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

Diarmuid Connolly and Philly McMahon during St Vincent’s Dublin SFC win over Ballymun. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Diarmuid Connolly supreme in first half as Ballymun disappoint at Parnell Park

The wonderful driver at the front is probably perfecting their latest hilarious tweet. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Malachy Clerkin: Getting antsy in the car is one of life’s most pointless indulgences. But it ain’t easy not to

Cora Staunton in the colours of the GWS Giants’ AFLW team.

Mayo player will make the switch to the women’s AFL to play for GWS Giants

Long road back to Croke Park in September beckons for all  counties.

Advent of the new Super Eights adds intrigue to the 2018 football championship

Seadna Morey will be hoping to guide Sixmilebridge to another Clare title. Photo: Inpho

Malachy Clerkin takes a look at the 15 finals down for decision across four provinces

Maybe Mr Crossword was waiting to be called for chemo, maybe he was waiting while Mrs Crossword was getting her line put in. Whatever their reality, it was once our reality

It didn’t cross my mind we’d be near that ward, or that it would be uncomfortable for Mam

The Louth county final will take place in the 7,000 capacity Drogheda Park.

The Louth county final brings together teams from two of the biggest towns in Ireland

GAA director general Páraic Duffy: huge changes are in train from 2018 onwards to make more room for club activity. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Monaghan teacher will go in March after holding almost every role in association

 Anthony Cunningham and Dublin County Board chief John Costello. Cunningham’s name has been mentioned heavily in connection with the Dublin hurling team. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Costello and Gilroy have been close since latter’s time as football manager ended

Castleknock’s Graham Hannigan and Paul Mannion of Kilmacud Crokes during their recent quarter-final clash. Photograph:  Inpho/Bryan Keane

Moving the All-Ireland finals out of September isn’t automatically helpful for clubs

Shane Duffy challenges Wales’ Ashley Williams during Ireland’s 1-0 win in Cardiff. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Malachy Clerkin scores Martin O’Neill’s men after they secure playoff with win in Cardiff

Dublin senior football manager Jim Gavin addressing the  HPX conference at the  Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture: Diarmuid Greene

Dublin boss outlines his coaching philosophy at HPX High Performance Conference

Brendan Maher’s Borris-Ileigh take on Thurles Sarsfields in Sunday’s Tipperary SHC title clash. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Tipperary hurling final between Thurles Sarsfields and Borris-Ileigh is the pick

Ireland’s Daryl Murphy celebrates his first goal with team-mates during the World Cup qualifier against Moldova. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Player reaction: Two-goal hero knew he had to produce after being handed chance

Ireland’s Daryl Murphy scores his  second goal.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Two first-half goals from Daryl Murphy see Ireland past group whipping boys

Kerry celebrate with the Allianz Football League Division One trophy this year. Will success in next year’s league be worth anything for them? Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Why would any serious team go eyeballs-out for a league campaign early in 2018 season?

Seamus Power of Ireland hits his drive on the second hole at the Tour Championship held at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Florida. Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

A nightmare finish for American Matt Harmon saw the Waterford golfer squeeze in

Scott Baldwin took things a little too far at  a wildlife centre when he began to pet a lion “like a kitten”. Photograph: Kevin Barnes/Inpho

Ospreys hooker will be looking to get back into Steve Tandy’s good books after his stupidity

“It’s not about the GAA driving an agenda or the IFA driving an agenda. It’s about children learning activities that they can keep for life.” Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

The killing-off of an acclaimed scheme that put GAA and IFA coaches in schools is shameful

Grace Kelly of Mayo is tracked by Carla Rowe of Dublin. Photograph: Sportsfile

Late goal rush secures emphatic victory over brave Mayo to deny any revenge mission

 Dublin players celebrate following the  Ladies All-Ireland senior football final win over Mayo at Croke Park. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile **

Dubs savour sweet taste of success after suffering defeat in three finals in a row

Dublin’s Philly McMahon plays football with four-year-old Cathal Downey from Kildare while on the squad’s visit to  Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Philly McMahon explains just why this All-Ireland win felt like a precious gift

