Sinead Kissane: Time to reclaim sport for ourselves and resurrect an old pastime
After the Lions players and coaches had finished their meetings and selected their gear for this summer's tour at a hotel in London earlier this...
After the Lions players and coaches had finished their meetings and selected their gear for this summer's tour at a hotel in London earlier this...
A confession to start. When the news broke this week about the proposal to wipe all world and European records before 2005, I realised I didn't want athletics to lose its dirty past. I like the...
Let's revisit another Lions year for a moment and Munster's European knock-out game against an English team in April 2013. Paul O'Connell was...
John Muldoon spoke in a language which everyone understood on the eve of Connacht's Guinness Pro12 final against Leinster last May. He didn't hide behind the safety of nauseous rugby jargon like...
Dear John, What a landmark week this has been for Irish football; look who stood up to the big boys, got plenty of international media coverage and made progress after hard negotiations. Without doubt, John, your appointment to Uefa's Executive Committee was ground-breaking.
Samantha Jones may have been on to something with her approach to her love life in the HBO series 'Sex and the City'.
Some things don't change in the life of Katie Taylor. Before her professional bout tonight at the Manchester Arena, Katie and her mother will resume a pre-fight routine they've done all their lives. Bridget will go to her daughter's bedroom an hour before they leave the hotel and she will begin the process of fixing Katie's hair for show-time. But this is private-time.
This was no ordinary day. The army bomb squad had swept through the RTE studio with sniffer dogs to do a security check. It was Saturday, February 24, 2007 and Ireland were preparing to play England in the Six Nations at Croke Park.
The Ireland players and coaches didn't spoil the moment for fans as they stood for photos and talked about the Wales game at Cardiff Airport on Saturday. Sure, it's easy to be nice but it must be harder when your head is splitting from the defeat the night before.
At 7.15 this morning the Ireland women's squad will meet in their hotel to start their warm-up exercises for today's Six Nations game against Wales.
Conor O'Shea had just finished an interview at the Six Nations launch in London in January when a hot-shot English TV reporter tried to usher him over to where his camera crew was positioned.
While the internet was chewing up and spitting out my opinion piece last weekend, I was visiting...
'I've never actually worn a thong bikini . . . the thong is perfect, it really made me feel comfortable. I'm officially a thong girl now".
Paddy Jackson's eyes are darting around the room at Carton House as he listens to the Ireland head coach defend his decision to name him at out-half for the Six Nations game against Scotland at Murrayfield.
When Eddie Jones showed up at the Six Nations launch in London this week, it was like looking at the two faces of rugby. The England boss arrived at the media day after, apparently, falling over in his bathroom that morning. A makeshift bandage covered the cut on his face but the damage had spread to his eye. When he sat down in front of me for an interview, one of his eyes was clear and...
Peter O'Mahony didn't play for his province last season but that didn't stop him speaking out at a staff meeting involving all levels of the Munster organisation last April.
It was hard to take your eyes off Sene Naoupu at the UCD Bowl on the final Sunday in November last year. Not just because she was the New Zealand-born player in action in the centre of the Irish team against the Black Ferns.
You won't have seen them on any of the literary end-of-year award lists but some of the most breathtaking reads of the past year could be found in the statements explaining the outcome of disciplinary hearings for acts of dangerous and foul play. Some of the statements boasted what any novella would love to have: mystery, the capacity to astound, and, best of all, a twist at the end.
When I looked over at my dad after the whistle blew for half-time of the All-Ireland football semi-final between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park last August, he looked like someone who had just stepped off a rollercoaster with his eyes wide open and an incredulous stare of "did that just happen?" painted across his face.
Pat Kenny was at the end of his interview with Joan Burton on Newstalk on Monday when he seemed to salivate at the soundbite he was about to deliver.
Katie O'Farrell was still the relatively new kid in town when she lined up for the beginners' chase in Kilbeggan three months ago after becoming a professional jockey in November 2015.
A few days after Munster's Heineken Cup semi-final defeat to Wasps in 2004, Jim Williams thought it was time to do some straight talking.
