Stronger, wiser Limerick grind their way past Dubs
We can dispense with the more intimate nuances of battle here, for there were - essentially - none.
We can dispense with the more intimate nuances of battle here, for there were - essentially - none.
The sight of Joe Canning being stretchered down the tunnel of the Ted Carroll stand compounded Galway frustrations in Kilkenny yesterday after a National League semi-final defeat to Waterford.
So after a week lost to a blizzard of explanations and clarifications, the FAI's gift - as ever - is to leave its audience squinting. That gentle,...
The clubhouse walls in Mount Sion are prolifically collaged with snapshots of old glory, but pride in Páraic Fanning runs to a deeper, less glamorous...
The post-game player interviews are conducted at the bottom of a broad, dressing-room stairs under a solemn, impressionist-style portrait of the Queen.
Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 blared out with wicked irony from the Wexford dressing-room, a boom-box smirk at the kind of March day that would have had Tom Crean taking refuge in a duvet.
Wexford marched into the National Hurling League quarter-finals with a stunning second-half demolition of old Leinster rivals, Kilkenny, at Innovate Wexford Park today.
He's trouble this one, a self-suiting reprobate who'll have no qualms about taking a swing if you get too close.
Davy Fitzgerald applauded a victory for "common sense" in referee Alan Kelly's decision to postpone the Wexford-Kilkenny Allianz Hurling League Division 1A game scheduled for Innovate Wexford Park yesterday.
On Sunday, Jackie Tyrrell was of the view that Kilkenny might finally have found a gatekeeper with the cold prudence to satisfy Brian Cody.
Former Irish Formula One driver, Derek Daly, has filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against the television station he spent 30 years broadcasting...
They delivered both Vunipola brothers to the mixed-zone like circus strongmen invited to explain their gift for ripping decks of cards in two or snapping heavy chains with rib cages.
The hope in Tipperary is that the second coming of Seamie Callanan is still in its first act.
He went home last July, back to the High School in Palmerston North where he'd taught for eight years and taken his first, reluctant steps as a rugby...
If a single moment could distil Kilkenny's trust in a single faith, maybe it was what Billy Ryan did...
"I think I owed it to the horse," Paul Townend announced, a giddy enclosure tightening incoherently around him.
Just as the ghosts of this place were slipping out of Aidan Coleman's world, he reached out and pulled one close.
Among the starved poets of this world, Keith Donoghue now has laureate status.
Less than a minute into 'Don't Judge Me', the Laochra Gael documentary on Kieran Duff, three separate voices have essentially already done precisely that.
Gavin Cromwell's grin has a bemused, almost goofy quality as he's asked to explain the audacity of what Espoir D'Allen just did in this rain-sodden English valley.
So a rollicking repudiation in the All-Ireland champions' back yard of any notion that Cork maybe regard a good league run as something that might leave them prone to travel sickness.
All-Ireland champions, Limerick, suffered their first League defeat of the season in a rip-roaring contest against Munster rivals, Cork, at the Gaelic Grounds today.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refers to it as "an environment with inner justice", a place forever juggling adult stresses with back-of-the-schoolbus immaturities.
Jessica Harrington emits a weather-proofed smile, reminding us of a place that seems so profoundly last century now.
Billy O'Sullivan was 33 years old and feeling every day of it the last and only other time Ballygunner tried to climb this mountain.
Defending champions, Kilkenny, got their National League campaign off to a flier in Nowlan Park with a comfortable dismissal of age-old rivals, Cork.
John Kiely knows the trap here, the insidious way champions get fed so much fiction about themselves and how giving hubris its head now will mean this story is over.
On the recent night in Thurles that Tipperary's All-Ireland U-21 winners were presented with their medals, the words of team manager Liam Cahill carried a jolting resonance.
In Clare's modern hurling relationship with Tipperary, even the shadow-boxing has a capacity to exercise rogue hormones.
In Paris last September, Pádraig Harrington was an unusually closed, zipped-up figure, retaining what felt a stage-directed distance from journalists at Le Golf National.
