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Republic of Ireland

Audio: The Alan McLoughlin Interview

AlanMcLoughlin-01 An Irish football hero since November 1993, Alan McLoughlin chats to Póg Mo Goal’s Dave O’Grady about the release of ‘A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story’, nominated for Irish Sports Book of the Year. He talks about his personal battle with cancer, that famous night in Windsor Park, Roy Keane’s Rolex watch and much more. Continue reading →

A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story

alan mcloughlin pic Gary Mackay’s goal for Scotland sent Ireland to Euro ’88. A facile win in Malta secured passage to our first ever World Cup in 1990. Play-offs, where the job was virtually done in the first leg, earned us the right to compete on a global stage in 2002 and 2012. The World Cup in America was different though. Irish footballing lore is peppered with iconic goals that stay at the forefront of every Republic fan’s memory. Whelan against USSR, McAteer against the Netherlands, Keane versus the Germans, even O’Shea in Gelsenkirchen. And another of those standout strikes came in Belfast in 1993. For the hero of that hour, his toughest fight was yet to come. His newly released autobiography has already been nominated for the Irish Sports Book of the Year. Continue reading →

When Support Doesn’t Work

Unbenannt They’re regarded as being among the best football supporters in the world and were featured in a promotional campaign about Ireland’s loyal Green Army of fans. But with some missing out on tickets for the qualifier with Scotland, and the FAI coming under fire, a new protest video has emerged. Continue reading →

No German Panic but Fighting Irish Could Strike Another Blow

germany fans Call it a World Cup hangover, but the Germans are still feeling a little delicate since their caipirinha-fuelled conquest by the Copacabana. Retirements and injuries have certainly affected ‘Die Mannschaft’ and their performances since the Maracana triumph have been sluggish. A friendly-drubbing at the hands of Argentina was followed up with the nervy win over Scotland, and a shock defeat to Poland. But German football fans don’t necessarily care. They are the world champions. And the country is still basking in the Brazilian glow. The flags remain on cars and outside houses, if a little more ragged now, a bit like Jogi Loew’s squad. Continue reading →

When Killer Met Keane

10334269_873494712662720_8112683895111861696_n Check out a teaser clip of Kevin Kilbane’s interview with former Irish teammate Roy Keane for Saturday’s Football Focus on BBC One. You can also watch RTE’s Tony O’Donoghue interviewing his fellow Corkman where he asks Keane outright if he walked out of the World Cup in Saipan. Continue reading →

New Ireland Away Kit

Umbro-Ireland-2014-2015-Away-Kit (1) Umbro have revealed the new Ireland away kit which will be worn for the first time in the Euro 2016 qualifying game against Scotland in Glasgow this November. The design takes inspiration from the second strip worn at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea Continue reading →

Robbie Keane Chips in With Wonder Goal

robbie keane la v ny Robbie Keane warmed up for Ireland’s upcoming crucial qualifiers, including a tilt at the world champions Germany, with a brace for LA Galaxy against New York Red Bulls. His first was an exquisite chip from Landon Donovan’s pass. Robbie also batted away questions on whether he’d be voted the league’s MVP. Continue reading →

Is Doctor Quinn the Cure to Ireland’s Ills?

niall quinn side Niall Quinn is an Irish legend, a one-time top goalscorer, and a man who understands football both on and off the pitch having stepped from the changing room to the board room. So when he speaks about the development of Irish players, it’s worth paying attention. Except, we’ve heard it from Quinn before. Maybe for a man of his resources, it’s time to see action, especially if no one running Irish football is bothered to listen. Continue reading →

Reviving the Legacy of “Don Patricio” O’Connell

DonPatricio His name should be among the most revered in Irish football history. A former captain of both Ireland and Manchester United, he went on to manage Real Betis and FC Barcelona where he is credited with saving the Catalan giants from extinction. Instead the remains of Patrick O’Connell are buried in an unmarked grave in Kilburn, North London, an area synonymous with Irish emigrants and their broken dreams. Now a new group has come together with the aim of restoring both his final resting place and O’Connell’s reputation in the annals of the game he loved. Continue reading →

On the Mid-Night Plane to Georgia

georgia stadium Irish supporters never made it to Tbilisi when the Republic faced Georgia under Giovanni Trapatonni. Political instability moved the World Cup qualifier to Mainz, Germany. Last weekend, as the green jerseys touched down beneath the Caucuses Mountains, Tbilisi-based Mory Cunningham wondered if it was just another away match location or if the fans felt further East in this still emerging nation of stark contrasts? Continue reading →

Oman Means Back to the Future for Ireland

robbie brady crop If Ireland take three points in Tbilisi, the game with Oman might well have served its purpose. The last meeting came in Fulham’s Craven Cottage in September 2012 when Robbie Brady made his Irish debut with a standout performance. A month later the Dubliner was named in Manchester United’s Champions League squad list but the following January, following a second loan spell, he was signed by Hull City. Just as it has for Brady, much has changed in Irish football circles since then, but he may be about to step into the limelight. Continue reading →

