Thomas Barr of Ireland after finishing in fourth place with a new Irish record of 47.97 during the Men’s 400m hurdles final in the Olympic Stadium, Maracanã, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

It may go down as one of the great near misses in our Olympic history but there was no disputing Thomas Barr the honour of Irish athlete of the year f(...)

Ireland’s Sara Louise Treacy during the 3000m steeplechase round one on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s hard enough running a 3,000m race that includes 28 barriers, each two and a half feet high, plus seven water jumps, without having athletes getti(...)

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean celebrates winning a bronze medal in the women’s 1500 metres at the European Championships. Photograph: Karel Delvoije/Ipho

It was the last day of the European Athletics Championships, and it felt a little like Groundhog Day for Derval O’Rourke, Jerry Kiernan and I inside t(...)

Rob Heffernan is the first Irish athlete to  be  selected for five consecutive summer Olympic Games after being named among a 17-strong team for Rio. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

It’s not the largest ever Irish athletics team being sent to the Olympics but it’s already somewhat historic, Rob Heffernan becoming the first athlet(...)

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the 1500m  at the European Athletics Championship in Amsterdam. Photograph:  Karel Delvoije/Inpho

You know what they say about talent and the face of adversity, and Ciara Mageean is now smiling right back at it, a European Championship bronze medal(...)

Ireland’s Ciara  Mageean leads during her qualifying heat for the women’s 1500 metres at the  European Athletics Championships  in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Not every athlete can justify or afford to celebrate making a European Championship final with such deep satisfaction although for Ciara Mageean it’s (...)

Sara Treacy is in confident mood for the Olympics. “Everything indicates I’m in shape to run a personal best,” she says. “I just have to do it. It’s all about Rio.” Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

According to all the bibles of sports science, the key to success in any athletic event is to choose your parents wisely. Sara Treacy made a good choi(...)

 Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers AC celebrates after winning the Men’s 5000m ahead of Conor Bradley of City of Derry AC Spartans, right,  in Santry. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

It’s a rare thing for Mark English to punch the air at the finish of any race, only this felt good, very good. In the small step of winning back the 8(...)

Jenny Egan endured more frustration when she was just two seconds off a medal at the World Sprint Championships in Milan, only 11 seconds separating the top six. Photograph:  Inpho

After missing out on qualifying for London 2012 by a single place Jenny Egan might have been forgiven for concluding sport was far too cruel and life(...)

Kerry O’Flaherty missed out on place in the steeplechase final at the World Championships in Beijing. Photograph: Inpho

It proved another tough morning for the Irish athletes inside the Brid’s Nest, as the trio of Irish women all fell short of making the World Champions(...)