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Football in Ireland (The Republic of Ireland, as the jurisdiction of the Football Association of Ireland, rather than Northern Ireland as governed by the older Irish Football Association) is an emerging game, which has seen a recent trend toward professionalism and growth in participation. Though actual participation in Ireland is high, attendances at domestic games are considerably lower than they should be due to a historical interest in English Football by Irish football enthusiasts.

Status In Ireland

In Ireland the game is often referred to as 'soccer', the old schools slang for association football; due to the influence of the Gaelic Athletic Association which developed Gaelic Football in the late 1800s to curtail the popularity of football and cricket, seen by the independence movement as part of the spread of English culture in Ireland. Until relatively recently the GAA held a ban on players who played soccer at any level, even actively discouraging members from watching soccer. This curtailed many gifted players from playing both sports; the lifting of the ban saw amateur GAA players turn semi-professional in the League of Ireland, with greats of the era such as Dave Barry appearing for both GAA and soccer sides. The advent of professionalism in the 21st century has reduced the number of such players at the top level, but thoughout the game's roots in Ireland, players now often play both sports.

Structure

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

1

Premier Division
(FAI League of Ireland Premier)

2

First Division
(FAI League of Ireland First)

3

A Championship Grp.1
(Newstalk A Championship Grp.1 (North))

A Championship Grp.2
(Newstalk A Championship Grp.2 (South))

4

Ulster Senior League Premier
(Ulster Senior League Premier)

Leinster Sunday Senior League
(O'Neill's Leinster Sunday Senior League)

Munster Senior League Premier
Beamish Senior League Premier

Pages in category "Ireland"

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