LARRY RYAN: In memory of certainty and unbelievable belief

In a beautiful column for sportsjoe.ie last week, Dion Fanning wrote of the joy that has exploded at home courtesy of his four-year-old son’s discovery of football via the hair and then the magic of Mo Salah, writes Larry Ryan.

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RUBY WALSH: Gripping finale lies in store

After a seemingly endless spell of testing ground, the weather has finally changed and the forecast for next week is for mainly dry weather, with the odd shower of rain, writes Ruby Walsh.

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LIAM MACKEY: So near and yet so VAR

The announcement of Arsene Wenger’s imminent departure from Arsenal may have come as a surprise/shock/relief/inevitability – dilute according to taste – but I don’t mind saying that it came as a personal hammer blow to me, writes Liam Mackey.

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RONAN O'GARA: I got three minutes in a room with Jacky. I was honoured to get that

No I haven’t walked the 200 feet of tunnel that reputedly leads from renowned London wine merchants Berry Brothers and Rudd to Buckingham Palace, but I am assured such a route exists, writes Ronan O’Gara.

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RONAN O'GARA: Munster is the one I love, the club that gave me everything. But that guarantees nothing...

I want Munster to win. That’s where I am from. Home is always home. Where the heart is. But there’s a deep feeling there for guys who will be playing in blue and white as well, writes Ronan O’Gara

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Champions Cup not the promised cash cow

Officials from England and France sold visions of a bright new order, when they took a wrecking ball to the Heineken Cup, writes Brendan O’Brien

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TOMMY MARTIN: When some human rights are more equal than others

Little has been mentioned of the continued human rights abuses which have taken place under the regime of the club’s paymasters in Abu Dhabi, writes Tommy Martin

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JACK ANDERSON: Ryan must provide more than a steady hand

Tom Ryan was an excellent finance director of the GAA, guiding the Association through the post-Celtic Tiger recession but his ‘steady as she goes’ message was a little underwhelming, says Jack Anderson

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KIERAN SHANNON: Why is praise for Pep Guardiola in short supply?

Watching Didi Hamann and the RTÉ football panel in recent weeks question Pep Guardiola’s standing as a coach for remaining stuck on just the two Champions League titles in a career that’s barely a decade old, we were reminded of the opening scene in March to Madness, the esteemed John Feinstein’s season-long study of about the only championship in world team sport that’s as hard to win as football’s famous cup with the big ears.

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DONAL LENIHAN: If defencewins trophies, Munster are in a good place=

It will be Sunday evening before we know for sure which two of the four sides left standing in this season’s Champions Cup got their preparations spot on for the semi-finals, but at this juncture it would be a surprise, notwithstanding they are playing in France, if Munster isn’t one of them.

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LIAM MACKEY: Man in the middle faces becoming hostage to fortune

In football, as in the world about us, the whistle-blower is never too far from the headlines.

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MIKE QUIRKE: Better coaching starting to drip all the way down to grassroots

It is a fascinating time to be involved in the world of coaching sports, and particularly in the GAA. It’s like we’re central to the dawning of a new age, a long drawn out awakening to a better understanding of how to help people learn to coach and play our games.

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JACK ANDERSON: Sex is not a sport

For some, the very fact that Irish professional players may need dedicated programmes on respectful relationships, the meaning of consent, etc, will be seen to reflect badly on Irish sport, writes Jack Anderson

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THE SECRET FOOTBALLER: Cristiano Ronaldo: A talent given by the Gods

Our man inside the game on his slightly begrudging admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: A helping hand to understanding sports stars

It’s funny to consider how much talk there is about hands in Irish sport once you concentrate on it, writes Michael Moynihan

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LIAM MACKEY: Battling for hearts and minds... and points

Our household’s resident young footballer found some rewarding consolation in defeat after the Irish women’s team lost 2-0 to the Netherlands in Tallaght last Tuesday night.

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PAT KEANE: Lyons emerging as only serious threat to O’Brien

It is highly unlikely Ger Lyons will ever be champion flat trainer.

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RUBY WALSH: Classy Total Recall the one to beat

Great and all as the Irish, Scottish and Welsh versions are, nothing quite compares with the Aintree Grand National.

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: More to Mick than rugged survival

So much was so different about English football when a 33-year-old Mick McCarthy agreed to step into the breach as player-manager in the wake of Bruce Rioch’s departure from Millwall back in March of 1992, writes Brendan O’Brien.

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