Galway’s Damien Comer and Shane Walsh celebrate after the match at Hyde Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Roscommon fail to go back-to-back as Shane Walsh inspires Tribesmen at Dr Hyde Park

Roscommon’s Enda Smith and Donal Smith celebrate with supporters last year’s Connacht final victory over Galway at Pearse Stadium. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

McStay’s side are underdogs despite being defending champions on their home patch

Clare’s  Patrick O’Connor  and Tipp’s Séamus Callanan  after the final whistle.  Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Two of last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists bow out of championship in early June

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton is fouled by James McGivney of Longford. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s team stroll to 19-point victory and ease to another Leinster final at Croke Park

Limerick warm up before their All-Ireland Munster SHC clash with Cork. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

It's only two years since TJ Ryan was complaining about 'vultures' undermining them

Kilkenny’s Enda Morrissey and Cillian Buckley in action against  Lee Chin and Rory O’Connor of Wexford during the  Leinster SHC round-robin  match at Nowlan Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wexford let nine-point lead slip as Kilkenny reach Leinster final

Mayo are among those in action in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers this weekend. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

There are 18 intercounty games down for decision over a weekend never seen before

Eoin Donnelly rises high to flick home Fermanagh’s winning goal against Monaghan in the Ulster SFC semi-final at Healy Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Gallagher’s underdogs stun Monaghan and qualify for their sixth ever Ulster final

Clare’s Conor McGrath is challenged by  Shane Fives and Darragh Fives at Cusack Park. The latter is one of several Waterford players absent through injury for the clash with Tipperary. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

At most, only seven of last year's All-Ireland final team will start against Tipperary

John McGrath: barely touched the ball in the first half yesterday before being untouchable in the second. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Premier County faithful never quite sure of what their heroes will produce on any given day

Tipeprary’s Brendan Maher and Daniel Kearney of Cork in action at Semple Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Michael Ryan’s side show real character to claw back a nine-point interval deficit

Cork’s Bill Cooper tackles Patrick Maher of Tipperary in their Munster championshop clash in Thurles. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Substitute Jake Morris keeps Mick Ryan's side alive in the Munster Championship

Boidu Sayeh: “I didn’t actually find Gaelic that hard to pick up really, thinking back – I had great coaches.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Liberian-born 22-year-old thankful for his new life far from his African homeland

A relaxed  Tiger Woods chats with Jordan Spieth during the final round of The Players Championship  at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It's hard to root for Tiger Woods the person; it's hard not to root for Tiger Woods the golfer

Tyrone’s Ronan O’Neill with Monaghan’s Ryan Wylie and goalkeeper Rory Beggan. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rory Beggan and Conor McManus is sparkling form for Malachy O'Rourke's side

Jason Forde: was the outstanding player in the country in the league and merits a place in Tipperary’s starting championship attack.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Finding room for the surfeit of talent at his disposal a conundrum for Michael Ryan

Offaly’s Sean Gardiner Galway’s Conor Whelan in action at O’Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

All-Ireland champions begin their defence with a five-goal barrage in Tullamore

The Irish team await the arrival of President Michael D Higgins before the start of the test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club in Dublin. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Life is tough for minority sports so it was fun to watch Ireland achieve test status

Liam Blanchfield celebrates his late goal in Kilkenny’s win over Dublin. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Pat Gilroy’s side let Cats slip from their grasp as Liam Blanchfield’s goal secures victory

Jason Flynn scores one of Galway’s five goals against Offaly. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Donoghue’s side find their range but have plenty to do before the Cats come calling

Dublin’s Dean Rock: “I’m quite proud of who I am as a person and who I represent, and football has been a massive part of that.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

A day job with the disability charity Stewarts Care has changed Dean Rock’s life

Jim Gavin: if Dublin’s first championship outing is fixed for Saturday May 26th the game would clash with the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Photograph: James Crombie/Ipho

Leinster Council must have the cop on not to go up against Liverpool v Real Madrid

Galway have either won the All-Ireland or been put out by the champions in five of the past six seasons. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

All we know for sure is they lost the two league games they had to win in 2018

Everyone flying blind as new hectic schedule places extreme demands on players

New York in action against Sligo at Gaelic Park last year. “When you have no National League and no challenge games, it’s harder to put it in. A win would be huge,” says Justin O’Halloran. Photograph: Andy Marlin

Manager Justin O’Halloran hoping for a first win for exiles at 20th attempt

Mickey Harte: his  views are clearly deeply-held. But they are his views – not the GAA’s – and he has a responsibility to make that clear. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Country’s biggest sporting organisation has no position on the Eighth Amendment

Keith Donoghue celebrates winning the  Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham on Tiger Roll. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Jockey happy to be back riding again after the frustrating battles with his weight

 Willie Mullins: has assembled the usual formidable team for the Leopardstown Festival.  Pat Healy/PA Wire.

