Ciaran Clark admits he came close to seeking a move away from Newcastle during the summer. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

When things weren’t going well with Newcastle, defender feared he might not get another chance with Ireland

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane with  Troy Parrott at training for the game against New Zealand. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dubliner set to become country’s third-youngest senior debutant, after Holmes and Keane

Troy Parrott during Republic of Ireland training on Wednesday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Celtic full back Lee O’Connor will also be making his senior international debut

Republic of Ireland Under 21 manager Stephen Kenny: ‘I’m happy with what I have. We have a depth to the squad, I feel.’ Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Several debutants for U-21 Euro qualifier including goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu

Robbie Brady: “Please God, I can do enough to be in contention for Monday.”  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Burnley midfielder also keen to re-establish himself in starting XI after lengthy absence

Alan Judge is confident that he is now approaching his best once again.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Having contributed this time, reaching Euros would eclipse last finals in France

Ray credited with helping the DDSL become the biggest schoolboy league in Europe

Dundalk celebrate with The Unite the Union Champions Cup after their victgory over Linfield at Oriel Park. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Lilywhites dominate second leg to take inaugural Unite the Union Champions Cup

Ireland’s Aaron Connolly will undergo a scan on Monday afternoon. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/EPA

Brighton forward suffered injury against Manchester United on Sunday

Dundalk welcome Linfield to Oriel Park on Monday following their 1-1 draw in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho

League of Ireland champions emerged from first leg at Windsor Park with a 1-1 draw

Aaron Connolly challenges for the ball with Manchester United’s Brandon Williams. Photograph: Nigel Roddie/EPA

Brighton striker was substituted at half-time of Seagulls’ 3-1 defeat to Manchester United

 Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke is shown a straight red card by Referee Neil Doyle during a Premier Division game against Dundalk. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Verbal abuse a relatively common occurrence though physical assaults a rarity

Emmet Malone on duty at an U-15A game between Kilnamanagh and Ballyfermot. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw  out him.

Emmet Malone on the ups and downs of being the man in the middle

Linfield’s Shayne Lavery in action against Seán Hoare and Andy Boyle of Dundalk during the first leg of the Unite the Union Champions Cup at Windsor Park. Photograph:  Brian Little/Inpho

Dundalk earn draw in first leg of Unite the Union Champions Cup

Dundalk’s Chris Shields says he would be pleased to see the Unite the Union Champions Cup serve as a stepping stone to an all island league. Photograph: Inpho

Friday night’s final could be a great advertisement for a potential all island league

Robbie Brady has been added to Mick McCarthy’s Ireland squad for New Zealand and Denmark. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty

Mick McCarthy suggests that Troy Parrott will get to make his senior debut next week

Stephen Kenny: “I’m used to going direct. With Dundalk, we’d have always chartered a flight.” Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Travel arrangements for trip to Armenia and back do no favours for Kenny’s side

Limerick FC had been suffering financial problems throughout last season. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The sanction retrospectively means that they finished last in the league last season

Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Stephen Kenny has revealed his latest squad. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Jack Clarke, Aidan Keena and Thomas O’Connor selected for Armenia and Sweden

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley celebrates after the FAI Cup final victory over Dundalk. “To go to the next level, to go and win leagues, you have to win something.”  Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Manager says final victory over proven Dundalk will stand his squad in good stead

Shamrock Rovers’ Joey O’Brien holds off the challenge of Dundalk’s Sean Murray during the FAI Cup final at the Aviva.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ex-Bolton and West Ham defender says success in front of his own a special feeling

Dundalk’s Sean Murray tries to tackleShamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne during theFAI Cup final. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Late drama at the end of normal time forced this FAI Cup final the full distance

Joey O’Brien celebrates the FAI Cup semi-final victory over Bohemians at Dalymount park. “It was the only [Irish] club I was ever going to play for.” Photograph: Ryan byrne/Inpho

Former Bolton and West Ham defender has proved a real leader for Hoops boss Bradley

Dundalk’s Sean Hoare celebrates scoring the first goal of the game against Shamrock Rovers in the Premier Division clash at Oriel Park in September. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Champions are rightful favourites but Shields absence will boost Hoops’ hopes

Shamrock Rovers’ Ronan Finn: “As long as you are in the team, that’s all you really care about.”  Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

‘The difference since I’ve come back in 2017 to now is huge in terms of quality’

IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

IFA says proposals ‘are highly speculative and lack specificity or guarantees’

Dundalk’s Chris Shields tackles Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne during a game  at  Oriel Park. The Dundalk midfielder will miss Sunday’s FAI Cup Final between the two teams due to suspension. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Influential midfielder misses out after picking up eighth yellow card after league was won

Dundalk’s Robbie Benson with the  FAI Cup trophy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. ‘It’s been a hard one to take, missing so much of the season.’ Photograph: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Midfielder thinks FAI Cup victory over Rovers would cement side’s position as best ever

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy named his extended preliminary squad at SSE Airtricity Offices, Dublin,  on Tuesday. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Ireland manager also includes McCarthy, Clark and Long in extended preliminary squad

Troy Parrott has been named in Mick McCarthy’s provisional Ireland squad for the fixtures against New Zealand and Denmark. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

QPR midfielder Ryan Manning also named in Mick McCarthy’s provisional 39-man squad

FAI vice-president Paul Cooke, FAI president Donal Conway and FAI general manager Noel Mooney. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Audit commissioned by Sport Ireland to include details of parting deal with John Delaney

FAI president Donal Conway and  general manager Noel Mooney at a press conference in Abbotstown after the FAI Senior Council meeting. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kosi and Mazars reports now expected to be delivered by the end of November

Derry boss Declan Devine: “This club, this group of players deserve European football for their efforts over the course of the season, but they have to earn it.”  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

One point at home to struggling Finn Harps will suffice to clinch Europa League spot

Bohemians’ Evan Ferguson is challenged by  Kurt Zouma of Chelsea during a friendly at Dalymount Park back in July. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Striker who made his debut as a 14-year-old will join the Seagulls after he turns 16

Clubs from either side of the border have been asked to release data to Hypercube

Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor suggested the all-island league proposal was a ‘pipe dream’ and ‘unrealistic at this moment in time’. Photograph: Declan Roughan/Inpho

Attitude of some to Lucid’s proposal risks missing chance for change

Bohemians Danny Mandroiu has been nominated for the PFAI young player of the year award while Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers has received nominations in both the player and young player categories. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Champions Dundalk pip Shamrock Rovers with five players; Jack Byrne nominated for two awards

Former chief executive John Delaney recently agreed a pay-off from the FAI believed to be €500,000. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Ireland U21 international says he has had no contact with former FAI chief

Linfield’s Bastien Hery and Dundalk’s Chris Shields with United the Union Champions Cup tournament ambassador Pat Jennings at Windsor Park on Thursday. Photograph: Philip Magowan/Inpho

Dundalk will take on Linfield in two-legged clash for Unite the Union Champions Cup

Ireland’s Darren Randolph makes a save during the defeat to Switzerland in Stade de Geneva. Only the goalkeeper’s heroics and some desperate last-ditch defending prevented a rout. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Manager says team will have ‘overachieved’ if they beat Denmark and make finals

Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph saves a penalty during the Euro 2020 Group D qualifier against Switzerland at the  Stade de Geneva. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘We get written off a lot. But the lads are used to it, we use it as motivation,’ he says

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy: “I don’t think the system contributed to our inability to pass the ball to each other.”

“After being down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes I think they can be really proud”

Ireland’s Darren Randolph makes a save against Switzerland. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ireland will now need to beat Denmark in Dublin next month to qualify for Euro 2020

A view of the pitch ahead of the game between Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.

Euro 2020 qualifier goes ahead after pitch inspection in Geneva

Vladimir Petkovic: ‘We had difficulties with late goals, yes, I can concede that.’ Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Sarajevo native has taken Switzerland to two championships since appointment in 2014

Shane Duffy,  manager Mick McCarthy and assistant manager Robbie Keane at Republic of Ireland squad training. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Manager Mick McCarthy says he’ll take a draw – and a lot more enthusiasm from media

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy: “We will give it our all, we will try to win the game. But I don’t think it is do or die, though. It is for them. They have to beat us but that’s not the case for us.”

