Posts Tagged ‘Football Association of Ireland’

The first Irish national to score in the new Lansdowne Road? Dave Mulcahy. A nice goal against Manchester United, and no doubt a mantlepiece photograph for decades to come.

Saint Patrick’s Athletic played in the last soccer match in Lansdowne before renovation, so how fitting one of our own would be the first Irish player to pop one in. Sure Jonny Evans got one for United (You know, that team everyone was cheering for….) before Mulcahy, but he’s from ‘up there’.

Whatever you make of the poxy Calcio Moderno, or modern game, there is no denying the mess the Football Association of Ireland made of it tonight. Was that fixture designed to promote the Irish domestic game? Did they not consider the fact that before earlier this week, many of these lads have never played together? For the second time in a week, a Dave Mulcahy goal felt more like a victory in itself.

In another pretty meaningless friendly only last month, Bohs managed to beat a strong Aston Villa side at Dalymount Park. Without ringing up Sherlock Holmes, one can presume the fact Bohemian F.C are an actual football team themselves and not a selection of players from the four corners of the country helped in that one. This might have been a pre-season for Manchester United, granted- but League of Ireland fans know only too well we’re more than halfway through a season.

Hopefully one moment of skill or two from a domestic player tonight will lure a family to their local club this weekend. It was quite sad to hear the usual ‘is the League a pile of crap’ debate open up on Adrian Kennedy tonight. Even a small portion of the money that leaves this country weekly at Dublin Airport to travel to football abroad, if directed into the domestic game, would have a huge effect. It’s the financial instability of Irish football more than anything that holds the game back. Why are clubs with mass community support and history like Derry City F.C kicking a football around the First Division? Money my friends, money.

Can the FAI really complain about the Celtic/Manchester United/Sunderland (Or eh…never mind that one) leanings of most of the nation’s youth, when the way to promote the domestic game is to send a mix-match of domestic players out to be slaughtered? There is absolutely nothing wrong with supporting any of those teams, the SPL and EPL are both entertaining, but no doubt tonight should have been about Irish football.

Roll on Friday, when three points are at stake again. I just hope our lads aren’t too tired.

Any ideas on building support for the domestic game? Anyone? Send your postcards to...

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Lansdowne Road Stadium, February 15 1995

Republic of Ireland versus England, February 15 1995.

The disgraceful behavior at last night’s football international in Dublin must throw into grave doubt England’s role as hosts of next year’s European Championship. It was appalling enough that the pond life who purport to follow England should riot at all. But in Ireland of all places, at such a politically sensitive time, defies belief.

Today Newspaper Editorial, on the day following the riots.

I dug this match Programme out recently, and thought it would be of interest to some of our readers. Page 3, the notes from the manager, is signed. Sadly, it is addressed to Donal, and not eBay.

In all seriousness however, this encounter between the Republic of Ireland and England on February 15 1995 marked one of the worst moments for soccer in this country. Largely believed to be as a protest against the peace process in Ulster, and centering around a few fringe groups from London clubs, a small band of fascist supporters within the English away support brought the match to a halt amid scenes of flying chairs and wood. Ireland were 1 nil up in the encounter, before it was called off. Both National Anthems had been greeted poorly at the beginning of the match, and near constant chants of ‘Never surrender to the IRA’ can be heard in footage of the encounter. The damage done to the image of the game in Ireland was quite bad, and the UK tabloids seized the day too to make quite sweeping statements about English football supporters.

Many of the trouble makers had, almost laughably, purchased their tickets from Dublin. The Football Association of Ireland made a haims of the affair, and English fans were located in an area of the stadium one can only describe as madly short sighted in retrospect, with little to no screening of their support. Searchlight magazine told The Irish Times that its “spotters” had noticed a huge number of hooligans from right wing firms and political groupings in the North among the away support. The video footage from the moments following the calling off of the game is incredible, showing a clearly raging Jack Charlton, a man who won a World Cup medal with England in 1966.

There was little evidence of orchestration but many signs of the disturbing presence of the right-wing thugs who have attached themselves to club around the south east of London. Forearms bearing Union Jack tattoos jerked skywards in Nazi salutes. Several skinheads carried the legend “Made in the UK” in blue ink above their ears. There was some excited talk about “doing like the paras” and getting the “Fenian scum”, but for the most part the trouble was caused by dull young men looking for the rush that violence can provide

Tom Humphries writing in The Irish Times , February 18 1995

Interestingly, in 2008, John Delaney remarked to The Guardian that

At some stage, I would like to see England play in Lansdowne Road because there is a game owed. (…)Bringing them to the old Lansdowne Road would have been difficult, and bringing them to Croke Park wouldn’t have been correct given the history.

So, here is a selection of content from the match programme. Enjoy. League of Ireland fans should note the fantastic article on the first English visit to Dublin, an encounter at Dalymount Park.

FAI Welcome


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