Dublin’s Con O’Callaghan and Shane Gallagher of Meath in the Leinster  Senior Football Championship final in Croke Park. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cranky Meath defending and slippery conditions mean Dublin are not able to disappear out of sight in their usual manner

Dublin’s Brian Howard holding aloft the  Delaney Cup after victory over Meath in the Leinster Championship final in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin aren’t in the Leinster championship anymore – they are the championship

Niall Coakley started against Kerry in 2017 - it turned out to be his final Cork appearance. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Expectations remain low as endless rebuild continues on Leeside

Cavan manager Mickey Graham celebrates after the Ulster championship semi-final victory over Armagh. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Cavan’s clash with Donegal takes centre stage as Munster and Leinster fail to enthuse

Donald McRae: “I do think that quite unusually as I’ve got older, I’ve become less judgemental.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Author and journalist has been honing his sportswriting craft for 35 years

Dublin’s Chris Crummy celebrates after the Leinster SHC round-robin game against Galway  at Parnell Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin end Tribesmen’s summer in the middle of June

Cian Lynch of Limerick in action against Clare’s Seadna Morey of Clare  at the Gaelic Grounds. A Limerick win in Thurles would secure their place in the Munster final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All eight teams still have a chance of making All-Ireland championship knock-out stages

TJ Reid celebrates one of his two goals against Galway at Nowlan Park. Reid is responsible for 56.8 per cent of Kilkenny’s scores so far in the championship. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cats in need of another magical display from the gifted Ballyhale stalwart in Wexford

Galway’s Conor Whelan and Kilkenny’s Huw Lawlor  in their Leinster  SFC Round 4 match in Nowlan Park on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Four teams chase three spots, and you’ll need a calculator to work out all the permutations

Stephen Cluxton leads out the Dublin team on his 100th Leinster Championship appearance, at Croke Park on Sunday.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tipping Point: Fans know how it will end – no wonder they don’t bother their barney to go

Dublin’s  Stephen Cluxton saves a shot from Keith Cribbin of Kildare during the Leinster semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Goalkeeper makes 100th championship appearance as Mannion and Costello lead rout

Joe Canning: has graced the All-Ireland final on four occasions since Galway entered the Leinster championship, with the Tribesmen triumphant in 2017.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Connacht county have proved very competitive both at provincial and All-Ireland level

Tyrone’s Matthew Donnelly will be in action against Donegal in the Ulster SFC semi-final at Clones on Saturday. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Leinster and Ulster semi-finals down for decision and the first of qualifiers

Kilkenny’s Adrian Mullen in action against Carlow. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Kilkenny’s 100% record will be tested by Galway at Nowlan Park on Sunday

Tipperary’s Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher scores his side’s third goal despite the efforts of Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Another impressive away victory suggests Tipp are operating on a different level to their rivals

Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan scores his side’s second goal past Clare goalkeeper  Donal Tuohy during the Munster SHC round-robin game at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Liam Sheedy's side are putting up totals not seen so far in the new format

Clare’s Podge Collins  at Centra’s launch of the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship. “I basically am playing as a fan now. That’s the best way to enjoy it.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Now 27, the Banner forward has a mature perspective on the game and his place in it

Lee Keegan rues a missed chance. Keegan,   Diarmuid O’Connor and Kevin McLoughlin all missed routine opportunities – the exact  sort you never see a Dublin player miss. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Horan didn’t come back to preside over a team showing such familiar shortcomings

Longford’s Michael Quinn scores his team’s third goal against Kildare. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

They were level on eight occasions, including at the end of normal time and extra-time

Wexford’s Liam Óg McGovern scores a point against Kilkenny in their 1-19 to 1-12 win in the Hurling League Division 1A at Wexford Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Centre-forward grateful to be playing once again after long recovery from cruciate tear

The bad gael loves nothing more than to go to a game on a Sunday in the summer. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The po-faced reverence for GAA in Irish society drives the bad gael up the walls