During the captain's run at the Aviva Stadium yesterday Rory Best led the Ireland players around the north end of the pitch in their final training session ahead of today's game with New Zealand. The Ireland skipper ran past the spot where he grounded the ball for Ireland's second try in the 2013 game with the All Blacks. That day, three years ago, Best showed his drive when he scored after...
After the Ireland players left the dressing-room for the second half of their game with New Zealand in Chicago last Saturday, it was time for the team's performance nutritionist Ruth Wood-Martin to go into the dressing-room to do her work.
Nothing seems impossible this year. Nothing. And not in a good way. 'I read the news today, oh boy' has become a line to live the year by because sense and logic have been absent on too many occasions in 2016.
For years, my dad, David, had given up on running. The last marathon he took part in was nearly a quarter of a century ago in the 1993 London Marathon when he slugged it out until the four-and-a-half-hour torture finally came to an end.
No matter what direction you came from, the first sight of Thomond Park through the years always had the effect of making you pause for a moment.
It was the eve of the 2006 Heineken Cup final in the Millennium Stadium and the battle lines were already being drawn by Anthony Foley.
Ten years ago this month Ronan O'Gara did an interview which blew the lid off the way the Munster players viewed themselves and their new position at the top of European rugby. Munster were beginning the defence of the Heineken Cup away to Leicester Tigers in October 2006 and O'Gara was not in an apologist's mood to play down the confidence he had in his team-mates.
A year ago Dan Carter sat at the top table in a marquee at Twickenham Stadium and gave the media what they wanted. It was the day before the 2015 Rugby World Cup final in what would be his last game for New Zealand.
Imagine being Maurice Deegan today. Imagine being in the dressing-room before you and your linesmen walk onto the pitch to referee the All-Ireland football final replay.
When a "level playing field" was given as the reason for not having Hawk-Eye in use at Croke Park on Sunday for the All-Ireland Ladies football finals, it felt like some version of Trumpist ridicule was at play.
When Beyoncé and her high-heeled fierceness played Croke Park for one night only earlier this summer, she gave a corporate message to her fans during her Formation concert: "If you're a woman you're born strong. There's no such thing as a weak woman."
The political party with responsibility for Creating Mania around Mayo was clearly not happy with the low-key build-up in the county ahead of the All-Ireland final.
This summer threw up a few heavyweight clashes but Brian O'Driscoll v New Zealand was one of the more unexpected ones.
When one of the most influential players in the history of Irish women's sport goes to work, she's not labelled as 'Cora the Footballer'. Cora Staunton has worked as a primary health co-ordinator with the Mayo Travellers Support Group in Castlebar for the past seven years.
When Diarmuid Connolly finished his interview with RTE, I watched him as he walked down the pitch to where we were waiting to interview him at a media day in Abbotstown last month.
1. If Italia '90 was the moment a nation held its breath, then Rio 2016 delivered the moment which launched a nation's outrage.
By lunchtime on Monday Waterford manager Derek McGrath had yet to fulfil a promise he'd made to himself. In the lead-up to last Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final McGrath did his routine visit before a Waterford game - he went to the Cathedral and offered up a two-way proposal.
If American film-maker Bud Greenspan were still alive to make a TV documentary about the Rio Games, he would have sidestepped the controversies leading up to the Olympics as fast as American gymnast Simone Biles performs a twisting somersault.
When Thomas Barr felt a pain in his groin as he ran the bend on the track at the University of Limerick last Monday week, the fear that his Olympic Games could be over flashed through him.
Bless me father, for I have sinned. I have committed adultery of the serious kind: I didn't watch all of the second half of the Munster hurling final and instead switched over to see Andy Murray swear at his coaches and cry private tears in public after winning the Wimbledon final.
The advertising department at Nike must be pretty p****d off with Rory McIlroy right now. Why, they may wonder, did McIlroy waste controversial sound-bites at a silly press conference rather than wait for Nike to package and compress his outspoken views into a neat little commercial.
When actor Tom Hiddleston wore a T-shirt with a three-worded message on it for the world to read earlier this week, just what kind of reaction did he expect? The man touted as the next James Bond had the words 'I Heart TS' on his T-shirt as he frolicked (that's the word for it, right?) in the sea alongside his new squeeze Taylor Swift.