Mullins and Elliott set to bring an epic campaign to a fitting conclusion at Punchestown

Anthony Daly, who is now managing Kilmacud Crokes: “I think at the end of this year, everyone needs to sit down and work out what went right and what didn’t.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Anthony Daly and James Horan know issue from both sides and say idea doesn’t work

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody celebrates after his side score their second goal in their 2-23 to 2-16 Division 1A final victory over Tipperary at Nowlan Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny manager delights in league victory after recovering from slow start to campaign

 Kilkenny manager Brian Cody watched his team win another national title on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

TJ Reid and Walter Walsh lead the bullying of the Tipperary defence in second half

Shane McGrath and his disappointed Tipperary team-mates after the 2-17 to 0-20 league final defeat to Kilkenny at Nowlan Park  in 2013. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ryan’s men can end a poor record in league finals by defeating arch-rivals Kilkenny

 Galway’s Damien Comer takes on Dublin’s David Byrne. Dublin’s plan for Comer was a man-marker on the edge of the square and a sweeper patrolling the arc in front of him. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Being sent to mark the Galway full-forward must be like being asked to break a bronco

Dublin’s Michael Darragh Macauley and Paul Conroy of Galway scuffle off the ball. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Jim Gavin’s 14th title as Dubs manager is show of strength given the number of absentees

Cavan players celebrate clinching promotion back  to the top flight after the last-gasp win over Tipperary at  Kingspan Breffni Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Claiming a divisional title would mean a lot to both Ulster counties and O’Brien’s side

Cavan’s Niall Murray with Roscommon’s Cathal Cregg during the All-Ireland championship qualifier at Kingspan Breffni Park in 2015. Roscommon won 3-17 to 1-16. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Over the last decade the two counties have developed the quirkiest rivalry in Gaelic football

Galway  obviously got under Dublin’s skin in the final league game at Salthill,  sufficiently so for it to turn into a wrestling match down the stretch. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Galway got under Dublin's skin and may pay for it in the league final

Gareth Southgate: the England manager won’t say a syllable out of place between here and the Tunisia game 12 weeks from now. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Southgate’s thoroughly pedestrian side seem devoid of the usual preening self-regard

Ryan Wylie of Monaghan attempts to block Dublin’s Philly McMahon during the Allianz Football League Division One game at  Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Fintan Kelly’s 74th-minute point seals deal for Malachy O’Rourke’s side at headquarters

The hurley of Tipperary’s Michael Cahill breaks while blocking a shot from Paul Winters during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

John McGrath stars for Mick Ryan's team who were eight points down after 10 minutes

Pat Gilroy: when his team is fully formed, it will likely be made up of big men and hard workers first of all.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Nobody has used more players in the league so far and there are plenty more to come

Monaghan’s Conor McManus and Dublin’s  Mick Fitzsimons may renew acquaintances at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Allianz Football League previews

Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong supported by Iain Henderson goes on a charge against England at Twickenham during Six Nations match. Photograph: Inpho

Fascinating thing was that the tighthead prop was the player chosen by Schmidt for key pass

Wexford warm up ahead of their game with Tipperary last month. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Clare and Wexford have favoured settled teams, everyone else has preferred to mix and match

For a lot of folk, Cheltenham presents the four  days in the year where it feels acceptable to gamble in a way that we just wouldn’t on the other 361 days. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Tony O’Reilly was the sort of fun-bet punter most of us are – until it got out of control

Dublin’s Shane Carthy celebrates after Niall Scully scored their first goal against Kerry in the Division One clash at Croke Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Galway’s visit to Wexford the pick of the four hurling quarter-finals next weekend

Tempers flare between Dublin and Kerry during their Allianz League Division One clash at Croke Park. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s young side were no match for the All-Ireland champions

 Adrian McGoldrick walking back with with jockey Brian O’Connell after a fall

The Turf Club’s senior medical officer will not take his eyes off a jockey after a fall

Seán O’Shea: strong, square-shouldered and always willing, he has been the focal point of Kerry’s attack playing at centre-forward. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Influx of footballing talent from successful minor squads points to a bright future

Cabin fever: sport in Ireland didn’t exist this weekend. That’s once-in-a-lifetime stuff. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Think of the blood not pumped and heads not cleared in a weekend without sport