It was March last in New Hampshire when Billy Walsh was finally re-assured that his divorce from Irish boxing had lit the touchpaper on revolution.
The lost days are a blessing to Seán Treacy now, lending his brush with death an oddly distant, even rumoured quality. The nothingness of 10 days in an induced coma protected him physically then, mentally now. While family kept fearful vigil by his bedside, all of his major organs failing, Treacy's sense of it is that he was utterly at peace. When he finally woke on Sunday, February 10, 2013,...
The joke was that Ray Houghton couldn't actually head the ball, that his goal in Stuttgart was some kind of aberration, a suspension of reality.
In a neatly sardonic twist, David Moyes's final game as Manchester United manager was at Goodison Park, against his former employers, Everton.
Jurgen Klopp knew the Paul Pogba question was coming, packed tight with a thousand subtle trip-wires.
When chasing down history, maybe the first thing to do is disregard it. Or, maybe more accurately, to de-mythologise the people who set themselves apart. To stop seeing them as an alien species.
Henry Shefflin stands under a low December sky, smiling that wise smile of his as the miracle of Ballyhale unwraps another chapter.
Ballyhale Shamrocks extended their remarkable record to nine Leinster club titles with a convincing victory over Dublin's Ballyboden St Enda's at Netwatch Dr Cullen Park.
On Sunday, the photographers didn't see Robbie Keane slip inconspicuously into a front-row seat for Irish football's latest coronation.
Seamus Hennessy can turn an almost sanguine gaze to his mother, Josie's, passing now.
It was closing on 5pm in the photographers' room when John Delaney settled for the interrogation he always knew was coming, his back to the lockers, a black leather stool pushed tight towards his knees.
Of all the stock villains in Irish sport, none has been more derided or resilient in recent times than John Delaney.
In football, separation statements speak with a thousand tongues, so that FAI line about Martin O'Neill's reign ending by "mutual consent" maybe conveys little more than corporate politeness.
IN football, separation statements speak with a thousand tongues, so that FAI line about Martin O'Neill's reign ending by "mutual consent" maybe conveys little more than corporate politeness.
The boy in Jacob Stockdale is eternal, a human breeze forever scrambling over orchard walls, climbing trees, giggling about a classmate's attack of wind.
Mike Tyson always kept a pretty jaundiced view of the back-page community, once even declaring: “I don’t like sports, they’re social events.”
Michael Obafemi could become anything or nothing as a footballer, yet the possibilities around him all but overtook an evening compressing all the awkward energies that still cast shadow on this complex island.
The FAI has apologised to 1993 Windsor Park hero Alan McLoughlin for a "complete oversight" in not inviting him to tomorrow night's friendly against Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
The FAI has apologised to ’93 Windsor Park hero, Alan McLoughlin, for what they’ve called a 'complete oversight' in not inviting him to Thursday night’s friendly against Northern Ireland.
Just at the end of Saturday's post-match press conference, Joe Schmidt was invited to personalise the dark thunder now rolling Ireland's way. Was it, someone asked, the "great challenge" of his coaching career to line up the All Blacks in his crosshairs?
By Wednesday, Alan McLoughlin's enthusiasm for the looming anniversary was already beginning to taper. The media calls had been building, interest in that goal piqued by the symmetry of next Thursday's friendly against Northern Ireland in Dublin almost exactly 25 years on from one of the ugliest, yet most tumultuous nights in Irish sports history.
They were supposed to have retired to the reading room by now, Coolderry, this ageing team that most of Offaly imagined last spring would be relegation material.
From a world bubbling with stress, endless sacrifice and cold, cold scrutiny, from a need to hear those cheers rattle down off the grandstands, to this.
He blames himself for the day something broke in Tipperary, something that - to this day - hasn't entirely healed.
In his 1994 autobiography, Brian Clough addressed a personal dislike of Martin O'Neill's capacity to be "a bit of a smart-arse".
A single moment of refinement sufficed, a gently arced free that ran at odds with the frenzy of a clangorous evening.