The day after Rory McIlroy pulled out of the Rio Games last week a far different perspective on the Olympics, and what it really means, was on show in Sligo town on Bonfire Night.
Nigel Carolan and his young Irish team have been shaking things up since they arrived at the World Rugby U-20 Championship and not just in terms of the teams they've beaten on their way to today's final against England.
For a few hours today everything else besides the Republic of Ireland will be irrelevant; no more analysis of Joachim Löw's scratch and sniff sideline habits, no Brexit, no Big Brother and no more bitching about the Cork football team.
Stop what you're doing and just savour this time before the European Championships start because this might just be the best part of the tournament for us.
The life of an inter-county GAA player can be split into what a player does when no-one is watching and what a player does when everyone is watching.
This year doesn't just mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. 100 years ago in a hotel just off O'Connell Street in Dublin, another idea was formed.
As John Muldoon stood at the side of the stage for the moment he had spent his entire career waiting for, he started waving frantically across the pitch to the members of the squad who were suited up for the occasion but who weren't involved in the final.
John Muldoon has been here before. He's been photographed standing beside trophies at photocalls for the start of Pro12 and European tournaments but it was always hard to imagine him with any of the cups at the end of the season.
You know your Championship has finally arrived when you're asked 'are you in the terrace or the stand?' by your friends, family and the local butcher.
JJ Hanrahan knew a day would come when he'd need a song to sing and it came the Monday morning after he made his debut for Northampton Saints last October.
"Name one thing in this world that is not negotiable?"
Tackle low. Full-on," Jerry Flannery said. "Full-on?" Donnacha Ryan asked. "Yeah" Flannery replied. Flannery got into position with the tackle bag at Munster training at the University of Limerick earlier this week. Ryan got the message and went full-on in the drill.
When John Muldoon walked into the media room in Connacht earlier this week he did a quick scan of the room before he said under his breath: "Oh Jesus, full house".
Derby games like Leinster v Munster were never about anyone else but ourselves. It didn't matter if rugby fans in England or Europe were watching because it wasn't about getting their attention or approval; derbies were always about us and how we viewed ourselves.
Get up off your knees Novak Djokovic and quit the apologies because you did women in sport a small favour this week.
What an ugly Six Nations this has been at times. It's been a Championship where 'sorry' seems to be the easiest word and was enough to stave off suspension for a racial slur and where the word "banter" finally got the kicking it deserves.
Poor Kim Kardashian must have been appalled that she wasn't the woman on the west coast of America who broke the internet this week. Kim confused International Women's Day as an excuse to forget to dress herself as she posted another naked selfie for her followers on social media (stay klassy, Kimmy).
When Katie Taylor ducked under the ropes and into the ring for her final at the 2012 Olympic Games, there was only one voice she could tune into amid the thunderous noise and support in the ExCel Arena. That voice was her dad's.
I wonder what England head coach Eddie Jones would think today if one of his players knocks Johnny Sexton to the ground in a brutal off-the-ball hit like Yoann Maestri did to the Ireland out-half during the France two weeks ago?
"When people ask, 'Has fame changed you', the shit answer is, 'No, of course it hasn't.' I always say, 'I hope it f****** has!' Nobody could go through what I've gone through and not be changed." - Noel Gallagher, Oasis
Johnny Sexton believes everything happens for a reason. No doubt it was difficult to console himself with that thought as he sat in the corridor inside the Millennium Stadium watching the game on the TV screen in the corner while metres down the tunnel outside Ireland were fighting their way to a stunning win over France in the Rugby World Cup last October.
There was a moment during the Ireland press conference at Carton House yesterday when Joe Schmidt turned to Jamie Heaslip, who was sitting beside him at the top table, and asked him a question.
Sky Sports supremo Jim White wouldn't last long if he decided to report on the Irish rugby transfer market.
Mike Crowley thinks he won't need to say too much to his 21-year-old twin sons, Gavin and Brian, before they leave their home in south Kerry tomorrow and make the journey to Limerick to play in the All-Ireland Club Junior Football Championship semi-final for Templenoe.
