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%
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
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Derry City F.C.
Derry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Derry, Northern Ireland. It plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division and it was reinstated a few weeks later but demoted to the First Division, the second tier. The club are the League of Irelands only participant from Northern Ireland, the clubs home ground is the Brandywell Stadium and the players wear red and white striped shirts from which its nickname, the Candystripes, derives. Others refer to the club as the Red and White Army or abbreviate the name to Derry or City, the club, founded in 1928, initially played in the Irish League, the domestic league in Northern Ireland, and won a title in 1964–65. In 1971, security concerns related to the Troubles meant matches could not be played at the Brandywell, the team played home fixtures 30 miles away in Coleraine. After 13 years in football, it joined the League of Irelands new First Division for 1985–86. Derry won the First Division title and achieved promotion to the Premier Division in 1987, the club won a domestic treble in 1988–89, the only League of Ireland club so far to do so. Derry City was granted entry into the Irish League in 1929 as professionals and was given permission by the Londonderry Corporation to use the municipal Brandywell Stadium, the clubs first significant success came in 1935 when it lifted the City Cup. It repeated the feat in 1937, but did not win major trophy until 1949. This led to the clubs first entry into European competition, in the 1964–65 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, in which it was beaten by Steaua Bucharest 5–0 on aggregate. The club won the 1964–65 Irish League and subsequently became the first Irish League team to win a European tie over two legs, beating FK Lyn 8–6 on aggregate in the 1965–66 European Cup. Derry did not complete the round, as the Irish Football Association declared its ground was not up to standard. Derry suspected sectarian motives, as it played in a mainly nationalist city, the IFA, Belfast-based, was dominated by Protestants and it was widely suspected that it would rather have been represented by a traditionally unionist team. Relations between the club and IFA quickly deteriorated, despite the social and political unrest, Derry reached the Irish Cup final in 1971, in which it was beaten 3–0 by Distillery. As the republican locality surrounding the Brandywell saw some of the worst violence and this situation lasted from September 1971 until October 1972 when, faced with dwindling crowds and dire finances, the club formally requested permission to return to the Brandywell. Continuing without a ground was seen as unsustainable and on 13 October 1972 Derry withdrew from the league amidst a perception that it was forced out. The club continued as a team during the 13-year-long flim flam years, playing in the local Saturday morning league. Each time, the club nominated the Brandywell as its home ground
Northern Ireland is a constituent unit of the United Kingdom in the north-east of Ireland. It is variously described as a country, province, region, or part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the total population. Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by an act of the British parliament, Northern Ireland has historically been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown significantly since the late 1990s. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17. 2% in 1986, dropping to 6. 1% for June–August 2014,58. 2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sports persons from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough, some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and the rest of the UK are complex, in many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, and people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games. The region that is now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century, the English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Victories by English forces in war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and their intention was to materially disadvantage the Catholic community and, to a lesser extent, the Presbyterian community. In the context of open institutional discrimination, the 18th century saw secret, militant societies develop in communities in the region and act on sectarian tensions in violent attacks. Following this, in an attempt to quell sectarianism and force the removal of discriminatory laws, the new state, formed in 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, was governed from a single government and parliament based in London. Between 1717 and 1775 some 250,000 people from Ulster emigrated to the British North American colonies and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million Scotch-Irish Americans now living in the US. By the close of the century, autonomy for Ireland within the United Kingdom, in 1912, after decades of obstruction from the House of Lords, Home Rule became a near-certainty. A clash between the House of Commons and House of Lords over a controversial budget produced the Parliament Act 1911, which enabled the veto of the Lords to be overturned. The House of Lords veto had been the unionists main guarantee that Home Rule would not be enacted, in 1914, they smuggled thousands of rifles and rounds of ammunition from Imperial Germany for use by the Ulster Volunteers, a paramilitary organisation opposed to the implementation of Home Rule
