David Clifford has been in devastating early season form. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Changes to the calendar and feelings of injustice have seen stars let loose in January

Kieran Donaghy lines up a shot for  Garveys Tralee Warriors. His  club will play C&S Neptune in the Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup Final at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

A vision to bring top-flight basketball back to Tralee has seen the sport captivate locals again

Ciarán Kilkenny in action for  Dublin against Offaly’s Rory Egan in the O’Byrne Cup in Tullamore. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Pre-season finals and the All-Ireland club hurling semi-finals top the bill

 Bryson DeChambeau will not be taking part in Netflix’s new behing-the-scenes series. Photograph:  Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

New documentary without the sport’s biggest names seems unlikely to captivate audience

Henry Shefflin at Parnell Park: ‘Dublin’s style of play, their link-up, their shooting – they’re a lot further on than us. The one thing I will say is that we stayed at it.’ Photograph:  Tom Maher/Inpho

Shefflin unperturbed as Tribesmen suffer a 19-pt trimming in early-season tie

Conor Laverty’s Kilcoo team face Derrygonnelly Harps of Fermanagh in Sunday’s  Ulster club final. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

‘Humanity, decency, human connection’ - Laverty wants to be trusted by his players

 Malachy Clerkin the Trinity City Hotel with sports personalities, Annalise Murphy, Sarah Keane, Marie Crowe and Vikki Wall. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Malachy Clerkin sits down with Annalise Murphy, Vikki Wall, Marie Crowe and Sarah Keane

Brendan Doyle training at his home last year. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Garda was on the verge of taking his own life in 2013 but now has Beijing in sight

 Bryan Cooper  celebrates on Mrs Milner after winning the Pertemps Hurdle at Cheltenham. ‘For me, the crowds didn’t matter that day. It was more a personal thing. It was relief. It felt like a massive turning point.’ Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Mature jockey has experienced highs and lows of racing and now has fresh perspective

Clough-Ballacolla’s Darren Maher and Colin Fennelly of Ballyhale Shamrocks in action in  the Leinster club Senior Hurling Championship final at  Croke Park on Sunday.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

With a Leinster title and 50 years of history to celebrate, another All-Ireland win beckons

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Eoin Cody scores the first goal of the game in the AIB Leinster  Club SHC  Final at  Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny kingpins secure a third provincial title on the spin against Clough-Ballacolla

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Colin Fennelly celebrates with the trophy and his teammates after they won the Leinster title. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny champions made it 11 provincial titles by seeing off Clough-Ballacolla

TJ Reid  goes into this  final having scored 7-114 in Leinster campaigns over the past 15 years. Photograph: Ashley Cahill/Inpho

Three of the Kilkenny side are looking to claim a seventh Leinster medal on Sunday

Mickey Moran has guided Kilcoo into another Ulster semi-final. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Kilcoo take on Watty Graham’s Glen in an Ulster semi-final brimming with subplots

Paul Mannion’s Kilmacud Crokes take on Portarlington in Saturday’s Leinster club football semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

There’s football and hurling action in three provinces and the All-Ireland camogie final

The Ireland team celebrate with the EuroHockey trophy in October after winning the tournament and qualifying for the World Cup. Photograph: ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama

From hockey to horseracing, boxing to golf, female athletes had a stellar 2021

Rachael Blackmore, riding Minela Times, became the first woman ever to win the Grand National on April 10th, at Aintree Racecourse, England. Photograph: Tim Goode/Pool/Getty Images

Mary Hannigan and Malachy Clerkin look back on the year’s most memorable events

 Kellie Harrington  celebrates winning Olympic gold in Tokyo. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Avalanche of firsts and emergence of stars a sign of shifting landscape in Irish sport

Michael Houlihan impressed during Kilmallock’s win over Midleton. Photograph: Ben Whitley/Inpho

Expected close contest never materialises as Limerick champions make a big statement

Stephen ‘Picky’ Maher in action for Clough-Ballacolla against Rapparees in the AIB Leinster Club SHC quarter-final at  O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Having won two Laois titles in the space of three months they now have their sights on Leinster

John Costello has questioned the media rection to Dublin’s Covid-19 training breach. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

County chief discusses four-point goals and structural changes to football championship

Ireland captain Willie Anderson faces up to New Zealand captain Wayne Shelford as the All Blacks perform  the Haka in 1989. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Chronicle of Barcelona’s implosion and fascinating look at gambling business also stand out

