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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C

# The42 Reads

Last month
December 2022
# ups and downs
The community that wouldn't die - 90 years without a home, 60 minutes from a Leinster title
No one gives The Downs a chance against Dublin giants Kilamcud Crokes today but this rural club has been defying the odds throughout their history.
Last year
2022
# The42 Reads
‘He’ll empower the players’ - The GAA legend taking on a key role with Leinster Rugby
The province have signed up Jim Gavin’s right-hand man to be their new performance coach.
# Hoop Dreams
A very different Shamrock Rovers - 'I didn't have holidays to play Europa League'
A little over a decade on from the club’s ground-breaking European campaign, those at the heart of it explain how much things have changed for the Class of 2022.
# larger than life
The forgotten story of an Irish international whose sudden death rocked a community
Remembering the late trailblazing footballer, Ann McLoughlin.
# End of an era
'He'll miss it terribly' - Saluting the Sunday Game career of Pat Spillane before final curtain
The Kerry great is finishing up with the iconic GAA show after 30 years in the studio.
# UNSUNG HERO
‘I wouldn't say I'm a world class operator but I never played a bad game for Ireland’
Rated highly by Joe Schmidt, John Ryan was a consistent force for Munster for over a decade. The last thing he expected was to be on the look-out for a new club.
# Next Big Thing
Meet the rising star of the Irish coaching scene that everyone is talking about
Noel McNamara reached adulthood without ever playing rugby but infectious enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge has seen him rise through the ranks ahead of the biggest game yet of his career.
# Reeling In The Years
'A porter who was probably given a few quid said, 'Oh, Mr Keane is leaving from the back door''
BBC reporter Stephen Watson recalls his famous interview on the 20th anniversary of Saipan.
# The42 Reads
McIlroy, Lowry, Power: How Ireland's Class of 2006 graduated to the major leagues
Aaron O’Callaghan and Gareth Shaw — team-mates of the trio at the 2006 European Youths — recount their journey to the top.
# Tribute
‘He loved living in Ireland. And he loved playing for Limerick’
Remembering the late Freddy Hall’s stint in Irish football.
# big ben
From farmer's son in Tipp to the Aviva Stadium - the rise and rise of Ben Healy
Healy has emerged over the last year as a key player in Munster’s squad – but his schoolboy mentors believe there is a lot more to come.
# full package
'What Hugo is actually testament to, is that a lot of people are written off too early'
Late bloomer Hugo Keenan is now one of the first names on Leinster’s teamsheet.
# plugged in
Breaking news, recruiting players and an online addiction - The fans behind the Twitter accounts charting Irish football
The fans behind Kenny’s Kids and Rep of Ireland Player Tracker explain why they gave up their free time to track Irish players, and why they quit.
# Money Money Money
'Brands are waking up to the fact that women's sport is a new market that can deliver better value'
The42 takes a closer look at some significant sponsorship announcements for camogie teams and what it means for women’s sport in Ireland.
# seamus power
From West Waterford to playing at Augusta - 'It couldn't happen to a nicer fella, he's worked so hard'
Seamus Power’s meteoric rise in the last year sees him play in the Masters this week.
# Saluting The Best
'She got the cast removed to play and took painkillers': In praise of a multi-All-Ireland winner
Wexford legend Ursula Jacob has retired from camogie after a storied career.
# End of an era
'Everything Michael has done for the club is why we're where we're at' - 40 in-a-row and out
Michael Ryan has stepped down as Ballymacarbry ladies football manager.
# pride of offaly
'She's a fantastic person who encapsulates everything Ireland will stand for'
Nichola Fryday has enjoyed an impressive rise from Tullamore RFC to become the new Ireland captain.
# a true underdog story
How Ireland's new coach turned Kidderminster into 'the non-league Barcelona'
An in-depth look at the rise of John Eustace.
# The42 Reads
How Ireland's 1982 Triple Crown winners lifted a country that was on the brink
Cursed by emigration, economic recession and political turmoil, Irish society was in desperate need of a boost in 1982. An inspirational group of rugby players provided it.