Over the next month or so we will have to brace ourselves for wall-to-wall coverage of politicians posing for photo-ops with the misplaced belief that they've got the draw of a Conor McGregor with their outrageous promises.
The day after Ireland's defeat to Argentina in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, I had just come through arrivals at Cork Airport when a producer of TV3's RWC coverage rang me.
Just in! Here is the Irish sports fans' horoscope for 2016: the new year starts with a sense of excitement and foreboding as 2016 brings with it great opportunities for success but also opportunities for failure.
As if Munster don't have enough to be concerned about ahead of tomorrow's game at Leicester Tigers, their fans have been getting it in the neck this week after a vocal minority ironically cheered Ian Keatley's substitution last weekend.
Why would any former player want to leave their job as a pundit to become a manager like Gary Neville has done. You're onto a loser, surely, if you make the jump from the cozy environment of punditry to the cut-throat world of management, which nearly always ends in failure.
"He just walks back, hands on hips, has a look at the ball, has a look at the posts, has another look at the ball. And then he takes his hands off the hips, comes up and he's followed through, he's like a golfer. And he's shot that one straight through over the black spot. An absolutely superb point."
Someone order me a Bloody Mary fast. All this talk of a “World Cup hangover” has left me in need of the cure.
The makers of Christmas TV ads should have made it their business to be at the Aviva Stadium on Monday night. I don't know about you but watching the celebrations on TV after the Republic of Ireland's win made me feel like a kid again in a way that a £7m (€10m) John Lewis Christmas TV ad could never ever do.
Remember the name Rollo Tomasi from the 1997 movie L.A. Confidential? Rollo Tomasi was the made-up name Ed Exley gave the man who shot his father and got away with it.
I don't know what I enjoyed more: watching jockey Michelle Payne win the Melbourne Cup earlier this week or watching her tell certain people to "get stuffed".
The best kind of Rugby World Cup foreplay has been watching players during their national anthems before each game. It might be a lame exercise in pop psychology but it is still a chance to pick up cheap clues about how nervous, pumped or psyched players appear to be ahead of the main performance.
Ian Madigan looked like he had just seen a ghost when he unexpectedly appeared at the TV post-match interview zone in the Millennium Stadium last Sunday.
Three times in the space of two days the fire alarm went off in my hotel in Cardiff. The first was a false alarm after the steam from someone's hot shower set off the alarm (seriously). The following day it went off again as I worked in my bedroom.
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre looked as if he didn't have a care in the world earlier this week. It was three days before the Pool D decider with Ireland and Saint-Andre looked like the only engagement in his diary was a game of bowls in the town square later that evening.
Picture this. The Ireland players have spent two weeks away from home in the high-energy environment of a Rugby World Cup. Not only is there the training, playing and recovery, there is also the travelling and the unpacking and the packing and the travelling again.
Hotel lifts are the equivalent of speed-dating. Not always. Just when you are staying in the same hotel as the Ireland rugby players during the World Cup.
Referees and the Rose of Tralee have been easy targets for Joe Brolly this week. He tweeted: "They want Rose of Tralee coverage, instead of the real stuff discussed by GAA folk in the stands and bars" following GAA President Aogán O Fearghail's comments that 'The Sunday Game' has become "predictable" and "tiresome" in its negativity.
Articles that start with a pretentious historical quote from someone like Churchill or Confucius tend to make me nauseous.
A year ago today Kerry footballer James O'Donoghue summed up what is wrong about the structure of the GAA championship in less than 140 characters.
That was disappointing from Fermanagh forward Tomás Corrigan on the bus home from Croke Park last Sunday, wasn't it? It was only a few hours after the team suffered an eight-point defeat in the quarter-final to one of the best teams in the Championship. And what did Corrigan do? Well, he had a great laugh singing Christy Moore's 'Lisdoonvarna' in front of his team-mates at the top of the bus.
What do you want from a player or a manager in a post-match TV interview? Anger? Humility? Tears? F-bombs? All of the above at once?
Is there a better way than a coin toss to decide who should play in a quarter-final of the All-Ireland Camogie Championship?
