Sinead Kissane: Van Graan's rising rhetoric adding to 'the Munster way'
Johann van Graan made time to turn his house in Limerick into a home when his family moved over from South Africa last winter.
Johann van Graan made time to turn his house in Limerick into a home when his family moved over from South Africa last winter.
When former Ireland player Tania Rosser began work as a coach in men's rugby, her role was sometimes mistaken for something else. Two...
On Easter Monday Drogheda United released a statement from Luke Rossiter about a public tweet the player posted on the day Ulster and Ireland...
There was a moment in the 50th minute of Ireland's game with England last Saturday when the Ireland coaches reacted in a way we have rarely, if ever, seen during a game. Ireland had just won a...
When I saw a familiar figure standing near the tunnel at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon I had to do a double-take.
Johnny Sexton has two similar photographs from the Lions tours in Australia and New Zealand in his home.
If you want a hint as to how Ireland's game with Scotland will go today then watch Finn Russell's demeanour while 'Flower of Scotland' is being played.
Eddie Jones stole a quick glance at the big screen in Murrayfield last Saturday evening to confirm what he already knew. It was minutes after Scotland's Six Nations win over England but the atmosphere quickly turned from cheers to jeers as a chorus-line of boos sounded when Jones appeared on the big screen for an interview.
Warren Gatland might allow himself a smile if he re-read his newspaper column from Monday, October 1, 2007. It was the day after Ireland were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup and Gatland had a go at the IRFU's decision to give Eddie O'Sullivan a new four-year contract which would have kept him in the job for over 10 years.
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast" - Ernest Hemingway, 'A Moveable Feast'
There were just around five minutes remaining in last Saturday's game in Paris when the Frenchman in charge of media operations put an Ireland teamsheet in front of us and asked me to pick a player.
Jacob Stockdale was walking out the dressing-room door after Ireland's win over the USA Eagles in...
The word 'revenge' was mentioned twice in the opening 30 seconds of Tony O'Donoghue's interview with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill...
The day after Munster confirmed that Gerbrandt Grobler was fit to make his competitive debut after recovering from ankle surgery came the news that the most senior player in the squad, fellow lock Billy Holland, signed a two-year contract extension.
Referee Sean Gallagher didn't hesitate to find the applicable words as he gave his bullet-point explanation to Munster's Sammy Arnold for sending him off for a tackle on Christian Leali'ifano in the 58th minute of the Guinness Pro14 game with Ulster on New Year's Day.
The New Year has yet to start but I already feel sorry for 2018. Why? Because the year before a Rugby World Cup is one of continuous contextualisation whereby little can be mentioned or enjoyed without constant reference to 'the bigger picture'.
The final question I asked Tom O'Riordan was the first time he shrugged off giving an answer during an interview at his home in Dublin this week.
There was something apt about the little-known term 'youthquake' being named 2017 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries in the same week it was announced that Physical Education will become an optional Leaving Cert subject.
The moment Lizzie Lee felt like herself again was during the women's senior race at the National Cross-Country Championships in Abbotstown two weeks ago. The leading group were into the final lap when Shona Heaslip and Kerry O'Flaherty surged ahead of Lee and she heard O'Flaherty's coach describe how much Lee trailed them by.
Rihanna's song 'We Found Love' proved to be a uniquely apt soundtrack to the Republic of Ireland's draw with the Netherlands in Nijmegen on Tuesday night.
There was one word notable by its absence in World Rugby's press release on Thursday to announce its ambition to introduce at least one-third women's representation on its council from next year.
As Conor Murray sat down to do a press conference at the Ireland team base at Carton House earlier this week, Roy Keane was doing the same over at FAI HQ in Dublin.
Cork City Women's FC forward Clare Shine was in her local shop in Douglas recently - it was the first time she was recognised by the woman behind the counter as a football player.
During last weekend's Bledisloe Cup game between Australia and New Zealand, the referee Wayne Barnes had cautionary words for the two captains in the 56th minute as he gave a warning generally not heard during a game like this.
