“We have not had a Northern Ireland player who has opted to play for the Republic of Ireland since I took over,” Michael O’Neill boasted, in a recent interview with the Sunday Times. “James McClean,” he said triumphantly, “was the last one.” O’Neill took the reins of the Northern Ireland team from a beleaguered Nigel Worthington in December 2011 following […]

After Dundalk defeated Cork City at Turner’s Cross a few weeks ago, I had a brief conversation with a couple of Lilywhites supporters about how their fortunes have turned around in the space of two years. “It’s Stephen Kenny,” enthused one fan. “He’s great.” He then leaned in closer, adopting a slightly more serious tone. “I really think he could […]

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the fact that high-quality goals were commonplace in the League of Ireland and how they should be heavily utilised by clubs (and the league bosses/the FAI) as a promotional tool. Of course, that’s not a new idea – it’s hardly groundbreaking – but it bears repeating nonetheless. Indeed, over the weekend, one […]

There are many things lacking in the League of Ireland, but one thing it does not lack is quality goals. This season has already served up a smorgasbord of strikes with Barry McNamee of Derry City winning Soccer Republic‘s Goal of the Month award for March, beating competition from the likes of Galway United striker Enda Curran and St Patrick’s […]

An assault on the Irish people

I have lost count of how many of my peers have left Ireland in search of a brighter future. Childhood friends, work colleagues, people I met in college and relatives have all fled the emerald isle. Their reasons vary. The allure of a different, more fulfilling, lifestyle is, of course, a draw. Many flee in the hope that things might […]

The 1225 Challenge

Last month, following a brief discussion with my friend, I wrote and published a short story. I had written very few short stories before and most of those were created purely for my friends’ enjoyment (although I did mail one off to a competition), so I wasn’t particularly primed for the task. However, as is so often the case at […]

Roddy riles but he gets people talking

“You know what this has become? It’s become the world against Roddy Collins! The conversation has become a nonsense. This conversation has become ‘Irish football against Roddy Collins.’ We should have just discussed it and moved on! The conversation has become an embarrassment now.” Stuey Byrne began his contribution to Newstalk’s ‘Off the Ball’ programme on Tuesday by defending Roddy […]

The deliberate success of Cork City

Last night Cork City took advantage of Dundalk’s slip up in Bray to go one point clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. A rather incredible, if fortuitous, goal from Billy Dennehy gave John Caulfield’s side the three points and it was richly deserved. Amazingly, the league will now be decided on the final day as the […]

Peculiar Ireland scarves for sale

When there is a big international football match on in Dublin it’s common to see people attempting to sell the dreaded half-and-half scarves and other match-day regalia on the way to Lansdowne Road. German street vendors are no different and it seems they were keen to tap in to the inner Irish republican of the travelling Irish support in Gelsenkirchen […]

Kroos but no cigar

Like a lot of footballers on the day of a game, Real Madrid star Toni Kroos posted a message on Twitter revealing his excitement. In a post delivered to to 1.64 million followers ahead of Germany’s crucial Euro 2016 qualification clash against the Republic of Ireland, Kroos exclaimed: “Matchday !!!”  followed by the German word “wichtig”, meaning important. However, the […]