Cathal Dervanby Cathal Dervan
- Rory McIlroy back to his best with an Australian Open win
- Roy Keane settling in nicely with the Republic of Ireland again, for now
- The Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill show begins!
- Let’s give Roy Keane a clean slate in new Irish soccer role
- Irish government to honor former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson
One former professional footballer has been arrested and charged along with three others on suspicion of match-fixing. One of the four has even claimed he is able to fix games involving Irish teams. The sooner FIFA and UEFA take real action against anyone responsible for fixing football matches, the better. It is a disease that threatens the very fabric of our beautiful game and it needs to be eradicated.
Roy Keane made many comments over the past seven days – including a wonderful claim that he is Mother Theresa next to Martin O’Neill, which their former boss Niall Quinn must have found amusing – but one observation had more resonance than the others.
Ignoring the fact that he has promised to eventually respond to Alex Ferguson’s claims in his latest book -- filled with over 40 factual errors by the way as his publishers have admitted -- Keane’s comments of a circus variety deserve further examination.
Some of this is almost too good to be true – if it is indeed true as we approach the end of week one in the life of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane and the latest circus to attach itself to the Irish football team.
On Monday afternoon, Messrs Keane and O’Neill attached themselves to John Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, for a photocall at the Aviva Stadium.
Apologies to all those of you waiting for an anti-Roy Keane rant, even those reading this column on the Internet from an Irish address.
The easiest thing in the world right now would be to stand up on this very elegant soapbox that is the Irish Voice and deride the FAI’s decision to allow Martin O’Neill to appoint Mick McCarthy’s nemesis as his right-hand man.
The discussion has taken place many times over the years, at home and abroad. A discussion that is more relevant than ever now.
The Mick McCarthy in Irish return discussion.
If you have even half an Irish bone in your body, you will know of the greatest sports broadcaster this land has ever produced -- a man by the name of Jimmy Magee.
Noel King won’t get the Ireland job and he probably knows it ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan next week.
King is the interim Irish manager, and that’s as good as it is going to get for the affable Dubliner, currently filling the shoes left vacant by Giovanni Trapattoni.
Next time it may well sail without them.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has a new marketing phrase and it works. They say that their green and now pleasant land is “made for golf,” and a quick trip North last week proved it.
The Americans and Canadians we bumped into at Castlerock, the hidden gem on the coastline that also hosts Portrush and Portstewart, certainly agreed on the golfing topic, but their knowledge of the FAI’s search for a new soccer manager left a lot to be desired.
Some months ago a trio of Dublin players attended a supporters night at the hotel that their county board has aligned themselves with in recent times, for a fee of course.
The Gibson Hotel is a fine establishment, situated in the heart of the city’s Docklands and next door to the O2 Arena that now hosts the country’s top concerts.
Many years ago the sports editor of a very well respected broadsheet newspaper offered some words of advice at the wash basin in the toilet of a Dublin pub – move to a bigger paper, and one with bigger words.
At the time I was the soccer correspondent for the Irish Daily Star and a bit of a young pup in an industry that had been populated by, shall we say, more elderly men.
The final whistle had only sounded when the first SMS message arrived from a desperate Dublin fan with the request that will be heard many times in the coming weeks – any chance of a ticket for the All-Ireland football final?
That’s what happens when the Dubs are still playing football on the second last Sunday in September. It’s also what happens when they’ve been involved in a game against Kerry that will live long in the memory.
A caller to a radio phone-in show on Monday night came out with a statement that sums up the new found attitude within the Mayo football family, a family desperate for something to really shout about.
Malachy Clerkin, a fine young man who works for The Irish Times, was on air with presenter Matt Cooper on Today FM and my old friend Liam Hayes, and together they were shooting the breeze in the aftermath of Mayo’s win over Tyrone.
There's a Limerick man with the best Irish pub in the Portuguese resort of Alvor, a Limerick man cute enough to be from Kerry.