Ireland need to win one of last two matches to qualify for Euro 2020

Ireland’s Aaron Connolly with Jano Ananidze and Jaba Kankava of Georgia during  Saturday’s game in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ireland need one win from games against Switzerland and Denmark to reach Euros

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph in action during the  Euro 2020  Group D qualifier against Georgia at the  Boris Paichadze Arena in  Tbilisi. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Two draws not enough for Mick McCarthy’s side after dull draw against Georgia

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy felt a draw was not a bad result in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland manager says four points from two games against Georgians is a good return

Ireland’s Aaron Connolly shoots on goal in stoppage time at the end of the Euro 2020 Group D game against Georgia at the  Boris Paichadze Arena in  Tbilisi. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Late Irish chances for Aaron Connolly and Shane Duffy were the only shots on target

Shane Duffy: set to return in central defence for the Republic of Ireland  against Georgia in  Tbilisi. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mick McCarthy hints strongly that James Collins will lead the attacking line in Tbilisi

Callum Robinson: “I feel like I have put in good performances, so now I’m looking to  bring that and be positive and do what I do best and help the boys get the right result.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Sheffield United striker aiming to break his duck and register his first international goal

Shane Duffy during an Ireland training session at the Boris Paichadze Arena in  Tbilisi ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Manager also points towards striker James Collins getting the nod up front in Tbilisi

Derrick Williams at Republic of Ireland squad training at  the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland defender says coach fired by Aston Villa amid bullying allegations was ‘old school’

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport want to know the details of the severance package of former FAI chief executive John Delaney. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

KOSI report delayed to include details of John Delany’s severance package

Aaron Connolly training with the Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Brighton ‘look after the Irish lads particularly well’ and it’s starting to pay off

Matt Doherty at Republic of Ireland Squad Training at the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Wolves defender says there’s no rancour, but he’s ready to step in for Georgia match

 Shane Duffy could play in Ireland’s game against Georgia in Tbilisi on Saturday after recovering from a calf strain. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

David McGoldrick ruled out of game in Tbilisi but could return against Switzerland next Tuesday

Ireland’s Rianna Jarrett celebrates scoring her side’s second goal during the Uefa Women’s European Championship qualifier against the Ukraine at  Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Manager admits damage limitation is vital against Germany but opportunities exist elsewhere

Conor Hourihane: “I’ve failed loads of times,” he says. “It defines you as a character when you fail, how you bounce back.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Villa midfielder grateful for the chance to prove his worth for the Republic of Ireland

Ireland’s Denise O’Sullivan celebrates her team’s third goal. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Two wins from two as Ireland surrender two goal lead but recover to seal all three points

 Harvey Neville in action for the Manchester United Under-18s. Photograph: Getty Images

Harvey Neville qualifies to play for Ireland through family of his mother Julie Killilea

James McClean is set to be fit for Ireland’s clash with Georgia in Tibilisi despite  training alone on Tuesday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Alan Browne realistic about selection hopes after struggling for minutes at Preston

Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw at squad training at Tallaght Stadium on Monday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Manager boosted by return to fitness of Megan Campbell for key Ukraine match

Kevin Long and Aaron Connolly taking part in the Republic of Ireland squad session at the  FAI National Training Centre in  Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Republic of Ireland boss still hoping Duffy is fit enough to play some part in double header

John Egan: “Mick [McCarthy] has us drilled in training, he wants us to be on the front foot and put teams under pressure. It suits us.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Defender has shown his quality with newly-promoted Sheffield United in the Premier League

Aaron Connolly during an Ireland training session on Monday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘I’ve said all along: get in a Premier League team then you are going to be in contention’

Ireland women manager Vera Pauw and captain Katie McCabe ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Ukraine. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

New Dutch manager set for her first game in charge in Tuesday’s Tallaght Euro qualifier

Aaron Connolly of Brighton and Hove Albion scores his team’s third goal against Tottenham Hotspur. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty

Galway-born forward (19) in Ireland squad to face Georgia after running Spurs ragged

 Dermot Desmond is set to take a 25 per cent stake in Shamrock Rovers.

Desmond will take 25 per cent stake in Dublin club

 Aaron Connolly scores his team second and Brighton’s third goal against Tottenham. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Teenager scored twice on full Premier League debut against Spurs to earn call-up

FAI President Donal Conway with former CEO John Delaney. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Chief operating officer Rea Walshe says date won’t suit due to qualifier against Switzerland

Former Athlone goalkeeper Igor Labuts is waiting to hear the verdict of his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Igor Labuts has served his 12-month ban for role in match against Longford in April 2017

Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Stephen Kenny has spent much of the last week or so in England watching games with a view to finalising the 22-man squad. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ireland U21 manager names Parrott, Connolly and Obafemi in squad for Italy clash

