. Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Persistence proves the key for Thomas Bjorn's side in historic foursomes whitewash

Europe’s English golfer Justin Rose (R) and Europe’s Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson celebrate their victory. Photograph: Getty Images

Europe’s Mr Dependable steadies the ship as Americans blown off course

 Tony Finau of the United States hits the opening shot of the morning fourball matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Photograph:  Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Creeping hand of PR wrapped its bony fingers around the Friday morning institution

A flypast during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Ryder Cup. Photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Opening ceremony was full of glitz, glamour and quietly-spoken Tidy Towns treasurers

Thorbjorn Olesen and Rory McIlroy practice together ahead of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Paris. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

What are the strengths and weaknesses of each pairing and who will win the points?

Paul Casey is an interesting character. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

The Englishman is playing in his first Ryder Cup for a decade this week in Paris

 Bubba Watson talks to team-mate Jordan Spieth (not pictured) during a Ryder Cup press conference at  Le Golf National in  Paris. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Ryder Cup Wednesday was just moseying along until the American breezed in

Team Europe’s Rory McIlroy walks through a corridor of fans at Le Golf National. Photograph: PA

‘He’s one of 12. We’re not looking at any individuals, just trying to beat the US team’

Tiger Woods  walking to the fourth tee during the third round of the Tour Championship  at Eastlake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Photograph:  EPA/Tannen Maury

Tour Championship winner was a museum piece a year ago - it is a remarkable turnaround

Munster’s Joey Carbery against the Cardiff Blues. Any way you look at it, if there’s bonus points in the mix that’s actual rugby being played.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Every September since forever has been about the All-Ireland finals in hurling and football

  The 1999  Ryder Cup  ended in controversy when  the USA  team, their wives and an  NBC cameraman ran  onto the 17th green after Justin Leonard of the US holed out even though Jose Maria Olazabel still had a putt to halve the hole. Photograph: Getty Images

Birkdale in 1969 was probably the closest a match came to actual violence on the course

Cora Staunton in action for Carnacon. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Leahy may not be a great manager but words like ‘unsafe’ should not be thrown around

It doesn’t matter whether Europe or the USA wins, it only matters that it’s a close battle

Siobhán McGrath: “Every year it [women’s football] just gets better. It’s a much higher standard than 2003.”  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Long-serving defender walked away in 2014 but is back for another All-Ireland final

Mayo players stand for the national anthem before the All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Kildare in Newbridge which ended their season. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Unseemly end to Rochford’s reign while bitter Carnacon row doesn’t augur well

Mick Bohan: “it was the first thing we went after. And when Loosehorse said they would cover it, that’s what made the documentary happen. That was the decision.” Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Manager Bohan explains the background to last year’s eye-opening film on women’s team

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane during the friendly international against Poland in Wroclaw. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Much like Stephen Ward’s leaked message you were left wondering what it all boiled down to

 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship: Cork’s Laura Treacy celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

No goals, points from placed balls and two teams who know each other too well

Serena Williams deep in conversation with referee Brian Earley during the women’s final of the US Open against Naomi Osaka, of Japan. Photograph: Adam Hunger/AP

There are times when Williams comes across as petty and self-involved

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey celebrates with Brian Howard as his side wins a free against Galway in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park in August.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dublin do everything better and quicker than their opponents and it’s hard to see that changing

Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny and Cormac Costello celebrate their All-Ireland final victory over Tyrone. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Any way you spin it, no sport is helped at all by the outright domination of one team

Dublin’s Con O’Callaghan with Colm Cavanagh of Tyrone. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Three bad kick-outs and a stupid free, and Tyrone went from four up to five down in 10 minutes

Brian Fenton celebrates after Dublin’s All-Ireland final win over Tyrone. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over Jim Gavin’s side after All-Ireland final victory

 David Clifford  squeezes the ball past the Monaghan defence and goalkeeper Rory Beggan in Clones. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Football the poor relation at the end of summer where complaining is true national sport

 Limerick squad and backroom staff enjoy their win in front of Hill 16. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Four stories from the weekend when Limerick managed to end 45 years of hurt

Limerick’s Séamus Hickey, with his daughter Anna, holds aloft the Liam MacCarthy cup following Limerick’s All-Ireland SHC final win at  Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Towards the end, it seemed as if Limerick would falter, but all ghosts are laid to rest

Mike Casey gets to the ball ahead of Galway's Johnny Glynn during Limerick's All-Ireland SHC final win in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The question was what had Galway left once Glynn’s aerial threat was coolly neutralised

Declan Hannon lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

John Kiely’s heroes do just enough to see off Tribesmen and seal a historic, deserved win

John Kiely addresses his Limerick panel after the All-Ireland semi-final win against Cork at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The county has got carried away in the past and is paranoid about doing it again

Tyrone’s Tiarnan McCann with Niall Kearns of Monaghan, All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

The buzz in the county last week was in the hope of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey and Johnny Heaney of Galway in action at  the All-Ireland SFC semi-final in Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Manager is going the right way about building his team into a permanent empire

More articles