SPORTS COLUMNISTS

TONY MCENTEE: Fitzmaurice will aim higher when next final arrives

Gaelic games is a participation sports at its broadest base.

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Eamonn Fitzmaurice

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Fitz embraces feeling

Feelings.
You won’t hear managers talk about their innermost ones all too often, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s year has been punctuated with an inner sense that things were slotting in to place if an All-Ireland title was to be claimed.

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Declan O'Sullivan

TONY LEEN: A destination Kerry don’t want Declan to reach

There won’t be an announcement any time soon. It’s not his way.

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: ‘We looked tired, a wee bit lethargic’

With the gunsmoke still clearing from the battlefield, Jim McGuinness was trying to puzzle out what had happened and was starting to regret his side’s conservatism.

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Fitzmaurice: We weren't going to give them space

JOHN FOGARTY: This final won’t be put on shop window any time soon

Mirror, mirror on the wall — who’s the fairest of them all? Neither of yesterday’s finalists. And they will tell you that themselves.

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Umberto Eco

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Contradiction all part of the game

Knowing the sheer quality of my readers, when I (skilfully) drop the name Umberto Eco, I can almost see them nod in recognition.

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PAT KEANE: Champions’ Weekend crowds didn’t justify the massive pre-event hype

There is no doubt that the inaugural Champions’ Weekend was a success and HRI, Leopardstown and the Curragh can be well pleased with their collective efforts.

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TONY LEEN: Jack: Master of many trades

I’M sitting at a small table in a restaurant in Castleisland with the most influential man in Kerry football over the last ten years for company.

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DARA OCINNEIDE: One more miracle left in Kerry

"It doesn’t matter what you do because it’s going to happen anyway."
-Leonard Cohen

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TONY MCENTEE: Mystery deepens as master plans hatched

This is an analysis piece which offers more questions than solutions, scenarios which contradict each other and a thought process which may lead you down a blind alley.

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LARRY RYAN: When you are out of ideas, turn to honest John

Chips and chocolate, for some of us at least, still hold most of the answers.

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DONAL OG CUSACK: Sport helps us put bad times into perspective

I left Dublin too late last Thursday and had to hare it down the motorway to get to CIT in time, writes Dónal Óg Cusack.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Irish cricket set for golden age after Indian summer

You may or may not have heard the news about Cricket Ireland’s rather stunning sponsorship coup earlier this week.

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PADDY HEANEY: McGuinness hoping Ferguson formula works for Donegal

For the princely sum of €2.44, aspiring managers can discover the secret to Jim McGuinness’s success, reports Paddy Heaney.

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JOHN RIORDAN: It’s more than the game that matters in NFL

IT’S hard to avoid this repeated hand wringing about the NFL and its inability to stay opaque in our overwhelmingly transparent era of journalism.

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RAY SILKE: Sam on way to Donegal, suggests Ray Silke

MY brother Brian was corner back for the Galway minors in 1986 when they beat Cork in the All-Ireland final. Later that afternoon Kerry beat Tyrone in the senior game. Brian is 45 now and in the intervening 28 years Kerry have since failed to defeat an Ulster team in an All-Ireland senior final.

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Eoin Reddan

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Reddan won’t be looking over his shoulder for rising stars

The first interpro of the rugby season slides into focus on Friday as Connacht host Leinster but Eoin Reddan won’t be paying any heed to the familiar subplots comparing rival players and their Test place chances.

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SEAMUS OTUAMA: Bohane tames Twohig to close in on King of the Roads spot

Michael Bohane bounced back from his Flor Crowley Cup defeat with an impressive win over Gavin Twohig in the Jim O’Driscoll Cup at Ballincurrig.

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Eamon McGee

BRENDAN OBRIEN: McGee: Attitude right to take care of ‘unfinished business’

Eamon McGee just couldn’t take it anymore.

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Brian Cody

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Cody leaves final door open for Shefflin

Kilkenny have a clean bill of health ahead of the All-Ireland SHC final replay, according to manager Brian Cody, who was circumspect about Henry Shefflin’s chances of starting the game against Tipperary.

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Paul Durcan

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Durcan hoping to steer Donegal into winning position again

Ask Paul Durcan what swung the All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin in favour of Donegal and he will plump for what he terms his side’s "exceptional attacking play", but the goalkeeper was the lead character in the passion play’s seminal moment.

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STAR-STRUCK: Kerry star James O'Donoghue meets the fans after squad training at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland SFC final against Donegal.

JOHN FOGARTY: ‘Team Ulster’ take care of their own

At half-time of what is by now the legendary 2011 Dublin-Donegal semi-final, this writer fell into conversation with another from Ulster [not Donegal].

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Paul McGinley

COLUMNISTS: McGinley relaxes with friends at the Grange

You would imagine Paul McGinley has plenty on his mind right now, with the Ryder Cup just days away.

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Jim McGuinness

KIERAN SHANNON: Jimmy did powerful job rebooting ailing charges

To justly appreciate the phenomenon that has been Jim McGuinness’s tenure with Donegal it would be an idea to ponder this question: in which of his four years in charge do you think he’s done the best coaching job?

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MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Manager Jim McGuinness speaks to his players during a Donegal training session at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.

COLUMNISTS: Not easy to deal with Donegal

"Ah, you’re only as good as your last game..."

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DARA OCINNEIDE: Donegal and Kerry's Gaeltacht connection

It was the Conamara man who got me thinking about it after the second day of a seismic weekend of football at the tail end of last month.

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TONY CONSIDINE: Clare’s young guns fire first warning shot for 2015

They haven’t gone away, you know. Clare’s exit from the senior championship may have been premature, but the county’s younger band of hurlers did not lie down after that disappointment and ended the year in spectacular fashion on Saturday night. 

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Explaining Cork’s Kingdom dilemma

As we loitered in the catacombs under the Hogan Stand last Sunday evening, a colleague from an outlet in the North brought up the All-Ireland football final this Sunday coming.

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