SPORTS COLUMNISTS

SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Jerry Gibbons lifts Barrett Cup after scorching effort

Jerry Gibbons scorched past the line in 12 throws to win the Bill Barrett Cup final over Tim Young at Caheragh.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Death or glory as relegation dynamic takes hold

When Matt Le Tissier was asked recently whether he had any regrets about never moving to a bigger club, the most famous and loyal player in the history of Southampton FC explained why he hadn’t.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Stars aligning as Munster defying the odds again

So much has changed since Munster set out on their inaugural fixture in this season’s Champions Cup campaign that it’s difficult to grasp that they now sit just 80 minutes away from an appearance in the semi-final stage of the tournament.

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Night to savour for debutants

The FAI like to play up the time spent by some of its senior players in the domestic league but the rite of passage for most Republic of Ireland internationals still involves a one-way ticket across the Irish Sea before they possess the right to vote or drink.

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JOHN FOGARTY: John Maughan: Time to forgive Cormac Reilly

John Maughan insists Mayo supporters are a forgiving type and won’t give Cormac Reilly a hard time of it when he takes charge of their crucial final round game against Donegal in Castlebar on Sunday.

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DAVID SHONFIELD: Where now for Dutch football?

There was a moment during the last World Cup finals when it seemed the Dutch might be about to write a new chapter in their glorious football history, writes David Shonfield

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JOHN FOGARTY: Counties not spending their downtime wisely

Dublin need only a point on Sunday to seal a fifth straight Division 1 final appearance. 

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KIERAN SHANNON: Mickey Whelan has had a huge impact on Dublin GAA

Always learning, even at 78. The godfather of Dublin coaching, Mickey Whelan, has left an enormous and lasting legacy on the current Dublin set-up, one those involved are more than happy to acknowledge, writes Kieran Shannon

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ANTHONY DALY: Maybe the Gary Keegan impact is being felt in Cork

You have to give it to Cork for the way they responded after successive defeats to Dublin and Kilkenny, writes Anthony Daly.

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LIAM BRADY: Positives and a point but big price to pay

I said in this column before kick-off on Friday I would have happily taken a draw against Wales. Well, Ireland did get a valuable point on that night, but only at a very heavy price.

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: WhatsApp, Ivan, and the need to hack

It was another time and another place. The proof? Yours truly in a position of responsibility, teaching a class in northern California, writes Michael Moynihan.

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THE SECRET FOOTBALLER: Put away the noose. No way Taylor was thinking about hurting Coleman

Our man inside the game says Seamus Coleman’s universal popularity and the upsetting nature of the break make it tempting to lynch somebody but hanging Taylor won’t help the Ireland captain.

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PAT KEANE: 19 Cheltenham winners - but the underbelly tells a very different story

It really is one of the great contradictions. The evidence provided by the Cheltenham festival - an unprecedented 19 winners for Ireland - tells us that the National Hunt game in this country is absolutely flying, writes Pat Keane.

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LARRY RYAN: Gaelic football now a riot of rancour

This week a bunch of hopefuls returned from the Scottish highlands where they’d spent a year building a self-sufficient community away from the outside world, writes Larry Ryan.

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ANTHONY DALY: Limerick may pick up the weekend’s most valuable points

In the last round of the league in 2013, Dublin played Carlow in Parnell Park. We were second in Division 1B so we needed to win to ensure we made the final against Limerick, writes Anthony Daly.

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LIAM MACKEY: A matter of life and death

He was our man. He was the man that, when you had the big bullies from the big clubs coming up to us, we’d say, ‘You know what, we’ve got Ryan and Ryan will help us’. And that’s what he did, writes Liam Mackey.

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Willie Mullins is a serial winner who knows how to lose

Willie Mullins has been second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup six times, writes Brendan O’Brien

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LIAM BRADY: Away-style performance to take home point for depleted Ireland

Liam Brady is confident David Meyler can do a job against Wales

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PAUL ROUSE: Don’t begrudge soccer stars for earning while they can

Paul Rouse tackles the wage packets of some of your beloved, and less so, soccer stars and whether or not they deserve the kind of money they make.

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RONAN O'GARA: Kieran Marmion plugs the leaks in absence of majestic Conor Murray

This week Ronan O’Gara talks nerves and the sporting men that put them to an end.

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SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Aidan Murphy and Cathal Toal stay in hunt for Joe McVeigh Cup

Aidan Murphy and Cathal Toal secured their places in next month’s Joe McVeigh Cup semi-final following good wins on the Newtownhamilton Road at Tassagh, Armagh on Sunday.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Thunderstruck Ballyea will never be the same again

Nothing, upon losing an All-Ireland final, quite prompts you to bite the lip and the tears to well as arriving back at the hotel and seeing and walking through your people.

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