Last September, a week after Dublin won the All-Ireland senior ladies' football title and eight days after their male counterparts completed five in a row, something happened which highlighted a major defect and neglect within the city's Gaelic games family. Cuala, backed into a corner, withdrew its adult camogie team from a key championship tie because nine of their players were due to line out in a county intermediate football final later the same day.
The European Championships qualifying campaign of the Irish women's soccer team has been so hugely heartening it seems slightly churlish to point out that the hard part hasn't even started yet.
In 2018, my family gathered around the television to watch Ireland's women play the Netherlands in hockey's World Cup final. My children had never experienced anything quite like this - where we were all together watching a major women's sporting event live on television.
Maureen Harrington was pure cross-country. She ran for Ireland in seven World and seven European Cross-Country Championships between 1993 and 2002. She ran in places like Amorebieta, Alnwick, Stellenbosch, Marrakech. She ran no more than 50 miles a week.
A move to England is already bearing fruit for one of the key players in Vera Pauw's senior Ireland squad after Rianna Jarrett quit her call centre day job to become a full-time professional across the water.
On Friday, attendees at 'Sidelines, Tramlines and Hemlines: Women in Irish Sport' in Louth County Museum were thrust into the annals of time to newly discovered pasts: Irishwoman Mary Welch, who fought in the Bear Garden amphitheatre in London in the early 1700s, elite women who hunted in the 1800s and Irish women gymnasts on tour in Sweden in the 1940s, to the diversity of women's surfing and football at Diverse City FC.
The Slaughtneil phenomenon is one to engender hope in us all. The manner in which a parish spirit was built entirely around a GAA club, how An Carn community centre emerged from that with a de facto Gaeltacht established out of nothing, is an inspiration.
2019 was a year that featured several thousands of miles on the road, delivered memorable individual, club, inter-county and provincial victories, and Rebel defender Melissa Duggan wants to do it all again.
It is 7.47pm last Tuesday night in a small stadium in Bromley, south-east London. Rianna Jarrett is wearing the No 23 jersey in the Brighton & Hove Albion's away all-black strip. It's her first game for a club she joined 33 days previously and it's her first game as a full-time professional football player.
It is 7.47pm last Tuesday night in a small stadium in Bromley, south east London. Rianna Jarrett is wearing the number 23 jersey in the Brighton & Hove Albion's away all-black strip. It’s her first game for a club she joined 33 days previously and it’s her first game as a full-time professional football player.
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