Tipperary’s Tomás Hamill challenges Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny and Tipperary a thriller but not a classic, Leinster sides struggling in league

Dublin’s Paul Mannion  gets a way from Eoin O’Donoghue of Mayo during Saturday’s Allianz Laegue game at MacHale Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side would have won by plenty more at McHale Park if they had needed to

Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly is unable to keep out Paul Mannion’s early goal. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Scoreboard flatters Mayo after turgid Division One encounter at MacHale Park

Páraic Duffy with taoiseach Enda Kenny watch Mayo play Tyrone in the All-Ireland senior  football championship semi-final at Croke Park in August 2013. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Páraic Duffy on retirement: ‘If Croke Park was in Monaghan, I’d have the perfect job’

Malachy O’Rourke: “We were glad we were able to hold our composure, even when we went down to 14 men, and finish out the game.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Conor McManus’s late free seals first home win over the Kingdom in 30 years

 Kerry’s Brian O’Beaglaoich is tackled by  Neil McAdam of Monaghan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kerry give themselves too much to do in Inniskeen

John Meyler: “It’s a process of being competitive, getting in new players, trying to fill a few gaps wherever you saw weaknesses last year.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rebel supporters hoping to see their team build on the ample promise of last season

Tyrone’s Padraig McNulty with Tommy Moolick of Kildare during their Allianz League Division One clash. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

In a closely fought contest Kildare came out on the wrong side of a one-point defeat again

Ciarán Deely: “It’s validation of what we’ve been doing here to win a game. It tells us and the players that we’re doing something right.” Photograph: Gerry McManus/Inpho

Big win over Wicklow a red-letter day for all involved with the cause of London GAA

A mural in memory of MMA fighter Joao Carvalho in Pragal near Lisbon. Photograph: Malachy Clerkin

‘It's hard but at least everyone knows now what conditions were like at the fight’

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody: Sunday was his 225th league and championship game in charge. Photograph: ©INPHO/ Ryan Byrne

In Nowlan Park on Sunday, Cody's side once again looked desperately ordinary

Kilkenny’s Martin Keoghan attempts to block Clare’s David Reidy during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A match at  Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Despite being 11 points down early on Brian Cody’s side almost scrape a draw

Kildare’s Kevin Feely: “My priority is football. Everything else can kind of come behind it for now. That’s how I’m looking at it.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

For the ex-Newport County player, success on the GAA field comes before anything else

TV3 Six Nations Rugby presenter Joe Molloy: “You’d be clinically insane not to be nervous.”  Dara Mac Donaill

‘Off The Ball’ presenter happy to admit he does not know everything about rugby

Dublin’s Brian Fenton gets his shot away despite the efforts of Kildare’s Cathal McNally at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Champions rattle off 2-6 to end Kildare’s hopes of springing a big surprise

 Kerry’s Paul Murphy under pressure from Ciaran Thompson, Hugh McFadden and Paul Brennan of Donegal. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kerry shade Donegal while Wexford and Clare enjoy opening-day hurling wins

Dublin’s Michael Darragh McAuley gets past the challenge of Cian O’Donoghue. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin cut loose in second half to open account with convincing win

Jack McCaffery of Dublin with John O’Rourke of Cork during Dublin’s last home league loss in March 2014.  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Since moving to HQ for home games, Jim Gavin’s template is there for others to follow

Dublin’s Michael Darragh McAuley and Paul Mannion in action against Kerry’s Ronan Shanahan and David Moran last April. Dublin get their season under way against Kildare in Croke Park tonight. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

New schedules and reformed championships come into play as the action returns tonight

Galway’s Joe Canning and captain David Burke celebrate victory over Tipperary in  last year’s Allianz Hurling League final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Given their new summer schedules, teams will be keeping powder dry for future battles

Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

With many players based in cities, organising intercounty teams is a logistical challenge

Munster’s Gerbrandt Grobler: the difference between a mistake and what he did is pure intent. Photograph: Daniel Matthams/Inpho

Notion that it was out of order to bring up player’s past now is baffling

Gerry O’Connor: “We are effectively playing two National Leagues this year, except the ground conditions are going to be a lot harder the second time.”  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Given the new championship format, teams must hit the ground running earlier

Sean McCaffrey: he brought teams from United, Liverpool and Ajax to Monaghan. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tipping Point: Our late coach showed us the world was out there. We just had to go get it

At 40/1, Kylian Mbappé is more than a decent bet for this summer’s Golden Boot. Photograph: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Mbappé, Fleetwood and, eh, Donald Trump tickle Malachy Clerkin’s fancy in 2018

