Liam Mackey - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

LIAM MACKEY: Irish clubs feel the pain of leaving the eurozone

Is there a handy Grexit-style word out there to sum up Irish football’s departure from Europe this week?

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LIAM MACKEY: Damien Duff will be at home with Shamrock Rovers

Short of Paul McGrath doing a Bejamin Button and reconstituting himself as the fabled ‘Black Pearl of Inchichore’, it’s hard to think of an Irish footballer whose appearance in the League of Ireland will generate more genuine delight than that of Damien Duff.

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LIAM MACKEY: The shadow of a caveman

Pope Francis is, or rather was, well known as a football man and, in particular, as a committed supporter of the San Lorenzo club in his native Argentina, so it rather came as a shock when he recently confessed that he had never seen his fellow countryman Lionel Messi in action.

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LIAM MACKEY: Martin O’Neill’s Ireland at tipping point

Martin O’Neill said earlier this week that defeat against Scotland today would leave Ireland with a mountain to climb in European Championship Group D.

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LIAM MACKEY: Ireland lose the moral high ground

And so the ‘Hand Of Gaul’ turned into the ‘Hand-Out Of Gaul’.

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LIAM MACKEY: Gary Pallister: Roy Keane and I fell out for a year at Manchester United

He was ‘Pally’ by name but, where Roy Keane was concerned, not always pally by nature.

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LIAM MACKEY: A life-long Wembley love affair

Tottenham legend Steve Perryman led his club to two victories in the FA Cup in the 1980s. For him Wembley, and the FA Cup itself, retains all of the fabled romance and lustre.

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LIAM MACKEY: Season to leave you singing the Blues

After last year’s feast, the famine…

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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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LIAM MACKEY: I promised you a football miracle

“At half-time,” Alessandro Ciotti recalls, “one of our fans was already on his phone looking for flights to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup. He wanted to get in first so that the prices hadn’t gone up too high.”

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John Terry scores Chelsea's second goal past Kasper Schmeichel in the Premier League game against Leicester. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

LIAM MACKEY: Raining on Chelsea parade

Chelsea brought out all that is characteristic in Shearer and Savage when they locked horns on the subject of the champions-in-waiting on Match of the Day at the weekend.

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