Republic of Ireland
Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the part of the island. The state shares its land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint Georges Channel to the south-east, and it is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President, the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was officially declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955. It joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, after joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth. The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by a financial crisis that began in 2008. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again quickly ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index and it also performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a member of the Council of Europe. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was styled, the Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland. Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland. The 1948 Act does not name the state as Republic of Ireland, because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name Eire, and, from 1949, Republic of Ireland, for the state, as well as Ireland, Éire or the Republic of Ireland, the state is also referred to as the Republic, Southern Ireland or the South. In an Irish republican context it is referred to as the Free State or the 26 Counties. From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, during the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the islands population of over 8 million fell by 30%
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Dublin is in the province of Leinster on Irelands east coast, the city has an urban area population of 1,345,402. The population of the Greater Dublin Area, as of 2016, was 1,904,806 people, founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Irelands principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800, following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland. Dublin is administered by a City Council, the city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha-, which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts, administration, economy, the name Dublin comes from the Irish word Dubhlinn, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, dubh /d̪uβ/, alt. /d̪uw/, alt /d̪u, / meaning black, dark, and lind /lʲiɲ pool and this tidal pool was located where the River Poddle entered the Liffey, on the site of the castle gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle. In Modern Irish the name is Duibhlinn, and Irish rhymes from Dublin County show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn /d̪ˠi, other localities in Ireland also bear the name Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin, Divlin and Difflin. Historically, scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b and those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot, spelling the name as Dublin. Variations on the name are found in traditionally Irish-speaking areas of Scotland, such as An Linne Dhubh. It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements where the modern city stands. Baile Átha Cliath, meaning town of the ford, is the common name for the city in modern Irish. Áth Cliath is a name referring to a fording point of the River Liffey near Father Mathew Bridge. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery, believed to have been in the area of Aungier Street, there are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, Scotland, which is Anglicised as Hurlford. Although the area of Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times and he called the settlement Eblana polis. It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements where the modern city stands. The subsequent Scandinavian settlement centred on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in an area now known as Wood Quay, the Dubhlinn was a small lake used to moor ships, the Poddle connected the lake with the Liffey. This lake was covered during the early 18th century as the city grew, the Dubhlinn lay where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle
Shelbourne Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin, who play in the League of Ireland First Division. Shelbourne were founded in Dublin in 1895, in 1904 the club joined the Irish Football League, which was then an all Ireland competition, before becoming founding members of the League of Ireland in 1921. Shelbourne have won the league 13 times and are one of three clubs to have won both the IFA Cup and the FAI Cup and they play their home matches at Tolka Park, in the Dublin suburb of Drumcondra. The club colours are red and white, with home jerseys being predominantly red. Shels is the clubs most common nickname, an abbreviation of Shelbourne, in the 2004/2005 European season, Shelbourne became the first Irish club to reach the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Their performances in European competition and former striker Jason Byrne being capped for the Republic of Ireland whilst with the club, the club lost their Premier Division licence for the 2007 season due to the clubs debt situation. Since