September’s All-Ireland provided a breath-taking  spectacle. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland final the game of the year, an occasion probably unmatched and certainly unsurpassed

Con O’Callaghan scores Dublin’s early goal in the final against Mayo with a nonchalant finish. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin’s boy prince scythes though Mayo’s defence to score a great All-Ireland goal

The Irish Times Sportswoman of the year will be revealed on Friday

Monthly winners to receive awards on Friday and overall winner to be announced

Philly McMahon at Smock Alley Theatre in  Dublin on Tuesday after ‘The Choice’, written with Niall Kelly,  was named  Eir  Sports Book of the Year. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Book became part of healing process after death of Dublin footballer’s brother

The Choice (by Philly McMahon and NIall Kelly). The book is human to its core. It’s as eloquent a depiction of the circumstances that breed drug addiction as you could hope to find.

Malachy Clerkin’s lowdown on the best books for sports fans this Christmas

Galway’s Conor Whelan celebrates after the All-Ireland final win with a Galway flag bearing Niall’s image. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

We are more in talking open about depression – but not suicide. That must change

Carnacon’s Cora Staunton kisses the Delores Tyrell cup before lifting it. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Carnacaon’s sixth All-Ireland secured despite shaky final 15 minutes against Cork winners

Niall Donohue in action for Galway in 2013. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Four years after taking his own life, those who knew him best talk about the impact of his death

The front of  a postcard from Phil Stuart. Photograph: Malachy Clerkin

Former stars responded to simple request from a Leitrim schoolboy throughout 1960s

 Ruby Walsh:  He will miss at least four months of action, and his whole winter will be built around getting back in time for Cheltenham. Photograph:   Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

There was much vile abuse on Twitter after the champion jockey broke his leg on Saturday

Cuala’s Con O’Callaghan was to the fore again on Sunday. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Full-forward had six possessions in first half and tried to score a goal with them all

Austin Gleeson celebrates scoring Waterford’s third goal in their All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final victory over Cork. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Starting 2017 as Hurler and Young Hurler of Year proved difficult for the 22-year-old

Ballygunner’s JJ Hutchinson celebrates scoring a goal  in the AIB Munster SHC  quarter-final against Clare’s Sixmilebridge  at Walsh Park, Waterford. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

The Munster hurling final tops the bill while there are two hurling semi-finals in Leinster

Stephen Ward loses the ball to Yussuf Poulsen, leading to Denmark’s second goal against Ireland. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Martin O’Neill’s men looked lost when they had to chase the game against Denmark

Republic of Ireland’s Darren Randolph stands under the scoreboard which shows the final score in their World Cup qualifying playoff. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

‘We needed to try and get back into the game so you’re going to leave yourself open’

Shane Long  reacts after another Danish goal. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

A shocking night for Irish football is reflected in the ratings as Denmark came and plundered

South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth wins a lineout ahead of Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony during the autumn international at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Michael Lyster’s square balls a sight for sore eyes early on Sunday morning

Some days were not epic and some were not, but hindsight adds its own meanings. Photograph: Inpho

Arcane trivia, off-the-wall stuff to quirks and curios, programmes reflect the GAA year

George Hamilton  at Greystones Golf Club on Tuesday. “I am astonished really that at this point in my life I have ended up with this schedule of commitments.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Belfast man on becoming a legendary soccer commentator and classical music DJ

Martin Dunne of Cavan Gaels: up against Derrygonnelly Harps in the Ulster club SFC semi-final at Clones on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

GAA Club Football Previews: Castlebar, Cavan, Dr Crokes, Nemo Rangers tipped to win

Pug’s pug: Tom Sharkey  left Dundalk as a young man to join the merchant ships; he started to box after joining the US navy. Photograph: Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty

The Dundalk boxer makes for a stunning chapter in Thomas Myler’s new book

Cuala’s Con O’Callaghan breaks away from the challenge of  Dicksboro’s Evan Cody during the  AIB  Leinster SHC quarter-final at  Parnell Park. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Dual star mesmerises yet again as All-Ireland champions show hunger for more

Mayo’s Andy Moran was named as the 2017 Footballer of the Year. Photograph:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Andy Moran and Joe Canning named as Footballer and Hurler of the Year

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire after the win over Mayo at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All-Ireland winners Dublin lead the way with seven picks while Mayo win six

Galway’s David Burke lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after they beat Waterford to win the All-Ireland. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

As expected, All-Ireland champions Galway feature heavily with seven players in the 15

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