Paul O Connell

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Paula and Michael Loughlin with a portrait of their son, Jimmy, in their Co Sligo kitchen. Photograph: Brian Farrell

It was only a 20-minute drive from Jimmy Loughlin’s home to Sligo town but when he moved there in September 2017, his mother Paula pleaded with him ev(...)

Munster’s Keith Earls scoring a try against Toulouse in  their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final in the  Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on May 7th. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

If Munster make it to the Champions Cup final next season it will be 15 years since their last in 2008. It’s a sobering thought to know that Keith Ear(...)

 The eighth hole  at Lahinch Golf Club, Co  Clare. At the end of last December, the club’s total funds stood at €7.5 million, including accumulated profits of €6.24 million. Photograph:   ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Lahinch Golf Club swung back into profit last year to record an operating profit of just under €1 million after a late season upsurge in green-fee inc(...)

Munster’s Craig Casey and Shane Daly after the defeat to Leinster at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

All the best rugby teams are striving for the same things. An identity. A tight-knit culture. An environment in which words, eventually, are superfluo(...)

Ireland players during the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium ahead of their final Six Nations clash with Scotland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

IRELAND V SCOTLAND  Kick-off: 4.45pm  Venue: Aviva Stadium  On TV: Live on Virgin Media 1 and ITV For the first time since 2018 Irelan(...)

Johnny Sexton: ‘There was a couple we looked at that we said we should never have thrown. There’s a couple where we said ‘yeah, good decision’. The guy that doesn’t take it [the pass] needs to take it. We know when we should be doing it and when shouldn’t be doing it..’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA I

The debate about their high-risk, high-reward strategy can rage all it wants, but despite leaving some chances behind against England, Ireland are not(...)

Scotland spoiled Ireland’s Triple Crown party at Croke Park in 2010. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Even before the 2022 Guinness Six Nations had started Johnny Sexton had scanned the fixtures and dared to think of potentially earning a relatively ra(...)

 Tony McCoy  waves after finishing fourth on Ned Buntline in the race named after him, the AP McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase, his final race at the Cheltenham Festival in  2015. Photograph:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Cheltenham is easier for Tony McCoy now. Easier than when he first retired anyway. Those first couple of years when he went back to the festival, it (...)

Paul O’Connell has a decent record as a player at Twickenham. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Andrew Trimble once revealed that he always loved listening to Paul O’Connell during the week of an Ireland-England game, how O’Connell invariably had(...)

Ireland’s Joey Carbery in action against France during the Six Nations clash at the Stade de France. Photograph: Dave Winter/Inpho

The manner in which the Six Nations match at the Stade de France panned out brought to mind a boxing analogy, the famous heavyweight clash of Muhammad(...)

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