Michael Ryan: ‘I get bored at home very easily. The more I watch soccer and those games on television, the more I want to get out and be doing something. I’m pitch-driven, if you know what I mean.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Managing three senior teams is a labour of love for the former Waterford hurling coach

Kellie Harrington brought predictably good vibes to the 2021 Toy Show. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

There are so many barriers to women getting into sport which may not occur to most men

Tyrone’s Cathal McShane celebrates with the Sam Maguire after they beat Mayo to win the All-Ireland last year. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

In Munster, Kerry take on Cork while Mayo meet Galway in Connacht

Limerick’s Dan Morrissey celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup after winning the All-Ireland last year. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Henry Shefflin’s Galway will take on Brian Cody’s Kilkenny in round three of Leinster

Kilmacud Crokes’ Ronan Hayes celebrates scoring a goal at the end of the game to force extra time during the Dublin SHC final against Na Fianna. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Late comeback to beat Na Fianna in Dublin final can spur southside club on

Ireland players huddle before the gam. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/inpho

Malachy Clerkin hands out the marks on a disappointing night at Tallaght Stadium

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked as Manchester United manager but his coaches remain at the club. Photo: Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Solskjaer always just a symptom of United’s neglect which stems from the very top

 James Lowe of Ireland celebrates after a late turnover against New Zealand. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Lowe was up against it because at heart, we all know the residency rule is a bit of a cod

Fergal Breathnach of Na Fianna in action against Lucan Sarsfields’ John Bellew during the Dublin SHC semi-final at  Parnell Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Famous for their football the club from Mobhi Road are becoming a hurling powerhouse

Ireland’s Josh Cullen in action against Portugal’s  Bruno Fernandes. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over Stephen Kenny’s side after the draw against Portugal

Details of rape allegations against Christiano Ronaldo   been well-aired over recent years. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

This is an area that sports fans everywhere have found no good way to deal with

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers says he has been “immunised” against Covid-19. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Malachy Clerkin: Quarterback entitled to own choice but comments leave sour taste

Ireland’s Josh Cullen has a late effort on goal during the friendly against Hungary in Budapest. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Former West Ham prodigy thriving at Anderlecht and on the international stage

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes hands with Cristiano Ronaldo during the Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images

Nostalgia is a powerful force in sport and it means Norwegian will keep getting his chance

 Knockmore’s Rachel Fox, Judy Langan, Roisin Langan and Sarah Langan celebrate their victory over Carnacon in the Mayo Ladies Senior Football Championship final at James Stephens Park, Ballina, last Sunday. Photograph: David Farrell

Fiona McHale, Cora Staunton and co were finally dispatched by Cormac Reape’s side

Some of the Down players who were hammered by Donegal earlier this year have played in more All-Ireland finals than their opponents. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Disparity in finances will continue to be the main issue regardless of Saturday’s vote

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan blocks an attempt from Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius during the World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over Vera Pauw’s side after a spirited performance

Paddy Power head of communications Paddy Power with models   Glenda Gilson and Maeve Carey at a photoshoot. Photograph: Photograph: Alan Betson

New book shows that behind the guerilla marketing and laddish adverts lies a tech giant

Former Wicklow manager Davy Burke: ‘There’s no point dressing it up – family life really suffers if you’re managing at intercounty level.’ Photograph: Inpho

Davy Burke and Ryan McMenamin keen to return despite all-consuming nature of it all

Callum Robinson completes his hat-trick in the international friendly against Qatar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin hands out the marks after a comprehensive win in Dublin.

Players gear outside closed dressingrooms at Ballyhale Shamrocks GAA club in Kilkenny. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All across the island last weekend players were forced to change wherever they could

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny with Callum Robinson after the World Cup qualifier against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium last September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Why should any of us care why a young footballer will not take a Covid-19 vaccine?

Jack O’Connor will take charge of Kerry for the third time. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Kerry chair says reports that decision had been made early are ‘totally erroneous’

David Shanahan of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets kicks with his left foot during a college football game against the Clemson Tigers. Photograph: John Byrum/Getty Images

GAA and rugby skills allow men from Kerry and Dublin to step into the unkown

Kildare manager Jack O’Connor at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Final between Dublin and Kildare at Croke Park on August 1st. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The county has appointed O’Connor manager for the third time – will it be a charm?

