James McCarthy has been declared fit to play against Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Donegal. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

One should be forgiven for presuming the natural place to direct a conversation with Jim Gavin about Donegal would be 2014. That seismic All-Ireland s(...)

James McCarthy: his absence would weaken a Dublin defence already without Rory O’Carroll and Jack McCaffrey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Barry Cahill expects a tactically astute Donegal performance, complete with one or two innovative gambits, when they face All-Ireland champions Dubli(...)

Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty slips by Cork’s Eoin Cadogan during the All-Ireland qualifier at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Paddy McBrearty is the clearest, most present danger to Dublin. Proof comes with the 0-11 he inflicted on Cork last Saturday evening. A tune-up, if yo(...)

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan catches a ball over the head of Meath’s Mickey Burke. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin 0-21 Meath 0-11 It’s maybe symbolic of the state of expectation in the GAA Leinster football championship that a 10-point win in a semi-final (...)

Mayo’s Kevin McLoughlin and Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan in action in the All-Ireland semi-final replay. Dublin manager Jim Gavin said: “Cian got cramp at the end of the game.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

It looked like Cian O’Sullivan’s hamstring snapped underneath the Cusack Stand last Saturday evening. Mayo had been beaten, the clock had turned red a(...)

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan celebrates scoring a goal past Fermanagh goalkeeper Thomas Treacy during the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin 2-23 Fermanagh 2-15 By the numbers, this was quite a contest. By any other metric, it was business as usual. Dublin rolled on through an(...)

Bernard Brogan celebrates scoring a goal in the Leinster SFC Final against Westmeath at Croke Park. Photograph:  Inpho

Dublin 2-13 Westmeath 0-6 When it comes to Leinster finals these days, we dutifully pan for grains of interest having long since given up on finding (...)

Darren Dalay: “You have to keep on improving. Longford had a spell there in the first half where they kicked five points in a row I think. That’s something we can improve on.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

When there is talk of Dublin’s panel strength, Darren Daly is the sort of player in focus. An adaptable defender who can slot into most positions a(...)

 Emmett O’Conghaile of Dublin with Padraig Faulker of Maynooth University at Parnell Park.  Photograph: Donall Farmer / Inpho

Dublin 1-12 Maynooth University 1-5January’s riches don’t normally test the pocket’s stitching and so it was no surprise to see this play out as it di(...)

Colm McFadden celebrates scoring Donegal’s  third goal in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

The smart boys won. Smirking away down the back of the class, homework done to the last full stop. Donegal, the biggest underdogs in an All-Ireland(...)

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