Liam Mackey - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

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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LIAM MACKEY: Scouting the next fairytale with Brian Carey

Spurs scout and former Cork City player Brian Carey dreams of unearthing the next Jamie Vardy, a player he admired at non-league level for his blistering pace, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: The Champions League night when all heaven broke loose at Camp Nou

Sceptical voices have been raised at the generosity of the refereeing, but none of the game’s most contentious incidents could be described as definitive miscarriages of justice, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: Michelle O'Neill is always putting her reputation on the line

Where cases of mistaken identity occur on the football pitch, we usually picture a ref handing out a card to the wrong player but the tables were turned somewhat on RTÉ’s ‘Soccer Republic’ last Monday when the commentator for the St Pat’s-Bray game managed to rename assistant referee Michelle O’Neill as ‘Michelle Smith’, an error not without a little added irony since the official’s day job happens to be as a swimming instructor.

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LIAM MACKEY: Nothing personal, Claudio Ranieri, for Leicester City it’s just business as usual

Before adding my tuppence worth to the wave of revulsion at The Defenestration Of Father Christmas – AKA the sacking of a football manager - a quick word about another extraordinary tale of the unexpected which might have passed you by this week.

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LIAM MACKEY: League of Ireland season dawn brings fear and fanfare

Liam Mackey looks ahead to a new season of domestic football in Ireland.

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LIAM MACKEY: Sadly, the time to abolish replays has arrived

I don’t recall, as an 11-year-old, being aware I was watching an exhibition of sport as a thinly disguised substitute for war, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: The rise and fall of Leicester City

Unless Arsenal can recover from the shock of losing at home to Watford and produce a surprise win at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, there’s every prospect of Chelsea’s pursuit of the title turning into a procession.

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LIAM MACKEY: It's win or bust for First Division clubs

Possibly nothing more cogently expresses the mixture of dismay and desperation felt across the League of Ireland First Division at the scrapping of the promotion-relegation play-offs than the proposal, aired at a meeting of club representatives in Wexford last week, that the top three teams in the second tier would take part in an internal play-off at the end of this season, with the front-runners facing the winners of second v third in a one-off game to decide promotion to the 10-team Premier Division in 2018.

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LIAM MACKEY: Plot thickens as Spurs visit Pep Guardiola’s La La Land

As my long-suffering comrades in the press box know only too well, your aging correspondent doesn’t need much encouragement to regale all and, yes, even sundry with what I like to imagine are fascinating stories from my life in — yikes! — going on 40 years in the inky trade.

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LIAM MACKEY: Mourinho rediscovers Midas touch as Klopp suffers a blip

The Marouane Fellaini header which gave Manchester United a 2-0 victory over Hull in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday is unlikely to feature in any end of season highlights reel, even if the looping effort was well executed and has helped his club move closer to a Wembley appearance and the prospect of Jose Mourinho bringing his first meaningful piece of silverware to Old Trafford.

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LIAM MACKEY: Three main talking points for Irish football in 2017

Ireland’s clashes with Wales, involving two evenly matched teams, will be decisive next year, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: 2016’s last question: Does Dylan trump two Robbies?

From terrorism to Trump, the year just ending gave us many reasons to be fearful.

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