Morgan Treacy/INPHO Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan celebrate their Olympic success this week.
# good reads
The brains behind Irish rowing glory, the vet leading Tyrone and the week's best sportswriting
Stick the kettle on, take a seat and get stuck into this lot.

1. Then Dominic walks in.

‘One more session.’

‘Ah Jesus, Dominic, we’re wrecked. We can’t.’

‘Come on, come on, come on,’ he said, ‘one more session.’

There was back and forth for a good bit. In the end, we relented. He got us on the water. We were out there for at least 90 minutes and it was the best session of the camp. We went from thinking we couldn’t do a single stroke to pulling the best strokes of the camp. That was some feeling. We thought the well was empty, but Dominic showed us it wasn’t, that we had more to give.

A look at the brains behind Irish rowing’s glorious success as Mark O’Donovan’s column in The Southern Star focuses on Dominic Casey.

2. For Fintan, rowing just fitted him. Soccer didn’t. Neither did Gaelic football. In his own words, he was terrible, to the extent that he told Ilen Rovers he was U10 when he was actually U12 so he wouldn’t have to play with his own age group. With rowing – and Skibbereen Rowing Club – it was different from the start.

‘We all have a running joke, that it’s all the rejects from other sports that end up in the rowing club,’ Fintan smiles.

For the week that’s in it, this interview with Ireland’s gold-medal winning Olympian Fintan McCarthy, is worth reflecting. It’s with Kieran McCarthy, also in The Southern Star, where the profiles of fellow gold medal winner Paul O’Donovan and bronze medallist Emily Hegarty should also be checked out.

aifric-keogh-eimear-lambe-fiona-murtagh-and-emily-hegarty-celebrate-with-their-bronze-medals Morgan Treacy / INPHO Emily Hegarty (right) after Ireland's bronze medal success. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

3. The day’s work is castrating bulls. One of them gets a leg free and fires off a kick.

“Caught him right in the you-know-where. He was clean out for the count, and these other boys thought he was dead,” says John Hood, the former joint-owner of what was then Claudy & Whitehouse veterinary clinic, where Dooher worked after qualifying.

“They said they’d have to get this boy sorted out and get him to hospital.

“He got up when he came around after a minute or two, he shook himself and he just carried on with what he was doing.

Veterinarian, star footballer and now Tyrone’s joint manager. Cahair O’Kane in the Irish News profiles the great Brian Dooher.

brian-dooher-and-john-mcdermott-1996 © Billy Stickland / INPHO Tyrone's Brian Dooher in action in the 1996 All-Ireland semi-final. © Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

4.  The trouble with the phrase “mental health” is that it’s an abstraction that allows you to sail right straight over what happened to Simone Biles and, in a way, what is still happening to her.

To this day, American Olympic officials continue to betray her. They deny that they had a legal duty to protect her and others from rapist-child pornographer Larry Nassar, and they continue to evade accountability in judicial maneuvering.

Abuse is a current event for her.

Sally Jenkins in The Washington Post writes after a week when Simone Biles withdrew from the Olympics gymnastics competition due to ongoing mental health concerns.

monaghan-players-dejected-after-the-game Declan Roughan / INPHO The Monaghan U20 footballers after Friday's Ulster final. Declan Roughan / INPHO / INPHO

5. By the Sunday night after Brendan Óg Ó Dufaigh died, his body still wasn’t home from hospital. The local machinery that guides a place through these things had long since kicked into gear, however, and the Monaghan Harps clubhouse on the edge of the town was the cetnre of operations.

That had been the way of it since early on Saturday morning when club secretary Nicola Shalvey tied a black ribbon to the gates and laid a single wreath.

A GAA community in mourning steels itself for the Ulster final. Malachy Clerkin in The Irish Times on Monaghan GAA after the tragic death of Brendan Óg Ó Dufaigh.

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