then, Shelbourne have mainly played in the tier of the League of Ireland. Shelbourne Football Club was formed in 1895 in the Ringsend area of Dublin by a group of men led by Mr. James Rowan, the club took its name from the nearby Shelbourne Road. The clubs first pitch was at Havelock Square just behind the stand at the present day Aviva Stadium. Shelbournes second season was their first in competitive competition, Shelbourne played 28 matches, won 25, drew 2 and lost only 1. Their goal tally was 109 for and 15 against, Shelbourne won the principal junior competitions, the Leinster Junior Cup and League Championship. The club decided to enter the ranks for the 1897–98 Season and reached the Leinster Senior Cup Final at their first attempt. They also finished runners-up in the Leinster Senior League, the club won their first Leinster Senior Cup in 1899/1900, Shelbourne won the competition again in 1901 and 1904. The club made it into the Final of the IFA Cup in 1905 but were beaten by Distillery, in 1906 Shelbourne player Val Harris became the clubs first player to line out for Ireland. Shelbourne reached the IFA Cup Final again in 1907 and 1908 but were beaten on both occasion in replays against Cliftonville and Bohemians, in 1907 Shelbourne were also Irish Football League runners-up to Linfield. They won the Leinster Senior Cup again in 1908 and 1909, in 1909 Shelbourne were City Cup winners and finished 3rd place in the Irish Football League, behind champions Linfield and Glentoran. In 1911 Shelbourne won the IFA Cup for their second time, Shelbourne won the Leinster Senior Cup again in 1913 and 1914. Shelbourne were 1914 Gold Cup runners-up, and then winners in 1915, Shelbourne were Leinster Senior Cup winners again in 1917 and 1919
Bohemian Football Club, more commonly referred to as Bohs, is a professional football club from Dublin, Ireland. Bohemians compete in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland, during that period they won the Irish Cup once and finished runners up 5 times. They share the record for most wins in European competition with archrivals Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians were founded on 6 September 1890 in the Phoenix Park Gate Lodge beside the North Circular Road entrance and played its first games in the Parks Polo Grounds. One of the members of the League of Ireland in 1921. Bohemians dropped their amateur ethos in 1969 and proceeded to win 2 League titles,2 FAI Cups and 2 League cups during the 1970s. They suffered a further decline throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s before claiming League and Cup doubles in 2001 and 2008, alongside the 2003, Bohemians play their home matches at Dalymount Park in the Northside neighbourhood of Phibsborough. They are owned 100% by the members of the club and their club colours are red and black, which they adopted at the 4th AGM in October 1893. Bohemians supporters often refer to their club by a number of nicknames including Bohs and The Gypsies, seasons Bohemians were founded on 6 September 1890. They were members of the Irish Football League from 1902 to 1911, during this time the clubs greatest success was winning the Irish Cup in 1908. In its first season it finished second in the league, just two points behind St. James Gate, the club won its first league title in 1924. In 1928 the club won its league title and completed a double that season by winning its first FAI Cup also. The club was one of the forces in the early years of the league. The club went 34 seasons without winning a major trophy, in 1969 the club ended its amateur status, and the first player to sign professional terms was Tony OConnell, who signed on 11 March 1969. The club then went on to win two titles, two FAI Cups and two league cups in the 1970s, more trophies than any other club that decade. In 1970 the club entered European competition for the first time where it was beaten in the first qualifying round of the European Cup Winners Cup. The club went through another trophy-less spell after its 1979 league cup victory and it was not until 2001 that it regained the league title, also winning the FAI Cup that season to complete its second double. In September 2009, Bohemians claimed the League Cup for the time in the clubs history with a 3–1 win over Waterford United in the final. On 6 November 2009, Bohemians retained the title after a 1–1 draw against Bray Wanderers and they were already assured of the league title before the final round of matches as they held a three-point lead and 16-goal difference advantage over their nearest rivals Shamrock Rovers
Shamrock Rovers F.C.