On a night touted as a catharsis of sorts, Harry Arter stayed faithful to the theme, pausing in the 'mixed zone' to indulge our fascination with all that June bad weather rolling through Roy Keane's head.
Delicate crockery seldom survives this kind of day, so the joy of five in a row comes spilling out of Fergal Hartley as he talks about Ballygunner men standing up to be counted in Dungarvan.
They gathered around Tiger as if the 17th green was a church gate and he'd soon be tossing clay on a loved-one's casket.
We were back revisiting the paradox of Rory McIlroy's season last night after a day that never quite subdued the impression of a man trying to solder gaping cracks in his game.
Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy' blared from speakers high above him as Tiger Woods came - ceremonially late - to the first tee, last of a dozen Americans to step onto the hottest spot in golf.
Bubba Watson grins as he insists, "I don't know, I was the glove guy!" - refusing to be a grass.
Le Golf National is fantasy cut from cornfields, a topography contoured by wind, sun, rain, phosphates, nitrogen and a sadist's eye.
Mick McCarthy knows better than most how the concepts of harmony and outrage are strictly transient in football, so he could be forgiven a weary chuckle at this week's sense of Irish football sliding back towards the circus ring.
He talks about history in that peculiar, zipped up way of his, a book-keeper impassively collating volumes.
They laid the U-21 grade to rest under a dirty bedsheet of a sky in Limerick last night, with bellicose Tipperary roars serenading it into history.
It ends with Tom Condon, ball in hand, slewing clear from the Canal-end traffic and all the tangled roots of Limerick doubt suddenly snapping in a thunderclap of sound.
He was never fooled by the tidy, congenial idea that winning would change everything. So Joe Canning knows he can't be a tourist in this story. There's a picture of him from Thurles on August 5, a lone wolf hemmed in by five Clare coyotes. His face crumpled for war, he has one of them by the collar. Some yards away, the capsized six-foot five-inch form of Johnny Glynn lies injured on the...
Mickey Harte steps from the claustrophobic field with a smile that can't obscure the fire in those wise eyes.
The story of those '12 apostles' tumbles from the pages of old newsprint now, reeking of almost monstrous folly and denial.
Donal Moloney lurched towards the dug-out rail, palm to his face, Clare's run through this smouldering summer over.
Around the villages of Clooney and Quin, the first instinct is to disabuse you of any notion that that point was just a random, scratch-card act. The second is to protect the man who made it.
Hurling is still God’s creation, but this was a hymn to human ingenuity.
The surprise has been the syntax of this Limerick story, the sense of investing hope in strategy rather than lumping it all on prayer and lucky heather.
In 'Behind the Banner', the DVD of Clare's All-Ireland win of 2013, the early footage is an essay in the pursuit of stronger minds.
PETE Taylor sits in the lobby of a Dublin hotel, wrestling – he says – with a compound of emotions.
John Kiely tries to slow the cascade of garlands falling his way by reminding the assembled literati that no medals have passed hands in the oily murk of Thurles.
The trick for Limerick now is to escape this cycle of every game being either a crisis or a new dawn, a 'house private' soliloquy or a christening.
Kilkenny make you hear footsteps, that's their gift, their beauty. They are a perpetual study in the art of spookery. So this felt a monumental step for Galway, a recognition that when this game became, as it did, a conversation with themselves, they did not buckle.
He had his own funeral planned down to the music, to the message on the grave, even to the angle they'd set his body at in the coffin.
On some level, Galway's size has become a trick of the mind, a gentle psychological swindle.
'Our boys are human, do you know what I mean?" sighs Micheál Donoghue, peering out into a sparsely populated media auditorium.
Galway and Kilkenny must do it all again after a monster point from TJ Reid in injury-time scured a draw for Brian Cody's men against the reigning Leinster and All-Ireland champions.
The game had been over more than 40 minutes when Michael 'Brick' Walsh finally reached the mouth of the dressing room tunnel, applause splashing towards him from some stragglers by the toes of the Kinnane Stand.
Derek McGrath is likely to continue as Waterford manager for another year despite their 2018 campaign lasting just 21 days.