# Legend
The life and death of a Derry hero
Remembering former club captain Ryan McBride, five years on from his tragic passing.
# James Horan
Horanball: the system that transformed Mayo into contenders - and why it now needs to change
Mayo have used the league to develop talent and a new style of play.
# The42 Reads
Giant ambitions as Eagle soars: the Irish leaders making an impact in Australia
Cora Staunton and Aisling McCarthy are important figures at GWS Giants and West Coast Eagles respectively.
# Derby Day
Life in a different City: A band of brothers who became men in Manchester
Paddy McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Elliott and Willo Flood played almost 1,500 games between them in British football. Their early years at Maine Road was the reason for the longevity.
# The42 Reads
The college competitions debate: what do players want and how can we make that a reality?
We surveyed players and spoke to managers, the GAA and the GPA to see what can be done to resolve the challenge with college competitions.
# amateur
In Ireland, commitment, passion and progress, but still no pay for elite female footballers
The Women’s National League kicks off this weekend, and the fight for semi-professional status remains a big talking point.
# Adopted sons
'I jumped at the chance' - the 15 Kerrymen playing for other counties this season
Roscommon, Cork, Clare, Limerick, Sligo, Tipperary and London have all handed game-time to Kerry-born players in the league so far.
# Flying the flag
The Irish contingent central to Liverpool's promotion bid and FA Cup dream
Niamh Fahey, Leanne Kiernan, Megan Campbell and S&C coach Colm Smith are having a big influence on Merseyside.
# New Breed
'He's like a big South African. He's got that bulk that you don't really see in Irish kids'
Dan Sheehan had to fight hard for his breakthrough but he’s now standing out for Ireland.
# the switch up
'Him holding the Sam Maguire was alongside a picture of the Irish soccer team meeting the Pope'
The42 takes a look at some cases in Irish sporting history where athletes and coaches moved between different sports.
'If you don't think our boys are the best in the world then tell me who’s better?’
Ireland’s newish front row has the potential to lead the team to greatness. The rugby world is about to discover their magic.
# The42 Reads
'TJ is just an absolute genius to watch' - The greatest club hurling forward of them all?
A sixth All-Ireland club hurling medal is the prize TJ Reid chases tomorrow.
# The42 Reads
McGuinness, Joyce and Moynihan: the star-studded GAA college team that reigned in the '90s
25 years after a golden age for football in Tralee, they are back chasing silverware.
# Star Power
Pints with David Beckham and kind words from Roy Keane - the lives of the Salford Irish
Stephen O’Halloran and Adam Rooney remember their respective stints at the club.
# the first cap
'I’m getting a shot, we’ll see how it goes' - Remembering Paul O'Connell's Ireland debut
Twenty years ago, a young Paul O’Connell won his first Test cap in a Six Nations clash with Wales at Lansdowne Road.
# brothers with arms
Sonny Bill Williams and Andy Lee: An unlikely partnership of world champions
A move from rugby league to rugby union in 2008 sparked the New Zealand sporting legend’s interest in boxing – because he found himself a million dollars in debt.
# the British question
Irish football has always been defined by Britain - so what has changed since Brexit?
We take a big-picture look at what is happening with the men’s national team, the men’s national league and youth development at a time of great change for Irish football.
# The42 Reads
How a one-month loan backed by Brian Clough started a remarkable League of Ireland career
From Derby County to Cork City, Alek Ludzik had a fascinating journey.
# Pride Of The Parish
‘It's been a dream in our club for many years’: Kilcoo and Ballygunner chase All-Ireland glory
Kilcoo and Ballygunner are vastly different clubs but they share a common goal.
# Reeling In The Years
The world-class Irish internationals and the Ballinasloe ties that bind
Heather Payne, Beibhinn Parsons and many more stars in the same age bracket have crossed paths in the sporting hotspot on the Galway/Roscommon border.