Dave Matthews always liked the instant impact of trigger words. I'm fast. I'm strong. I'm in the shape of my life. The words were like answers in a rapid fire buzzer round to any sneaky questions in his head about his form as he lined up for a race when he was an athlete.
I'm going to start with a confession. Two weeks ago, I walked up to Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney bagged with confidence.
Let's get the nickname out of the way first. Waterford's Michael 'Brick' Walsh has his older brother Paul to thank/blame for his nickname. Paul was called the 'Block' in school. So when Michael pitched up in class he got tagged with the nickname the 'Brick'. There's no science behind it. No single entendre. But the nick-name stuck.
Do you have a second? I really want you to meet Paddy Joe Burke. He is the Roscommon supporter who was sitting at home watching the 1982 FIFA World Cup on TV when he had a light-bulb moment.
What's the first thing you look at as you take your seat in the stand or your place on the Hill at Croke Park? It's the pitch, isn't it? Tune into the hum in the stadium and one line you'll probably hear is "the pitch looks great doesn't it". It gives a certain bang of pride when the grass looks pitch perfect. It is, after all, our field.
I really envied Galway footballer Gary Sice last weekend. I envied the way he must have felt after scoring that scorcher of a goal against Mayo.
Bananas and boots. Let's go back to a time when only one of these came in the colour yellow. For the Banner's only football All Star Seamus Clancy, bananas and boots were small signs of progression for the Clare football team.
'How much time is left?" It was a question Paul O'Connell asked one of the Munster fitness coaches at training earlier this week. One of the first players out for training as always, O'Connell had already spent 20 minutes warming up at his final training session with the province at Thomond Park.
Immunity and the job of a head coach are generally mutually exclusive. A contract definitely doesn't make you immune from the sack - ask Matt O'Connor.
A home Rugby World Cup ups the ante for more game-time and off-the-field support.
What a come-down this season must have been for Andrew Trimble. It's been a write-off after the unfortunate case of him injuring his same toe twice. He originally damaged the ligament during an Ulster game last October.
Valerie Mulcahy got the "yes" she was hoping for last summer when she asked her girlfriend Meg Blyth to marry her. They will exchange vows and rings at a civil partnership ceremony in Cork at the end of June after six years together.
It is 9.30am local time in Rio on Sunday, August 21, 2016. It is the final day of the Olympic Games and Martin Fagan is at the start-line of the marathon.
Geordan Murphy doesn't feel sorry for his former Leicester Tigers coach Matt O'Connor. He doesn't feel sorry for him because he thinks the criticism he is shipping as Leinster boss is "ridiculous". In fact, he reckons Matt is "on a hiding to nothing" ahead of Leinster's semi-final against Toulon tomorrow.
Nike ads just don't do it for me. Not since the early 1990s when Nike packaged up former German golden girl Katrin Krabbe and sold her as a track icon with a clear conscience and Grace Kelly star quality.
James Downey was at his fiancée's home in Dublin in January last year when he got a phone-call he wasn't expecting. It was Rob Penney. The head coach gave it to him straight.
We need to talk about Niamh Briggs. You need to know that being captain of the Ireland women's rugby team isn't her actual job.
The acronym FoMO - Fear of Missing Out - was added to the Oxford Dictionary two months before Joe Schmidt's first game as Ireland boss. It was good timing.
Moments after England's killer win over Wales on the opening night of the Six Nations, Stuart Lancaster momentarily dropped his poker face.
The embarrassing/entertaining rant of the week was brought to you courtesy of Mo Farah this week. The Olympic champion showed that his own arrogance can also run, but it can't hide as he got involved in a petty war of words on Twitter with his Great Britain team-mate Andy Vernon.
Elvis Presley's 'Love Me Tender' was playing on the sound system as Johnny Sexton arrived at training in Carton House on Thursday.
The likelihood is that I will be sold a dummy in Rome today. It's a hotel room right beside the Pantheon, their website claimed. It's also just a short skip in your Italian leather shoes away from the Piazza Navona, it gushed. And with excellent wi-fi in all the rooms, it lied.
It will be Ian Madigan's 26th birthday on the final day of the Six Nations. You know the drill for pieces like this: the writer uses a nauseating cliche about the player "coming of age".