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RTÉ vs the League of Ireland; Kilkenny savour camogie homecoming

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

It’s only live once. Sky Sports’ favourite catchphrase may well be true, but sadly for League of Ireland clubs in Europe, even the live stuff goes missing a bit too often. Once again, despite being remarkably close to Europa League group stage qualification, Shamrock Rovers’ European clash tonight in North Macedonia will not be broadcast on Irish television with RTÉ instead prioritising other projects. Gavin Cummiskey looks at the ongoing battle between Irish clubs and the national broadcaster over football coverage in this country. Essentially, nobody is entirely wrong but everyone is completely right. Rovers will look to wrap up their tie with KF Shupki tonight as they hold a 3-1 first leg advantage, but, as a profile of the North Macedonian club explains, they are the team of the country’s Albanian minority, a community that has had to fight for its right to live in the country it calls home.

For the first time since 2016, Kilkenny had a senior camogie homecoming to plan following Sunday’s All-Ireland victory. As Paul Keane writes this morning, “between the carefully crafted Kilkenny County Council notice of rolling road closures in the city, the open top bus, civic reception and big screen, you could tell this wasn’t Kilkenny’s first rodeo. Few do homecoming celebrations quite like them, principally because few have had so much practice.” That final may have marked the end of the intercounty season for this year, but Seán Moran looks at how the managerial merry-go-round still has plenty of spins left. The most recent news from Monday night is that Cavan’s Mickey Graham has decided to stay on.

After securing a career best major finish of tied fourth at last weekend’s Open, Leona Maguire will make a rare appearance in front of her home fans this week. Philip Reid previews the week’s golf action with Maguire, Stephanie Meadow and Olivia Mehaffey all in action in Ballymena this week at the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle. The men’s iteration of the same tournament runs alongside and presents the opportunity for a large number of fledgling professionals to enhance their careers, with in-form Tom McKibbin and John Murphy among those who have impressed in recent weeks on the Challenge Tour getting the opportunity to make an impact on the main circuit.

Away from the on-pitch action, Ryan Giggs’s trial for controlling and coercive behaviour against ex-girlfriend Kate Greville is underway. On Monday, a British court heard how Giggs allegedly head-butted his former partner after subjecting her to a “litany” of physical and psychological abuse over three years. The former Manchester United player denies the charges.