Shamrock Rovers Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Tallaght, South Dublin. The clubs senior team competes in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the club has won the League of Ireland title a record 17 times and the FAI Cup a record 24 times. Shamrock Rovers have supplied more players to the Republic of Ireland national football team than any other club, in All-Ireland competitions, such as the Intercity Cup, they hold the record for winning the most titles, having won seven cups overall. Shamrock Rovers were founded in Ringsend, Dublin, the official date of the clubs foundation is 1899. They won the League title at the first attempt in the 1922–23 season and established themselves as Republic of Ireland most successful club by 1949, winning 44 major trophies. During the 1950s, the club won three League titles and two FAI Cups and became the first Irish team to compete in European competition, playing in the European Cup in 1957. They won the first of four League titles in a row in 1983–84, the club played at Glenmalure Park from 1926 to 1987, when the owners controversially sold the stadium to property developers. Shamrock Rovers spent the next 22 years playing home games at various venues around Dublin and on occasions and they moved into Tallaght Stadium prior to the start of the 2009 season after years of delays and legal disputes, during which time the clubs supporters saved them from extinction. Shamrock Rovers wore green and white striped jerseys until 1926, when adopted the green. Their club badge has featured a football and a shamrock throughout their history, the club has a relatively large support base and shares an intense rivalry with Bohemian Football Club. On 26 August 2011 Rovers became the first Irish side to reach the stages of either of the top two European competitions by beating Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round of the Europa League. The foundation of Shamrock Rovers is disputed amongst supporters of the club, no official documentation of the era exists. Essentially, the dispute is whether the two years of exhibition games were played before or after the registration. In light of the discovery of evidence supporting a date before April 1899 the club opened a 1899 Suite in Tallaght Stadium in February 2017. Shamrock Rovers originate from Ringsend, a Southside inner suburb of Dublin, the name of the club derives from Shamrock Avenue in Ringsend, where the first club rooms were secured. In September 1906, after a few seasons in operation, Rovers withdrew from the First Division of the Leinster Senior League, in 1914, they were resurrected and started playing their matches at Ringsend Park. However, the park became unavailable within two years, the club disbanded and played only exhibition games for the next five years. The following season, the won the League of Ireland title at the first attempt, going 21 games unbeaten
Dundalk Football Club is an Irish professional association football club based in Dundalk, County Louth. The club currently plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division and are the current reigning champions, founded in 1903, it is the second most successful team, in terms of trophies won, in the history of the League of Ireland. The traditional colours of the club are white jerseys with black shorts, because of the white jerseys, the team has been nicknamed The Lilywhites. Home games are played in Oriel Park, a local rivalry is shared with Drogheda United, their Louth neighbours, who entered the League in 1963 as Drogheda FC and later became Drogheda United in 1975. In 2002, the won the FAI Cup for a ninth time. Dundalk celebrated its 2000th league game against Finn Harps on Thursday 8 March 2007 in Oriel Park to a crowd of 3,000 spectators. In 2016, the became the first Irish side to reach the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League after their shock 3–1 aggregate win over FC BATE Borisov. They were beaten by Legia Warsaw in the final play-off round and they became the first Irish side to win a group stage game in European competition when they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 1–0 at home. The Dundalk team had beaten Institution 2nd XI 1–0, the club continued to exist until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. However, other clubs began to make their presence felt in the locality. One in particular, the Great Northern Railway Association Club, otherwise known as the Dundalk GNR, founded in September 1903, the Dundalk GNR were located at the Athletic Grounds and competed in the Dundalk and District League from 1905 until 1914, although media coverage remained patchy. Sports coverage was re-instated in the media in 1919, with the Dundalk. Included among the teams was a representing the Dundalk GNR. The club were also partaking in the Newry League at the time, the Dundalk GNR was not involved in the fledgling League of Ireland, which began at the start of the 1921–22 season. It involved only Dublin-based clubs, all of which had stepped up from the Leinster Senior League Senior Division and this ultimately opened the way for the Dundalk GNR to move up to the Leinster Senior League. It was the club from outside the capital to compete in the 1922–23 season. The first game in the League of Ireland ended in a 2–1 loss to Fordsons on 21 August. The club, still known as the Dundalk GNR, and continuing in the black and amber kit from their pre-First World War origins, the match ended in a 2–1 defeat