Limerick’s Peter Casey and Niall O’Leary of Cork in their Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship round 2 clash at Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, on Sunday.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All-Ireland champions left looking ordinary after Cork catapult themselves back in the mix

Dublin’s Seán Moran celebrates scoring a late goal in the Leinster SHC match against Wexford at Parnell Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Dublin get share of the spoils against Wexford at Parnell Park thanks to late goal

Gary O’Donnell and the Galway team arrive at McGovern Park, Ruislip,  to face London in the Connacht quarter-final. They are unlikely to be tested by Sligo. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster and Connacht SFC: Monaghan haven't lost in championship in Breffni in 32 years

Dublin’s David Treacy dejected after losing to Kilkenny in Nowlan Park. He missed three frees at key points in the match. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

David Treacy missed three frees against Kilkenny and was punished ruthlessly

Jurgen Klopp,  Liverpool manager: ‘This is impossible. Except you guys are you.’ Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Tipping Point: Irish people making out they hate the other club always feels like a pose

Waterford’s Shane Fives and Shane O’Donnell of Clare: John Conlon’s early goal for Clare was a thumb on the scale that Waterford couldn’t outweigh. Photograph: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Summer has already seen more away wins in one afternoon than the whole of 2018

Waterford’s Shane Fives and Shane O’Donnell of Clare. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

First Walsh Park championship match in 16 years sees doolally finish but no home win

Kilkenny’s Padraig Walsh and Conor McDonald of Wexford during last year’s Leinster Championship. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Teams who’d to play their four matches back to back had a desperate record

Tipperary’s Michael Quinlivan. Tipperary take on Limerick in Semple Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

It’s difficult to see Derry troubling a Tyrone side who dwell in a different realm these days

Joanne Cantwell: the new host of RTÉ’s long-running GAA programme The Sunday Game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Experienced broadcaster relishes the pressure that comes with iconic sports show

Paul Mannion in action during the 2018 Leinster Final against Laois at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The road to being Dublin’s most dangerous forward has never been a straight one

Rory O’Carroll: three-time All-Ireland winner is back in the Dublin squad for the championship. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Kilkenny goalkeeper Murphy ruled out for at least the provincial championship

Paul Flynn lifting the Sam Maguire in 2017. He  won six All-Ireland medals during a glorious era for the county. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Four-time All Star brought the very best version of himself to Dublin during a glorious era

Leona and Lisa Maguire recently signed a sponsorship deal with wealth management provider, Davy. Photograph: Getty Images

Co Cavan twins are as close as ever as they look to reach the elite of the women’s game

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy and chairman Kieran Mulvey. Photograph:   Nick Bradshaw

Deloitte’s revelation over association’s accounts moves things on to a new plane

Oisin Kiernan: “Getting the all-clear was one thing but really what you want is to be back playing football.”Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Cavan county player on surviving testicular cancer, going to the GP and optimism

FAI executive vice-president John Delaney arrives at Leinster House with members of the Football Association of Ireland delegation.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Former CEO unwilling to answer questions on €100k loan “either directly or indirectly”

Laois line up for the Leinster final against Dublin at Croke Park. It was their first appearance in the decider in 12 years. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Significant progress over the last 18 months has resulted in back-to-back promotions

FAI executive vice-president John Delaney will go in front of the Oireachtas committee next week. Photo: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Sport Ireland CEO was asked four times by Imelda Munster if he has confidence in FAI

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current win rate is unsustainable. Photograph: Getty Images

Manager given job by reeling off a streak of results we know not to be his true measure

Waterford ’s Páraic Fanning after his side’s victory over Galway in the league semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Taking over from Derek McGrath could have been difficult but transition has been seamless

Ailish Considine in action against the Kangaroos earlier this month. The AFLW grand final is on Sunday and her club, the Adelaide Crows, are hefty favourites. Photograph: Michael Willson/AFL Media

Adelaide Crows’ Irish player avoids ban that could have meant missing AFLW grand final

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy and assistant coach Terry Connor during the Euro 2020 qualifying win over Georgia. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