Dublin’s Sorcha Furlong tackles Cora Staunton of Mayo in last year’s All-Ireland ladies’ senior football semi-final. Photograph: ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Managers trade blows ahead of an All-Ireland football final that is rich in narrative

Dean Rock lands the free which won the All-Ireland for Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

From the best All-Ireland final since 2008 to Mayo’s gripping, gruelling odyssey

Final whistle: “There’s no point having talent on the bench if you’re not going to bring intelligence and energy on to the park,” said Kevin McManamon. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Six of winners’ 12 second-half points against Mayo come via subs

Dublin captain  Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire Cup after the All-Ireland football final win over Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin claim a third straight All-Ireland title as heartbeak continues for Mayo

Paddy Durcan equalises for Mayo and takes the All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry to a replay. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin reflects on an epic summer ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final

Money or no money, Dublin are blessed with players. Players who have improved year on year, whose standards rarely drop, whose athleticism is off the charts.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fears of one-team domination have echoed down through the generations

Sean Cavanagh made his final appearance for Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin reflects on an epic summer ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final

James McCarthy scores Dublin’s second goal in their comfortable Leinster SFC final win over Kildare. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

In the first of a three-part series, Malachy Clerkin reflects on an epic summer ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final

Andy Moran reacts to a missed chance in last year’s All-Ireland SFC final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Strip everything else away and accuracy is still the deciding factor in Sunday's final

Tyrone’s Cormac McAnallen lifts the Sam Maguire after the All-Ireland final victory over Armagh in 2003. ©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

The tragic tale of Tyrone’s lost leader is captured in Dónal's touching new biography

Joe Canning’s stunning late point sees Galway edge past Tipperary. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

From the epic semi-final between Tipp and Galway, to Austin Gleeson’s wonder goal

Joe Canning: the scream he sent up into the Cusack stand contained all the good and all the bad from 10 seasons’ toil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

David Burke was probably man of the match, but the Galway forward was the story

Noel Connor was one of Waterford’s better performers in their All-Ireland SHC final defeat to Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over the Déise after their agonising All-Ireland final loss

Galway’s Conor Whelan and Jonathan Glynn challenge Barry Coughlan and Tadhg De Burca in the air during the All-Ireland SHC final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Déise find one too good as men from the west edge an epic to be crowned kings of summer

Waterford  manager Derek McGrath. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Waterford hurling manager has a bond with his players that goes well beyond the game

Waterford’s Jamie Barron scores his side’s fourth goal in their All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship  semi-final against Cork. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

John O’Dwyer of Tipperary scores a point against Galway in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

Gleeson flicks it past Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford during their All-Ireland quarter-final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

Eoin Murphy: “I will be personally over the moon if we win. But I think honestly I will be over the moon for the group and the players.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘The best three weeks of my life followed by the worst six,’ says Waterford selector

Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh encourages his team during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Dublin at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tyrone and Ulster teams will need a tactical rethink after Dublin’s devastating show

You can be certain Jim Gavin has an idea of where he wants to go and who he wants to use already when his main men like Cluxton, O’Sullivan and Connolly finally move on. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Quietly-spoken pilot has been overseeing constant transition of a talented panel

Conor Gleeson will miss the All-Ireland hurling final after he was shown a red card in Waterford’s semi-final win over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Midfielder will miss All-Ireland final after Déise decide not to challenge ban further

Mayo’s Colm Boyle scores their second goal of the game. Photograph: Inpho

Mayo knew the weakness and targeted it, perhaps Aidan O’Shea could exploit further?

Kerry’s Bryan Sheehan misses a late, long-range free at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kerry and Mayo must do it all again after a thriller replete with baffling tactical subplots

Tyrone lose to Kerry in the 1986 All Ireland Final. Will things be any different against Dublin on Sunday? Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

They may be top of the Ulster heap, but can Tyrone give Dublin the game of their lives?