June 30, 1990: Italy 1 Rep. of Ireland 0

jack italia 90 On this day in 1990, in our first ever World Cup, Ireland lost out by a solitary goal in the quarter-finals to the tournament hosts Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Within days the Irish team would land in Dublin to a crowd of over 500,000 people in scenes that likely wouldn’t have been bettered had they won the competition itself. Continue reading →

Ireland’s Post-Season: 10 Talking Points

ronaldo mcclean Having scored his first international goal in the end-of-season tour, James McClean joked that Costa Rica and Italy’s displays in Brazil put Ireland’s performances against the same teams in more positive perspective. But the rout at the hands of Portugal, themselves humiliated by Ireland’s Euro opponents Germany, will give Martin O’Neill cause for concern. Kyle Cotter looks at ten talking points. Continue reading →

June 11, 2002: Rep. of Ireland 3 S. Arabia 0

duff saudi arabia Robbie Keane’s early strike sent Ireland on their way to the second round but nerves weren’t settled until a goal from the unlikeliest of sources, centre-back Gary Breen. Damien Duff, one of the stars of the tournament finally got on the score-sheet to seal the win and give us one of the most iconic celebrations in Irish sport. Continue reading →

Ronaldo and Portugal Rout Ireland

ronaldo mcclean World-Cup bound Portugal dished out a 5-1 drubbing to a weakened Irish team in New York as Martin O’Neill suffered his heaviest defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo’s side were too much for a defence in disarray, missing first choice regulars with James McClean pulling one back to sign off Ireland’s end-of-season tour. Portugal, ranked fourth in the world, move on to Brazil. Continue reading →

Ireland and the 1950 Brazil Rejection

worldcupposterbrazil-01 When Sepp Blatter ridiculed Ireland’s rather embarrassing request to be installed as the 33rd team at the World Cup in South Africa, it was in stark contrast to what had happened 60 years earlier. Ahead of the 1950 finals, also in Brazil, FIFA were faced with a mass exodus of nations with just 13 teams eventually pitching up by the Copacabana. Back then it was the world governing body pleading with Ireland to participate. Incredibly we refused, and wouldn’t appear at the finals for another four decades. Read why in the latest installment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle. Continue reading →

Highlights: Ireland Beaten by Turkey

ireland v turkey Martin O’Neill’s Ireland slumped to a second consecutive defeat at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Turkey went 2-0 up with Jon Walters replying for the home side. The new manager has a further three post-season games but the Derryman is beginning to realise how much work is needed ahead of the 2016 qualifiers. Continue reading →

New Umbro Ireland Home Kit

jon_walters,_paula_brady,_david_meyler,_shane_long[1] The new Umbro Irish home kit is now available to buy. First worn worn in the friendly with Turkey and themed ‘Green to the Core,’ the new home jersey and team kit is almost entirely green with the exception of a white collar and white turnover on the classic green socks. Continue reading →

Coleman and Reid Prove We Can Play Ball

Pic:  Billy Galligan/amanwithhiscamera.com With the season almost over, all eyes will turn to the World Cup in Brazil. Of course, Ireland won’t be there and the selection of Seamus Coleman and Andy Reid in their respective teams of the year is yet another indictment of Giovanni Trapattoni’s philosophy as Irish manager. They also make a mockery of the argument that we don’t have ball-players. Continue reading →

Dublin in Running to Finally Land Euros

euro cup The Football Association of Ireland will only have to see off six rivals in its bid to host games at the multi-nation Euro 2020 with 13 cities to be chosen from just 19 formal applications. With Scotland, Wales, and England also in the running, there’s plenty of regional competition for Dublin but the Irish are confident of success this time around despite various hurdles, including football’s usual seedy politics, scuppering us in the past. Continue reading →

The League of Nations

james mcclean UEFA members have unanimously backed a move for a new Nations League tournament to replace international friendlies starting in 2018. Ireland are likely to face the likes of Croatia and Sweden but with the incentive of promotion to face the continent’s top sides. Continue reading →

Why the Republic Still Needs Robbie

robbie keane While Ireland still basks in the light of the Brian O’Driscoll love-in, his counterpart on the national football team doesn’t always enjoy 100% support. But when the history of the Irish game is written, Robbie Keane will rightly be spoken of in the same breath as our retired rugby icon. Keane still has a vital role to play in the Republic’s future fortunes. Only when he’s gone will we realise what we’ve missed. Continue reading →

That New Jack Magic

jack grealish While the Irish U21s crashed out of Euro qualification with this month’s defeat to Montenegro, one player lit up the Tallaght Stadium with his performance. Jack Grealish could be the Republic’s successor to Damien Duff, writes Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football show. Continue reading →