New Ireland manager makes it two wins from two thanks to Hourihane free kick

Galway’s Johnny Coen and  Kevin Moran of Waterford in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-final at Nowlan Park,  Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Counties meet for first time in hurling league final; Mayo and Kerry meet in football final

Galway’s Joe Canning is hit hard by Kevin Moran, forcing him to leave the pitch on  a stretcher. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway pay the price for wide count but Joe Canning injury is most worrying of all

Republic of Ireland fans display a banner critical of former FAI CEO John Delaney at the Republic of Ireland’s game against Gibraltar at the Victoria Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There is no need for the top administrative functionary in the FAI to be so high-profile

Dublin’s Oisín O’Rorke in action against Tipperary’s James Barry. The Dublin forward has been a revelation during the league. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

Mattie Kenny will be pleased by his side’s solid progress to the league semi-final

Cavan’s Gerard Smith moves in to tackle Monaghan’s Ryan McAnespie at Clones last Sunday. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho

Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Tyrone still in with a chance of making Division One final

Joe Schmidt: Everyone you talk to about him calls him variations on the same thing – a rugby nerd, an obsessive, someone who lives the game to an extreme degree. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

This Six Nations has seen an Ireland side so unlike the ones that have gone before

Corofin players celebrate their All-Ireland senior club final victory over Dr Crokes at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Football champions outclass Dr Crokes while Shamrocks crush hopes of St Thomas

Ballyhale Shamrocks players celebrate after their AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final victory over St Thomas’ at Croke Park. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ballyhale show off their ability to keep regenerating as they put St Thomas’ to the sword

Donegal’s Jamie Brennan with Fermanagh’s Sean Quigley in their Allianz Football League Division 2 match at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal in February.  Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Rory Gallagher’s side unfairly criticised for getting behind the ball, says former player

Are you race ready for Cheltenham? Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There is simply no week in sport that offers richer soil in which to dig for gripping yarns

Wexford’s Liam Ryan with Liam Blanchfield of Kilkenny as referee Alan Kelly falls to the ground. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Meaningless encounter between Cork and Kilkenny could prove fruitful for both

Wexford’s Liam Óg McGovern scores a point against Kilkenny. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

It means they have turned over big leads now against both Kilkenny and Tipperary

Ted Walsh: “There’s no such thing as us against them. It’s my horse against the others, and where they come from or go home to doesn’t enter into it.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Money has changed everything about Irish fortunes at Cheltenham since a winless 1989

The Ireland squad stand together for Ireland’s Call before the match against France in the 2007 Rugby World Cup on September 21st,  which the French won 25-3. Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland have more depth and better coach now – but that doesn’t make victory a given

Wexford’s Liam Og McGovern on the pitch after their game with Kilkenny was called off. Photo: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Two Division 1A games fell victim to the weather while all football fixtures held on

Meath’s Cillian O’Sullivan in action against Kildare in the Leinster GAA SFC semi-final at  O’Connor Park, Tullamore in June 2017. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘We’ve been in Division Two for a long time but you’re starting to see the odd little spark’

Cian O’Sullivan in action against Mayo: he is one of only three players – James McCarthy and Stephen Cluxton are the others – to have started all seven of Dublin’s All-Ireland finals across the decade (including the 2016 replay). Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Vastly experienced and decorated defender ready for another busy summer campaign

Louth’s  Conor Grimes is challenged by Martin Johnson of Antrim in April 2016.  Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Football team gone from second-lowest scorers to highest scorers in 12 months

Limerick manager John Kiely: expecting his side to get back to full strength after injuries. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

With Limerick already through, five teams will sort out who goes where in quarter-finals

Mayo’s Brian Reape on his way to scoring a goal in the Allianz Football League Division 1 match against Roscommon at  MacHale Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kerry face tough assignment in Galway as they seek to extend their 100 per cent record

Mayo have started the league well but they have failed to beat Jim Gavin’s Dublin in their 13 meetings since 2013

Wexford fans look on as Aidan Nolan scores the winning point. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

The tectonic endgame left you in no doubt that everyone was in it to win it

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

 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

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

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

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