When IRFU chief executive Philip Browne gave his address at an Oireachtas Committee meeting in January this year, he was convincing with his claim that there was no bigger supporter of our national women’s team than the IRFU.
At the launch of the Champions Cup season earlier this month, Munster captain Peter O'Mahony was guarded in his answers to a few questions but when it came to the replacement for Rassie Erasmus and the collective responsibility of the players, O'Mahony spoke more sternly than he had at any other point in the interview.
At his opening press conference as Republic of Ireland manager in November 2013, Martin O'Neill answered the first of many questions about his decision to appoint Roy Keane as his assistant manager.
The day after the final bid presentations were made for the 2023 Rugby World Cup last Monday, IRFU performance director David Nucifora gave an overview of Irish rugby at a media briefing at the Aviva Stadium. It's now 35 days since Ireland finished eighth at the Women's Rugby World Cup and it's also just over four months until the start of the 2018 Women's Six Nations.
Stay big for as long as you can. That thought ran through the mind of Mayo goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne as she stood in goal after Cork were awarded a penalty with only minutes remaining in their All-Ireland Ladies SFC semi-final in Cavan earlier this month.
This month ten years ago the Irish rugby team hit its version of ground zero. The 2007 Rugby World Cup seemed like Ireland's gateway to greatness.
At half-time of the minor match at Croke Park last Sunday some of the Mayo senior players walked onto the pitch in their tracksuits to test the surface and jog through some scenarios in their heads ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry later that afternoon.
The final whistle in the drawn 2014 All-Ireland SFC semi-final between Kerry and Mayo sounded the start of the mind-games for Kieran Donaghy ahead of the replay.
Do you remember Mosney? It was a holiday resort dressed up like an Olympic village for kids and teenagers taking part in the National Community Games Finals. Remember the smell of chlorine as you walked past the swimming pool and watched the swimmers through the big window? Remember the secret trips to the go-karts and the bumpers before a race was even run?
During a break in the track and field events at the World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday night the lowest and most reliable form of sports entertainment was let loose.
Gina Akpe-Moses remembers the first time sprinting sparked something within her. She was eight years old and was the youngest girl taking part in the U-10 100m at the Community Games in Mosney.
Davy Fitzgerald did something his players didn't expect before Wexford's Leinster SHC semi-final with Kilkenny at Wexford Park last month.
Two Dubliners and two rather different entrances for their press conferences this week. In downtown Brooklyn on Thursday night, Conor McGregor kept his followers waiting before peacocking in a white polar bear fur coat. In another universe, living a life less ordinary, Jim Gavin slipped into a room almost unnoticed at 7.58am on Wednesday for a 8.0am press conference in the Gibson Hotel.
A tell-tale sign of how serious a crisis a player is in can be clocked by what their sponsor did next. After his "bored" comments following his loss at Wimbledon earlier this week, Bernard Tomic was dumped by his tennis racquet sponsor faster than the bed-hopping activities in 'Love Island'.
Jim O'Shea doesn't go along with the norm when it comes to the high jump and trying to clear new heights.
After the terror attack in Westminster in March, commuters using the Underground would have passed by messages of solidarity written on boards in various stations around London.
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 week, they stood around in the reception area wearing their civvies as they waited to return home.
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 fact that I can run my finger down the list of world records, shake my head and think how stupid I was to believe what I saw on TV especially when I was a kid.
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 worried about his team's chances in their quarter-final against Harlequins because he didn't know what to expect. "I wanted us to be worried. I didn't want to tell anyone it was going to be fine, because I didn't know if it was," O'Connell wrote in his...
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 'process' and 'work-ons' when he talked about the success the other provinces enjoyed through the years.
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 my one-week-old god-daughter in Kerry. Her mother and I became friends well over 20 years ago.
'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".
Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell must not have got the memo when he used the word "blip" in a press conference earlier this week.
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.