Shelbourne Park is a greyhound racing stadium in the south Dublin inner city suburb of Ringsend. The plans to open a greyhound track in Dublin were drawn up by Paddy O’Donoghue, Jerry Collins, Patsy McAlinden, Shelbourne Park opened on 14 May 1927 hot on the heels of Celtic Park. The stadium located in the docklands in Ringsend was Dublin’s answer to the Belfast track, when opening in 1927 the track employed four resident trainers in Mick Horan, Paddy Quigley, Billy Donoghue and Ben Scally. One year later it was decided to introduce the Easter Cup which commemorated the 1916 Easter Monday Rising in Dublin, however the race soon became known for its own fame rather than its naming origins. The first winner was a greyhound called Odd Blade and the dog went on to successfully defend his title the following year. Famously Mick the Miller equalled the record time for 500 yards when recording 28.80 in 1928. Mick went on to win the English Greyhound Derby that year for Shelbourne trainer Horan, Shelbourne Park hosted the first official Irish Greyhound Derby which had been run on four previous occasions from 1928 to 1931 at rival track Harolds Cross Stadium. The first winner of the Irish Derby at Shelbourne was Guideless Joe owned by champion Irish jockey Jack Moyland, the Oaks came to Shelbourne Park in 1935 and like the Irish Derby was normally run every other year with Harolds Cross hosting inbetween. Another event was inaugurated in 1939 and that was the McAlinden Cup, on June 25,1946 Shelbourne used the first photo finish in Ireland during the semi-finals of the McAlinden Cup. An extraordinary 1956 Irish Derby saw Keep Moving break the record twice before the sub 29 second barrier was broken by Prince of Bermuda. The Bord na gCon installed a new system in 1960. A £240,000 investment followed and the year that the Irish Derby found a permanent home at Shelbourne to the dismay of Harolds Cross supporters. The Shelbourne 600 sponsored by Guinness started in 1964 and the Oaks also became permanent at Shelbourne in 1980, with the closure of Celtic Park in 1983 Shelbourne became the premier track in Ireland and continues to provide most of the major events in the Irish racing calendar. The first match was a 1-1 draw against Bohemians and their last match there was a 2-2 draw against Waterford, shels left Shelbourne Park with the intention of building a new stadium in the nearby district of Irishtown. Shelbourne Park was the venue for two FAI Cup Final replays, in 1927 and 1929, Shelbourne Park appeared in the British motoring programme, Top Gear where Richard Hammond using a Mazda MX5 raced against a greyhound around the track. Despite Hammonds best efforts, the greyhound won, Shelbourne Park staged speedway racing 1950 to 1954, again in 1961 and again in 1970 and 1971. In 1951 it was a base for a team of American speedway riders including Nick Nicolaides, Don Hawley, Johnny Roccio, Manuel Trujillo, the team raced at most of the UK tracks and often featured Ernie Roccio who was based at Wimbledon
Where more than two competitors can play in each match, such as in a shootout poker tournament, players are removed when they can no longer play until one player remains from the group. This player moves on to the next round, some competitions are held with a pure single-elimination tournament system. Others have many phases, with the last being a final stage called playoffs. The round before the quarterfinals is sometimes called the round of sixteen, Last Sixteen, or pre-quarterfinals, earlier rounds are typically numbered counting forwards from the first round, or by the number of remaining competitors. If some competitors get a bye, the round at which they enter may be named the first round, with the matches called a preliminary round. Many Olympic single-elimination tournaments feature the bronze medal if they do not award bronze medals to both losing semifinalists. The FIFA World Cup has long featured the third place match, the number of distinct ways of arranging a single-elimination tournament is given by the Wedderburn–Etherington numbers. Brackets are set up so that the top two seeds could not possibly meet until the round, none of the top four can meet prior to the semifinals. If no seeding is used, the tournament is called a random knockout tournament. One version of seeding is where brackets are set up so that the quarterfinal pairings would be the 1 seed vs. the 8 seed,2 vs.7,3 vs.6 and 4 vs. This may be done after each round, or only at selected intervals, in American team sports, for example, the MLS, NFL and WNBA employ this tactic, but the NBA does not. MLB does not have teams in its playoff tournament where re-seeding would make a large difference in the matchups. In international fencing competitions, it is common to have a group stage, participants are divided in groups of 6–7 fencers who play a round-robin tournament, and a ranking is calculated from the consolidated group results. Single elimination is seeded from this ranking, the single-elimination format enables a relatively large number of competitors to participate. There are no dead matches, and no matches where one competitor has more to play for than the other, the format is less suited to games where draws are frequent. In chess, each fixture in a single-elimination tournament must be played multiple matches, because draws are common. In association football, games ending in a draw may be settled in extra time, another perceived disadvantage is that most competitors are eliminated after relatively few games. Variations such as the tournament allow competitors a single loss while remaining eligible for overall victory
Athlone Town A.F.C.