Some of the 21 synchronised swimmers training for their charity performance in Clontarf Baths with coach Aoife Drumm. Photograph: Alan Betson

A mix of complete beginners and experts have spent six weeks training for charity show

Jack O’Connor is to return as Kerry manager for a third term. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Three-time All-Ireland winning manager’s elevation comes after a week of entertaining intrigue

Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter celebrate Europe’s victory at le Golf National in 2018. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Contrary to logic it remains an unignorable, thoroughly irresistible weekend of sport

Nothing new under the Ryder Cup sun when it comes to using home advantage

 Joe McMahon celebrates with the Sam Maguire: ‘You can’t really imagine what it must have been like for those players coming back from Covid. It was some effort from everyone to get back to a place where we could compete.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

In victory, winners always praise wider panel – but that rings truer this year more than ever

Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan celebrate Tyrone’s win: “It probably does [mean more to me], in truth. There’s no getting away from the fact that 1995 was a very, very painful day for Tyrone.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Saturday’s win was particularly sweet for Tyrone’s joint-manager after past experience

Ryan O’Donoghue and Kevin McLoughlin of Mayo after the match. Photo: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

James Horan needs to find a role for Aidan O’Shea or end his torment once and for all

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea watches as Tyrone players lift the Sam Maguire following the All-Ireland final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

'Today is very disappointing but there was a lot of development this year'

Tyrone’s Niall Kelly celebrates after the game with Hugh Patrick McGeary after they beat Mayo to win the All-Ireland. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ryan O’Donoghue misses a second half penalty as Mayo’s barren run continues

Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher were appointed almost immediately after Mickey Harte vacated the Tyrone hot seat. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Success at under-21 level paved the way for the pair to make move up to senior

Lee Keegan has scored two goals for Mayo in All-Ireland finals. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin opens the record books ahead of Saturday night’s decider

Malachy Clerkin: My bloody nose must have been pointing in a fairly exotic direction for a teacher to take one look and grab his car keys

Malachy Clerkin on a hospital dash in a wheezing Ford Sierra

Padraig O’Hora and Enda Hession celebrate Mayo’s extra-time win over Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All-Ireland finalists have flaws and it could mean an enthralling, Dublin-free showpiece

 Colm Cavanagh in action for Tyrone against Dublin in the 2018 All-Ireland final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Former midfielder was the only one with any final experience to call upon in 2018

Tyrone’s Niall Sludden  gets away from Kerry’s Adrian Spillane during the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘I thought we might not get the chance, lucky enough we got it and we are in the final’

Tyrone joint managers Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher oversee the proceedings during the All-Ireland semi-final. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Dooher defends county’s Covid reprieve as defiant display shocks favourites Kerry

 The Kingdom are overreliant on David Clifford’s genius and his injury against Tyrone proved a huge blow to their chances of making the final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kingdom have had a shortage of reliable, knotty defenders for the best part of a decade now

Kerry’s Tommy Walsh collides with  Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Two weeks ago we were potentially out of the competition and that’s the relief I feel’

Niall Morgan: plays in  his  fifth All-Ireland semi-final for Tyrone when he lines out against Kerry. In the county’s history,   only Seán Cavanagh and, assuming they tog out, Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly will have played in more. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

'For me it was, the one thing that I wanted to do was make the kids proud'

 Limerick’s Gearóid Hegarty celebrates after the final victory over Cork. “There’s no selfishness on our team. The man in the best position gets the ball 99 times out of 100. That’s the way it has to be.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Final flourish proves fitting reward for Limerick’s ravenous work-rate and hunger

Cork manager Kieran Kingston: ‘They’re physical, they’re huge men. They’re really good hurlers, they’re really well-coached...’ Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cork manager says there was not a lot they could do to stop ‘exceptional’ Limerick

Declan Hannon lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after Limerick’s  All-Ireland Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork have no answers to defending champions who secure third title in four years

Eoin Cadogan (right) and Paul Kerrigan celebrate the Cork footballers win over Down in the 2010 All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin opens the record books ahead of the meeting of Limerick and Cork

The Cork  team celebrate their win over Galway in the All-Ireland under-20 final at Semple Stadium on Wednesday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

After a long time in the wilderness, Cork are eyeing up a hurling treble this weekend

It’s only right that everyone should pause and recognise what this Dublin has achieved. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Mick Fitzsimons and Philly McMahon are the only members of the Dublin panel over 31

Lee Keegan and Padraig O’Hora celebrate after the game. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Mayo player has been there for all of the defeats but was always confident it would turn