Neither fish nor fowl: Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea marks Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy at the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mayo’s gamble in sending him to mark Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy backfired spectacularly

Kieran Donaghy celebrates scoring a goal against Mayo in the 2014 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay at the Gaelic Ground.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

After not touching a football throughout the spring, Kerry's number 14 is wreaking havoc

Waterford hurlers are bidding to win a first All-Ireland senior hurling title since 1959. Photo: Inpho

Waterford waiting 58 years for Liam MacCarthy cup – Galway 29 without a win

Ireland captain Claire Molloy addresses the team in the huddle. Display against Australia was critically analysed by former team-mates.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Lynne Cantwell, Fiona Steed and Rosie Foley spared nothing in their analysis

Waterford’s Jamie Barron scores his side’s fourth goal against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park.   Photograph: Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork get burned off in frantic finale as Waterford march on to final with Galway

Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates his team’s victory over Cork at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Déise delight likely to be tempered by concern over Gleesons

Waterford’s Jamie Barron scores their fourth goal of the game past Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash during the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Déise delight with win over Cork tempered by disciplinary issues

Stephen O’Keeffe: “Stephen is the quarterback,” says Karl Cooney.  “He’s your Tom Brady. You need to be a bit of a freak to handle that responsibility.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Goalkeeper’s astute distribution now a key part of the Déise’s well-honed game plan

GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final replay, Croke Park. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Roscommon have no answer to Mayo's huge physicality in the middle third

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor scores their fourth goal against Roscommon. Photograph: Inpho

All-Ireland quarter-final replay is a mismatch as Connacht champions are blitzed

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea with John McManus, Niall McInerney and Colin Compton of Roscommon during the drawn quarter-final. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Young Roscommon side will relish another crack at neighbours in headquarters

Armagh’s James Morgan, Anthony Duffy and Joe McElroy look on dejected as Tyrone score a late point at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kieran McGeeney says Armagh must learn to deal with suffocating defences

Tyrone’s David Mulgrew scores his side’s second goal despite the efforts of Armagh’s Niall Grimley and goalkeeper Blaine Hughes. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Peter Harte penalty ends game as a contest after only 15 minutes

Galway’s Joe Canning snaps  the sensational late winning point despite the efforts of Tipperary’s Niall O’Meara and Noel McGrath at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Galway’s talisman breaks Tipperary hearts with majestic last-gasp winning point

Galway’s Joe Canning watches his match-winning point go over the bar in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Tipperary  at Croke park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Sides level 12 times during the game before ace forward seals final spot for Tribesmen

Tyrone’s David Mulgrew scores his side’s second goal despite the attempts  of  Niall Grimley and goalkeeper Blaine Hughes of Armagh during the  All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Armagh’s attempt to go like for like tactically proves futile at Croke Park

Stephen Cluxton acknowledges the crowd in the celebrations after last year’s All-Ireland victory. Photograph: Inpho

Dublin captain takes all-time GAA appearances record against Monaghan on Saturday

 Conor McManus: Monaghan will be looking to their star forward for inspiration against Dublin at Croke Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side don’t lose quarter-finals and Malachy O’Rrourke’s team don’t win them

Roscommon’s John McManus argues with Cillian O’Connor and Donal Vaughan of Mayo. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The two sides will meet again on bank holiday Monday to see who plays Kerry

Roscommon fans cheer on their team during their All-Ireland SFC semi-final draw with Mayo. Photo: Inpho

A small county’s team going on a run that lasts this long is something to be savoured

Galway’s Eoghan Kerin and Paul Murphy of Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie

Despite giving Galway too many sights of goal, Kingdom won in second gear

Roscommon’s Sean McDermott and Jason Doherty of Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fatigue not a factor for Mayo, says Stephen Rochford, giving credit to the opposition

Armagh’s James Morgan and Kildare’s Paul Cribbin. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

For the Ulster side, beating a Division One side to reach last eight is a fine achievement

Armagh’s Stephen Sheridan and Charlie Vernon with Kildare’s Kevin Feely. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Kieran McGeeney’s more clinical side head into another All-Ireland quarter-final

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