SPORTS COLUMNISTS

RONAN O'GARA: Don’t drop all the blame at Matt’s door

While it had initially looked like Matt O’Connor would see out the final year of his contract with Leinster, yesterday’s news of his departure wasn’t all that surprising.

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PADDY HEANEY: Officials escape spotlight in RTÉ’s new era of coverage

When the GAA signed a broadcasting deal with Sky Sports, it was argued that the competition would force RTÉ to improve the standard of their coverage.

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SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Aidan Murphy’s last-gasp heroics edges Killian Kingston at Pouladuff

All-Ireland champion Aidan Murphy narrowly beat Killian Kingston in the last shot at Pouladuff to secure his place in the Munster quarter-final.

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JOHN RIORDAN: Paying more than lip service to Louisville

A bit of travel advice here for the US sports fans among you: Louisville, Kentucky.

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JOHN FOGARTY: Donegal invest in the long game

Spent five days in Donegal last week. Ahead of covering their clash with Tyrone in Ballybofey, it was an opportune time to take in the so-called Forgotten County although it’s Donegal’s understanding of what a kilometre is that’s just as much in need of refreshing.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Two brave sons of Cloyne showed us the way

You leave in the morning

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TONY MCENTEE: Dismiss Tyrone at your peril

Thank God for the Ulster Championship! High intensity warfare packed with so many off-the-ball incidents that no amount of cameramen, never mind referees and officials, could possibly identify the culprits.

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Friday is the chance to take a stance and vote ’yes’

For this observer there’s a sense of the 1968 US Presidential election about the forthcoming marriage referendum.

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LIAM MACKEY: We need to talk about Jack

The news that Jack Grealish is to be a character’s name in the next outing by thriller writer and Aston Villa fan Lee Child added an appropriately dramatic twist to the week’s spiciest narrative.

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LARRY RYAN: Sport left deflated in a toilet

Sometime in the future, when professional sport has been closed down altogether, people will probably look back at the time America’s finest legal minds produced a rebuttal website on behalf of the New England Patriots that contained these sentences:

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Time to grasp nettle of Dubs’ Croker residency

“Parents are less likely to pack the kids into the car or onto the train to see their lot mauled in Croke Park, but a big game ‘down the road’ would get a greater footfall from the regions" writes Brendan O’Brien

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KIERAN SHANNON: The day that changed football

Kieran Shannon looks back at three epic encounters on Sunday, June 26, 2011 that proved to be momentous moments in shaping the destinies of three provincial championships.

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GLORY DAY: Scott Deasy celebrates after Lansdowne's victory over Clontarf in the Ulster Bank League Division 1A final at the Aviva Stadium.

RONAN O'GARA: League final highlights the importance of club game

With a 4.15pm kick-off on a Sunday afternoon for Racing Metro’s crucial Top 14 derby clash with Stade Francais, I was afforded the opportunity to watch bucket loads of rugby last weekend.

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