Mayo manager James Horan shakes hands with Dublin manager Dessie Farrell after the All-Ireland SFC semi-final. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

James Horan says half-time team talk focused on lifting the team’s effort across the pitch

Mayo manager James Horan shakes hands with Dublin counterpart  Dessie Farrell after the game. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Dublin manager points to lack of consistency from his side and Colm Basquel’s black card

Dublin’s Kevin McManamon celebrates at the final whistle of the 2017 All-Ireland final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The 2017 All-Ireland final had it all and, ultimately, ended in the same result

Annika Schleu of Germany cries during her show jumping round on Saint Boy. Photograph: Tatyana Zenkovic/EPA

By most measures, being an Olympian is an insane thing to do with your life

Diarmuid O’Sullivan and Cork manager Kieran Kingston  celebrate after the victory over Kilkenny at Croke Park.  Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

O’Sullivan thrilled as Cork show real resilience to finally see off their great rivals

Cork’s Patrick Horgan in action against Dublin in the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium on July 31st. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

The Cork star has gone long enough without an All-Ireland medal – this could be his time

Limerick’s Aaron Gillane celebrates scoring a goal during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Waterford at Croke Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Defending All-Ireland champions show they have lost none of their hunger

Paul O’Donovan with his Olympic gold medal at   Skibbereen Rowing Club.  “I’m not here doing the rowing thing for other people to have something to remember me by. I just do it for myself more than anything.” Photographer: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Skibbereen native getting used to the inevitable extra attention an Olympic gold brings

The Dublin team celebrate with the Delaney Cup after beating Kildare in the Leinster GAA Senior Football Championship at  Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster final: Dubs may have swept Kildare away, but where was the tidal wave of old?

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell celebrating with  Sean McMahon and Sean Bugler after the game against Kildare at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘I certainly thought we could have made it a lot closer,’ says Kildare manager O’Connor

Tyrone celebrate their Ulster final victory over Monaghan at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Never-say-die Monaghan’s second-half comeback comes up agonisingly short

Tyrone players celebrate after the victory over Monaghan in the Ulster SFC Final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Five points up at half-time, Tyrone took their eye off the ball at Croke Park

The coffin of Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Óg Duffy is taken into St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town, for his funeral on July 21st. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The death of Monaghan under-20s captain Brendan Óg Ó Dufaigh struck the county’s heart

Mayo’s Stephen Coen and Paddy Durcan celebrate at the final whistle of the Connacht SFC Final against Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Mayo boss James Horan says there was no panic at half-time in the Connacht final

 Aidan O’Shea celebrates after the game. Photograph: Inpho/Tommy Dickson

Mayo captain was at the heart of his team’s win yesterday but still takes online abuse

Galway manager Pádraic Joyce: ‘I’m just very disappointed, hard to put your finger on it in the second half where it went wrong for us’. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Galway manager angry over incident that saw Shane Walsh suffer injured shoulder

In Mayo’s two Connacht Championship games so far, Ryan O’Donoghue has had 16 shots and scored 1-11. File photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Filling the gap left by Cillian O’Connor’s injury is crucial to Mayo’s hopes this summer

Danny Sutcliffe: has made decisive contributions for Dublin in the championship victories over Antrim and Galway. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former All Star revelling in captain’s role as Kenny’s side reach first Leinster final since 2014

Dublin’s James McCarthy with a young fan after the Leinster championship win over Wexford. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

We can admire Dublin and still want to puke at how straightforward they have made it

Wexford’s Shaun Murphy takes a free during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship semi-final against Kilkenny in Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin: County with their tails up never fail to add to the party

Wexford’s Dáithí Waters challenges Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin during their Leinster SFC quarter-final. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Division Four side give champions their closest provincial match since 2013

Kilkenny’s Martin Keoghan and Wexford’s Shane Reck contest for possession at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Late Cats surge puts gloss on the scoreline as 8,000 witness a bona fide epic at Croke Park

Brian Lohan issues instructions to his players during the quarter-final victory over Waterford at Semple Stadium.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Resurgent Clare showing signs of the distinctive zeal associated with their manager

 Galway’s Damien Comer and  Conor Devaney of Roscommon contest possession when the sides met in the league earlier this year. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Roscommon and Galway face off at the Hyde, will Cluxton feature for Dublin?

Patrick McBrearty carries ahead of Gerard Collins during Donegal’s rout of Down. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Declan Bonner hopeful talisman will be fine as his side deliver assured attacking display

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