Not alone does Pat Hickey welcome his guests to his Algarve bar with a ready smile and a hearty welcome, he knows his audience.
Hands up all those who knew that Christopher Columbus would one day be linked with a story related to the decline in the fortunes of Donegal’s Gaelic football team.
Can’t see too many hands going up out there in the Bronx or Brooklyn, and it’s hardly surprising seeing as how Columbus, as far as I know, didn’t stop off in Killybegs on his way to the New World.
A story of a lawnmower, one that has nothing to do with the Leinster football final win for Dublin over Meath but one that was told at Croke Park on Sunday.
My first Sunday off in weeks resulted in not one but two invitations to visit the GAA’s headquarters for the Leinster football final. Both were accepted.
Andy Murray sat down in front of the television cameras on Monday morning and made the sort of admission that every sportsman or woman is entitled to make at least once in their life, no matter how good or bad they are.
Speaking just hours after a sensational win over Novak Djokovic quenched a Wimbledon men’s singles thirst for the British nation, Murray had a confession to make to the world.
One of the few benefits of advancing age is perspective. Another is a memory more advanced than younger colleagues and the ability to recall great sporting achievements of the past.
But even that failed me on Saturday night as the Dublin hurlers pulled off the shock result of the summer and finally beat All-Ireland kingpins Kilkenny in the championship.
Late on Monday evening, the captain’s table of the Dublin Journalists Golf Society discussed the enigma that is Rory McIlroy 2013.
The august collection of former captains and presidents of the fine body were gathered on the terrace of the equally fine Hollywood Lakes course in North County Dublin.
Chances are you’ve heard this one before, so bear with me as a visit to Portmarnock Golf Club less than 12 hours after Phil Mickelson’s latest U.S. Open heartache, on his birthday of all days, brought an old story back to light.
Tom Cryan is one of the legendary names of Irish sports journalism, a man who grafted for the Irish Independent newspaper at a time when typewriters and pens were the tools of the trade, and computers were something you saw in James Bond movies.
We'll get around to the 25th anniversary of the greatest day in Irish sporting history in a second, but first a story about a squirrel in New York and a man who looks in the tabloid Mirror every morning.
Paul O’Hehir is a journalist from a famous family of Irish sporting writers and commentators. Horse racing lovers and GAA fans will remember his grandfather Michael with great fondness, and his dad and uncle are already in the business of words.
Let's get one thing straight before we go any further – the streets of London are not paved with gold no matter what that song might try to tell you.
They are, however, paved with optimism and prosperity and talk of economic recovery and expansion and employment, all welcome discoveries on last week’s flying visit to the home of football.
We fly on Wednesday morning, off on a rite of passage that has previously landed us in Croke Park, Lansdowne Road, Dalymount Park and even Ballyshannon.
It’s a family thing, the sort of experience that can only be handed down from father to son, mother to daughter, father to daughter or even mother to son just to keep the politically correct happy.
There is a very good lunchtime program on the Irish music station Spin FM every weekday, a magazine show presented by the very professional Jonathon McCrea and the very lovely Clare McKenna.
Clare is an old friend from the days when she worked with Mick McCarthy’s backroom team in Ireland, long before she found fame on the wireless so to speak.
Just two summers ago the Ireland soccer team played Italy in an end of season friendly in the Belgian city of Liege, the sort of fixture that raises much needed cash for the FAI with no financial risk to the association that governs the game here at home.
A similar game will take place at Yankee Stadium in New York next month when world champions Spain will take on Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland before they travel on to Brazil for the Confederations Cup tournament that traditionally precedes the World Cup.
A strange weekend for those of us who follow the beautiful game with a passion bordering on the romantic as Manchester United lifted another league title, Alex Ferguson defied his age, Robin Van Persie scored an incredible goal and Luis Suarez defiled his sport. Again.