Cork's Munster title defence held by a thread in Thurles where four injury-time points eventually edged them past the challenge of a determined Waterford.
If Waterford dwell on the circumstance in which Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh strides towards history tomorrow, this game almost seems a vulgarity.
This isn't a Limerick familiar to old-school prejudice. It's not a team reliant on flame-cheeked gusts or hurling that's primarily heat and melodrama.
Limerick set down a huge statement of their Championship intent at the Gaelic Grounds today with a ruthless eviction of Waterford from the Munster Championship.
in Ferns on Wednesday night, 34 slim, black GPS monitors remained untouched on a wooden table by the field nearly an hour into Wexford hurlers' allotted training time.
A day threatening to descend into a memorial service for Tipperary hurling turned rogue in the soupy Limerick air, all those old ghosts Waterford suspect lurk in the stonework of this place suddenly coming for their corpse.
Referee Alan Kelly and a couple of his umpires had to be escorted off the field at the end of this rip-roaring Munster Championship contest in which Tipperary came from eleven points down with fifteen minutes to go to rescue a draw in Limerick.
Ten days before the start of the 2015 National Hurling League, Waterford unveiled a few stiffened ideologies behind closed doors in Sixmilebridge.
Just as the clouds rolled in like leathered Hell's Angels on a family campsite, all that was left to do with Tipperary was log the time of death.
From the shadow of a pathologist's glove, Tipperary's Championship was re-awakened through what manager Michael Ryan acknowledged as "sheer bloody-mindedness".
In Munster's Old Testament, all that worry squatting above Ennis tomorrow could be neatly siphoned down into a duel between hurling's brightest prodigies.
Pat Gilroy settles on a spot no more than a yard inside the tiny committee room, declining the offer of a chair.
Maybe the gently elegiac ambience of Roscommon’s Hyde Park, perched as it is between a respite home and a graveyard, didn’t make for the wisest of places to return.
For Galway hurlers, whatever happens next, it will not be a study in hubris or carelessness.
Ten days after last year's All-Ireland final, Galway's hurling management team met to begin the planning for that awkward second album.
Galway hurling manager Micheál Donoghue has warned against the legacy of last year's All-Ireland win being jeopardised by complacency.
Ten minutes before his tee time on Sunday, Rory McIlroy strode through a raucous funnel of humanity to the putting green.
There are no gentle ways to unravel on a Masters Sunday and Rory McIlroy knows better than most the loneliness when tension cauterises the brain and Augusta turns its back on you.
I spent last week sleeping with the ghost of Payne Stewart above my head. Just behind the headboard, to be precise.
He came to the shade of the great oak with the zestful, swinging stride of a man hurrying to a different place.
Tiger Woods all but came here trailing gun-carriages, but Augusta National hasn't a name for deferring to presumptuous storylines.
Just gone seven on the pilgrim track that is Washington Road, pedestrians out-pacing the snarled-up morning traffic in their race to see gods of the game hit their ceremonial drives.
Rory McIlroy defied a solid drizzle of discouragement to come home well placed for a weekend charge on history under the pale Georgia sun.
There will come a moment for Rory McIlroy these next few days when Augusta National reaches for his collar with a cold hand and he'll feel like someone on a fairground ride that's just popped a bolt.
Augusta is the mirror to its own smile and, in this history-scented place, there was never going to be much appetite for shining a light into the shadows around Tiger Woods' "miracle".
Rory McIlroy has vowed to attack from the start tomorrow as he goes after the career Grand Slam in Augusta.
For all the counsel rolling Rory McIlroy's way on the eve of his tenth Masters, none will legislate for the war Augusta National wages on a human pituitary gland.
The accidental tourist chooses to go without a TV in his Rathmines apartment.
He comes to us ceremonially late, the drill-sergeant behind this march on the English temple. Jonathan Sexton in the mixed-zone.
Tony Martin's smile concealed an eternity of inexpressible thoughts as hands began reaching towards him, celebrating Anibale Fly's guilt as a brazen social climber.