Athlone Town Football Club is an Irish football club from Athlone who are playing in the League of Ireland. The club is the oldest in the League as it was founded in 1887, First elected to the League of Ireland in 1922, they play their home matches in Lissywollen their new stadium which opened in 2007. The clubs colours are blue and black, Athlone first competed in the League of Ireland in the 1922–23 season finishing sixth. They were the first non-Dublin club in the Irish Free State to compete in the national Free State League and they competed in the league until 1928 and not again until the 1969–70 season. Athlone Town won the FAI Cup, their first domestic success in 1924, dinny Hannon scored the only goal of the game, as Athlone went through the whole competition without conceding a goal. Hannon was one of five Athlone Town players chosen to represent the Irish Free State at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, the other players were Tommy Muldoon, Frank Ghent, John Joe Dykes and Paddy OReilly. The club finished second in the league in the 1974–75 season earning a place in the UEFA Cup and their first round game was against Norwegian side Vålerenga who they beat. Athlones second round tie was against Italian side AC Milan drawing 0–0 in the first leg at St. Mels Park setting an attendance of 9,000 before losing the second leg at the San Siro 3–0. Athlone won their first league title in the 1980–81 season and they played KB in Europe the following season earning a draw in the first leg in Denmark and again at St. Mels Park going out on the away goal rule. In the 1981–82 season Athlone Town won the League Cup for the time beating Shamrock Rovers. However they failed to retain their title that year finishing 4th. Athlone Town were again crowned champions in the 1982–83 season and qualifying for Europe. Their opponents in Europe on this occasion were Belgian outfit Raymond Goethals managed Standard Liège, losing 3–2 at home, in 1985 six new clubs were elected to the league increasing the leagues participation to 22. As a result, the current two division structure was adapted with Athlone Town in Premier Division, in 1987 the club finished last and were relegated to the First Division. Their stay there was short, finishing top of First Division the following season, the club remained in the top flight until the 1991–92 season, when they finished eleventh and were subsequently relegated to the First Division. Athlone Town again gained promotion to the Premier Division in the 1993–94 season, the club were once again relegated in 1996, narrowly missing out on promotion in 2001 by one point to Monaghan United. Since 2001 Athlone have finished each season in the half of the first division. In that time eight different managers have been appointed, in 2007 the club moved from St Mels Park to a new stadium, which was opened on 9 March when the home side hosted Kilkenny City in the opening game of the season
Cobh Ramblers F.C.
Cobh Ramblers Football Club is an Irish football club in the League of Ireland First Division. The club, founded in 1922 and elected to the league in 1985, hails from Cobh, County Cork, the clubs colours are claret and blue. Stephen Henderson guided them to the First Division title for the first time on 10 November 2007, which saw Cobh promoted to the top flight for the first time in 12 years. Henderson resigned at the end of the 2008 season after Ramblers were relegated from the Premier Division and they subsequently failed to gain a licence for the League of Ireland First Division and thus played in the A Championship. In January 2013, the FAI awarded the club a First Division licence, on 19 January 2009 it was revealed that Dave Hill would return to the club to replace Henderson as manager. The club have a very successful under-19 team and they won the under-19 Southern Division in the 2011–12 season and were promoted to the Elite Division. Ramblers played in the 1976 FAI League Cup, reaching the semi finals, Cobh Ramblers joined the League of Ireland in 1985, after many successful years as a Munster Senior League side. One of the most successful of those teams was the team of 1983, there were 3 replays until Sligo finally won 3–2 and went on to win the Cup. Cobh won promotion to the Premier Division in 1988, after finishing First Division runners-up to Athlone Town, lasting just one season in the top flight, they won promotion again at the end of the 1992–93 season, this time as runners-up to Galway United. A play-off win over Finn Harps saw Ramblers retain their Premier Division status at the end of the 1993–94 season, though even with its lower attendance at home matches, the fans in attendance are loyal and take part in club fund-raisers and events as well as watching the match. Ramblers appeared on television for the first time on Friday,10 November 2006 in an away fixture at Galway United. On 10 November 2007 Cobh Ramblers beat Athlone Town 1–0 in Lissywoollen in what was a tense and this victory gave Cobh Ramblers their first piece of Senior Silverware and crowned them First Division Champions. During the 2007 season, with their squad, they recorded a 27-game unbeaten run. Their points tally of 77 points was also a record for the league, in 2010 Ramblers missed out on gaining promotion back to the League of Ireland losing to Salthill Devon in a play off. The Ramblers most noted past player is former Irish international and Manchester United star Roy Keane, westlife singer Nicky Byrne, also a talented footballer who was on the books at Leeds United, had a spell with the club too. On 18 March 2014, the club parted company with manager Dave Hill by mutual consent after five years and he was replaced by Martin Cambridge on an interim basis. In March 2015 Martin Cambridge tendered his resignation and Stephen Henderson returned to the club as first team manager, in Oct 2015 Stephen Henderson signed a new three-year contract with the club. In 2016 Henderson guided Ramblers to munster senior cup victory and to a 3rd place finish in the first division