Bohemians’ Dawson Devoy saw his first-half penalty saved in the first leg of the Uefa Youth League against PAOK at Dalymount Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Manager Craig Sexton praises his side after first leg of Uefa Youth League

Matt Doherty collects the ball from Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill during the  Nations League game against Denmark at the   Aviva stadium in October 2018. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘If you were to listen to that, you would be shocked. It wasn’t a pleasant call between two human beings at all’

Brighton  forward Aaron Connolly has been named in the Ireland under-21 squad for the games against Italy and Iceland. Photograph:   Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Manager says he is ‘feeling very well now’ after health scare in Sweden

Dawson Devoy in action for the senior Bohemians side in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final against Cork City at  Dalymount Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Coach Craig Sexton boats a strong squad for meeting with Greek side

 Mick McCarthy says he remains positive about Ireland’s ability to maintain their challenge for qualification in the games. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ireland manager feels ‘desperately sorry’ for Richard Keogh after injury in car crash

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy talks to the press at the Aviva Ireland head office in Dublin. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Defender needs two operations and will be out for what is now an estimated 15 months

Details of John Delaney’s remuneration package were published earlier this year. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Dominant FAI figure for 15 years was embroiled in a number of controversies during tenure

John Delaney is believed to have secured a deal worth around €500,000 to resign his position with the FAI. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Former FAI officials question timing of €500,000 payout to ex-CEO

Former Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni and John Delaney at the launch of the  Vantage Club ticket scheme in September 2008. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The doomed Vantage Club ticket scheme was a fiasco that cost Irish football dearly

Former FAI executive vice-president John Delaney resigned from the organisation on Saturday night. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Minister Ross makes clear he wants the full terms of the agreement made public

Ireland fans protest against John Delaney at the recent Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former chief executive leaves an organisation that still has a long way to go

John Delaney’s time with the FAI has ended after the board announced his departure late on Saturday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Uefa now expected to seek Delaney’s resignation from Executive Committee

Sligo Rovers’ Kyle McFadden and Jamie McGrath of Dundalk compete for the ball during their recent Airtricity League meeting. Photo: Ciaran Culligan/Inpho

Dundalk semi-final set to yield around €40,000 to be divided between clubs abd FAI

Shamrock Rovers’ Aaron McEneff celebrates Aaron Green scoring their second goal during the FAI Cup semi-final win over Bohemians. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

A red card for Danny Mandriou after a dreadful challenge ended any Bohs hopes

Troy Parrott of Republic of Ireland celebrates scoring a goal during the win over Armenia. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Stephen Kenny’s side have two wins from two in Euro 2021 qualification so far

Jack Byrne: the Republic of Ireland and Shamrock Rovers midfielder  is capable of posing real problems  for Bohemians  in the FAI Cup semi-final at Dalymount Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Midfielder relishing prospect of FAI Cup semi-final against Bohs at Dalymount

Ireland’s Richard Keogh is out for the rest of the season after sustaining a knee injury in a car crash on Wednesday night. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Defender sustained a serious knee injury as a passenger in car which hit a lamppost

Manchester City’s Megan Campbell has returned to the Ireland squad for the upcoming European qualifiers. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Ireland take on Ukraine in Tallaght on October 8th

Richard Keogh will miss the remainder of the season. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Club say players ignored the opportunity to be driven home using cars laid on for them

Derek Pender pictured at the launch of the SSE Airtricity League FIFA 20 Club Packs. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gypsies captain will spend Friday in work before huge Dublin derby in Dalymount

Dundalk’s manager Vinny Perth celebrates his side winning the league with a victory over Shamrock Rovers on Monday.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Manager says his players are focused on FAI cup, but is proud club has come even this far

Irish striker Troy Parrott made his debut for Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night. Photograph: Getty Images

Another Irish striker Michael Obafemi provided an assist during Southampton’s win

The Super Cup final will be in Windsor Park in 2021. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

Winning the right to host the match will be viewed as a significant success for the IFA

Belfast’s National Football Stadium, formerly known as Windsor Park, has been chosen to  host the European Super Cup final in 2021. Photograph:  Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

Decision to stage prestigious fixture at National Football Stadium warmly welcomed by the IFA

Dundalk’s Daniel Kelly, Chris Shields and Georgie Kelly celebrate winning the league after the 3-2 win over Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park. Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Shamrock Rovers keep it interesting to the end as Michael Duffy screamer settles it

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