So let’s start with the action at Anfield on Sunday where Liverpool came from behind to snatch a 2-1 draw courtesy of the Uruguayan striker Suarez, a contender for player of the year in the Premier League this season.
The young lad with the white belt from last week’s column was back in the Dervan family household on Sunday night, back in time to share the Masters in all its glory on our high definition picture courtesy of Sky Sports.
The aspiring golfer – he’s still playing off scratch – had, like so many of us, switched allegiances from Rory McIlroy, seeking Ireland’s first Masters, to an Australian for the final round of golf’s greatest tournament.
After accepting that the green jacket wasn’t coming to the land of the green for another year, most Irish fans were happy to side with our cousins down under, many of whom we could lay claim to anyway.
THE Stade Francais number nine Jerome Fillol is likely to be punished by the rugby authorities after spitting into the face of Bath’s Irish scrum-half Peter Stringer in their Amlin Cup quarterfinal on Saturday. Fillol can be banned for a year at most, but that’s the least he deserves for a despicable act.
There is a beauty about the Internet that is a scourge for the print media, a beauty that occupies the minds of sports editors on nights such as Tuesday – or it should.
Years ago, Ireland soccer fans relied on the written word and the printed word for news of their heroes in far flung corners of the world like Moscow and Malta.
John Delaney’s face was beaming out at us from the Sky Sports satellite on Tuesday morning, a timely appearance on our screens by the FAI chief executive ahead of Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Sweden.
The most powerful man in Irish football, and he is just that, wasn’t actually in the country when the results of a week-long behind the scenes documentary were broadcast on Sky Sports News.
Some Cheltenham tales from the brilliant Cork jockey Davy Russell and the Belfast actor James Nesbittin a moment or two, but first a very worrying story from a quick visit south to Waterford late last week.
Invited down as a guest of the Ladbrokes betting chain for a game of golf at the wonderful Mount Juliet, a Jack Nicklaus design, we then made our way onwards to a Cheltenham preview night in the Woodlands Hotel on Suirside.
SWANSEA won the Capitol One Cup final against Bradford at Wembley on Sunday, but winger Nathan Dyer came across as a complete idiot when he threw a strop because he wasn’t let take a penalty kick to complete his hat-trick. Dyer just proved that some Premier League footballers are spoilt brats with his petulant behavior. He also took the gloss off a great story.
(Cathal Dervan is sports editor of the Irish Sun newspaper in Dublin)
There's a rumor doing the rounds in Dublin at the minute that the Irish government is about to ban alcohol companies from sponsoring sports events and teams.
Expectation can be a manager or coach’s best friend and biggest enemy as events in Dublin and Glasgow in recent days have served to prove.
By the time you read this, Glasgow Celtic will have played Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League knock-out clash, potentially the biggest game of any of their lives.
You can make a beef burger from horse meat as we are now discovering in Ireland, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
That’s something to consider as the nation reflects on last weekend’s glorious but hard earned win over Wales in Cardiff and looks forward to this week’s visit of England to Dublin.
Declan Kidney has surely met Giovanni Trapattoni in the course of the last few years or so at some awards dinner or other for the best in Irish sport.
So the fact that both their futures could well be determined by events in the coming month won’t seem all that strange to either the coach of the Ireland rugby team or the manager of the Irish soccer squad.
GARY Hooper has reportedly turned down a new contract offer from Celtic and set his sights on a big money move to the Premier League. If he thinks he is good enough to get regular football with an English team playing in the Champions League then he is clearly over-rating his own ability. Hooper is a big fish in the small pond that is Scottish football but only because Celtic took a punt on him when none of the big clubs in England wanted to know. He should remember that now that the PL clubs are sniffing around.
A party political broadcast on behalf of the Rory Leave McIlroy Alone party will follow shortly, but first a Christmas tale from the studios of LMFM radio in Drogheda.
A little over a year ago, at a time when like so many of my fellow Irishmen and women I was between jobs, I did some work with the good people at LMFM.