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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019
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How St Enda’s put the Troubles behind them and the week's best sportswriting

Here’s the best of what the sporting world had to offer.

1. Identifying a racist is often easy enough. Rather self-defeatingly, they tend to give themselves away in the time-honoured and fool proof method of doing something racist.

“The West Ham fan shouting Islamophobic abuse at Mo Salah as he prepared to take a corner on Monday night, definitely a racist. Whoever made monkey noises at Tottenham’s Renee Hector during a Women’s Championship game against Sheffield United last month, a racist.

“The Chelsea fans I heard singing about Hitler’s gas chambers on a train back to London a couple of years back, racists. Liam Neeson: a racist 40 years ago, although he claims he’s not any more, and his co-star Michelle Rodriguez says he can’t possibly be because he kissed Viola Davis in Widows, for his job. We’ll generously put that one in the ‘maybe’ column.”

The Independent takes an inside look at what it really means to support a football team.

2. “When Liverpool’s official account tweeted the starting XI selected by Jurgen Klopp on Monday night, it provoked a wave of abusive replies from those purporting to be supporters of the club. The principal subject of their disdain was Adam Lallana, an England international picked to play in central midfield due to injuries suffered by Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson.

‘Now for the real team,’ was the typical reply. One included a gif of a cartoon suicide, another of someone pulling a noose over their neck. At least some were happy, albeit hardly in a supportive fashion: they expressed delight that Wijnaldum and Henderson had suffered knocks because they disliked seeing them in their team.”

Liverpool are on course to achieve the third highest points total in Premier League history and the highest points total in the club’s entire history

3. ”At the entrance to the St Enda’s clubhouse stands a handsome memorial stone, its polished surface catching the cold sun. Carved in Irish under the club crest is a passage from Padraig Pearse’s oration at O’Donovan Rossa’s graveside, warm words on remembrance and defiance. A few paces behind, on the wall of the clubhouse, sits a plaque in honour of Gerry Devlin, shot dead at the gates of these grounds on a December night more than 20 years ago.”

Having their clubhouse burned down 13 times only served to galvanise an indomitable spirit in the Croke Park-bound club – Denis Walsh visits the club.

4. “It’s normal for me,” Lisa Fallon says as she reflects on her extraordinary career in men’s football. “In Cork City I’m completely normalised. The lads don’t make any exceptions for me. I don’t make any for them. I’m just a football coach.”

Yet Fallon has made history as the only female coach working in men’s professional football in Ireland. We need two hours to scrape the surface of her breakthrough before, on a snowy afternoon in Cork, we head for the ground where she is a first-team coach in the League of Ireland Premier Division. The season begins on Saturday with last year’s champions, Dundalk, playing the runners-up, Cork City in the President’s Cup final. Fallon will take her place in Cork’s dugout after working her way up from opposition analyst

Cork City’s Lisa Fallon opens up in an interview with the Guardian.

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