Author Archives: Aaron McAllorum


With their silky skills.

Ahmed Soda (top), age 11, and his family moved to Belfast late last year, fleeing the war in Syria.

In January, Ahmed tried out for football at local club Patrick Sarsfields, and despite some early jitters, has settled into the game helping the club break a dry spell in local under-12 silverware.

Ahmed, from the besieged city of Aleppo, also picked up a hurley for the first time in June, and is a natural, according to coaches.

Send him back.

Earlier: Dan Boyle: Who Are We And Who Are They?


Stuck for an early stocking filler?

Ciaran writes:

2016 may be the most grim year in living memory but here’s how to end it on a high. The Second Captains Sports Annual, Volume 2 is packed full of all the stuff that made the year memorable in a positive sense…yes, mainly Robbie Brady’s goals at the Euros. Check out the video [above] for a sneak peak but be warned, you may shed a tear...


Pre-order here



Where will they all sleep?

Ian Healy writes:

Myself and a few other expats (some featured above) in London are coming to run the Dublin Marathon on Halloween weekend and collect that sweet centenary medal at the finish line.

We met through a free fitness group called Project Awesome, which is inspired by the November Project in America.

There are groups in London, Bristol and Edinburgh and we meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week in London at 06:30 am so we decided to co-ordinate a workout on the Friday before the marathon (28th October). Surprisingly, Dublin City Council have given us access to use their space on Wood Quay

PA is all about the positive power of the mix of community, fun and fitness. We’ll be there at 06:30 and running a free workout until about 07:15, and we then always go for coffee and breakfast as a group afterwards.

People of all ages and fitness levels are welcome – I was a couch potato until I started going along back in November.

It’s a one-off event for now, but the aim is to find someone to run it long-term. If not, a few of us are moving to Dublin in the next year or so, and will happily set it up and lead it anyway.

Project Awesome Dublin Special (Facebook)


Lance Armstrong argues chats to Off The Ball’s anchorman Ger Gilroy, on Denis FM Newstalk tonight from 7pm.


Listen here.


Retired rugby legend and career-long Brian O’Driscoll wingman Gordon Darcy, throwing some shade Paul Kimmage’s way in light of Dan Carter’s supposed sanctioned steroid use at Racing Metro.


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Characters around Croke Park fbefore and after the GAA Football Final replay between Dublin and Mayo. Dublin denied Mayo a chance to win their first All-Ireland in 65 years by one point.

Pictures by David ‘Not The Iona Guy’ Quinn

Previously: Until Next Time

Follow David on Instagram: @davidquinn14





The Dubs celebrate their All-Ireland victory Smithfield, Dublin 7




Ahead of Sunday’s GAA Football final replay between Dublin and Mayo.

Maria Brosnan-Barrett writes:

A heartwarming story that I really want to share with GAA fans…

My son, David Barrett (6) has been to every Mayo game this year, apart from the drawn final. We struggled to get tickets and it was breaking our poor little man’s heart. We had to take down the poster of Aidan O’Shea from his room as he was so upset.

Then an incredible thing happened…

My husband was having a pint in our local pub Mulvihill’s, when he started telling the story to our local barman Darragh (a Corkman better known as “Hightower” on account of his small stature!).

A stranger sitting on his own at the bar overheard the whole story, and fell into conversation with my husband about GAA, the price of milk, and all kinds of other things.

He left the bar late in the evening and said to my husband “your son’s name is David, right?” My husband replied yes.

He never knew anything about the man, apart from the fact that his name was Conor and he had very pronounced dimples when he smiled.

Two days ago, a letter arrived to Mulvihill’s addressed to “Master David Barrett, Mayo’s biggest fan” and Hightower’s jaw nearly dropped when he saw a ticket to the final in the envelope!

Little Davey wrote him a letter (above) and I just want to let Conor know, if he ever sees this, that his kindness will never be forgotten.



Over the past number of weeks, the Olympic Council of Ireland Rio Olympics ticketing issue has dominated the headlines and a number of serious allegations were made by a section of the Irish media suggesting involvement and wrong doing on my behalf. These allegations arose out of events in Brazil, in particular the issuing of a warrant against my passport by the Brazilian authorities.

As everyone should now be aware, this warrant was subsequently withdrawn, 10 days ago. In fact, the Brazilian police have never made any contact with me in relation to this issue.

When the issue of the warrant was first publicised in Brazil, certain media outlets took the opportunity to make the most serious and defamatory allegations against me.

My role as CEO of the FAI, it seemed, led to a significantly prominent positioning of this inaccurate and high profile reporting. These matters are now in the hands of my legal advisers and so I cannot comment further on them other than to confirm that I had no knowledge of or involvement in anything to do with tickets for the Rio games…..(more at link below)…

John Delaney, CEO of the Football Association of Ireland

Family fight!

CEO Message To Football Family (FAI)

OCI vice-president John Delaney issues lengthy statement on alleged Rio ticketing scandal (

Screenshot: FAI