The Aviva Stadium is a sports stadium located in Dublin, Ireland, with a capacity for 51,700 spectators. The decision to redevelop the stadium came after plans for both Stadium Ireland and Eircom Park fell through, Aviva Group Ireland signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights in 2009. The stadium, located adjacent to Lansdowne Road railway station, officially opened on 14 May 2010, the stadium is Irelands first, and only, UEFA Elite Stadium and in 2011, it hosted the Europa League Final. It also hosted the inaugural Nations Cup, as well as the home fixtures of the national rugby team, national football team. The joint venture has a 60-year lease on the stadium, on expiry the stadium will return to the ownership of the IRFU. The northern end of the stadium, due to its proximity to local housing, the North Stand is to be the away stand for football internationals. There is one basement level and seven storeys of floors including ground level, the premium level holds 10,000 spectators, while the box level holds 1,300. The remaining 38,700 seats are shared between the top and bottom tiers, the stadiums roof is designed to undulate in a wave-like manner so as to avoid blocking light to local residences. The stadium was opened on 14 May 2010 by then Taoiseach Brian Cowen. In 2011, the stadium won a British Construction Industry Award, Irelands first international game was on 6 November 2010 against South Africa, with the Springboks winning 23–21. The game drew a crowd of 35,515, mainly due to a backlash by Ireland supporters over the IRFUs controversial ticketing strategy for the November Test series, initially, the IRFU announced that tickets to the November Tests would only be sold as packages for all four matches. Single-game tickets were to be only for the Samoa and Argentina Tests. On 1 November, the IRFU backed away from this plan amid heavy criticism from clubs that had problems selling the packages in a difficult economy. The winner of the promotion, John Baker of Ennis, was successful, the first official points at the Aviva were scored by Ulsters Craig Gilroy with a try in the O2 Challenge. The stadium also hosts home games for Leinster when the RDS Arenas smaller capacity doesnt satisfy demand. Leinster won their home game in the Aviva against Munster 13-9, in the Magners League season. This league record was exceeded on 29 March 2014 when Leinster again beat Munster, 22-18, Leinster won their first Heineken Cup game in the Aviva 24–8, against Clermont Auvergne in a pool game during the 2010–11 season. During Leinsters successful run to the Heineken Cup title that season, they took their quarter-final and semi-final matches to the Aviva, defeating Leicester Tigers, ulster took their 2012 Heineken Cup semi-final to the Aviva as well, defeating Edinburgh
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
Cork City F.C.
Cork City Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Cork. The club currently plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the club was founded and elected to the League of Ireland in 1984. It was one of the first clubs in Ireland to field a team of professional footballers, between 2008 and 2010 however, the club suffered financial and management issues and entered a period of examinership. While the clubs holding company was wound up by the courts, fans were awarded a licence under the name Cork City FORAS Co-op, the club subsequently re-acquired rights to the name Cork City Football Club, and were promoted back to the premier division for the 2012 season. Citys traditional colours are green and white with red trim, the club play home games at Turners Cross. The current club are not the first to use the name Cork City, during the 1920s teams referred to as Cork City competed in both the Munster Senior League and the Munster Senior Cup. A team named Cork City finished as Munster Senior Cup runners up in 1924–25, another Cork City F. C. also played in the League of Ireland between 1938 and 1940. Following the bankruptcy of Cork United in 1982, senior football returned to the city with the formation of a new Cork City FC in 1984, founded by officials from several Cork clubs, the new club was elected to the League of Ireland. Bobby Tambling was the first manager appointed to the club, the FAI Cup offered some respite, however Shamrock Rovers knocked City out in the semi-finals – in the last match played at the Lodge. In 1986 the club moved to a new home at Turners Cross, the following year, former Ireland striker Eamon OKeefe arrived as manager, delivering the Munster Senior Cup, and the League of Ireland Cup. By 1988, OMahony was re-installed as manager, and the side finished eighth in the league, while Torpedo Moscow knocked the club out of the 1989–90 European Cup Winners Cup, City earned a fifth-place finish in the Premier Division, and the Munster Senior Cup was reclaimed. The early 1990s saw lengthy unbeaten league runs, high league positions, retention of the Munster Senior Cup through four years, and a number of games in European competition. The most notable European game was a UEFA Cup tie with Bayern Munich,1993 saw Cork City land the League of Ireland Premier Division title for the first time, after a complicated three team play-off. OMahoney resigned and the moved to a new stadium in Bishopstown at the end of the season. Damien Richardson took the helm and the 1993/94 season began with City coming from three goals down to beat Welsh side Cwmbran Town in the UEFA Champions League, in the following round they suffered odd-goal defeats both home and away to Turkish side Galatasaray. City finished in position in the league that year. 1994/95 was a season for Cork City. Noel OMahony was re-appointed as manager but the title challenge collapsed, the club did have successes in the Munster Senior Cup and League of Ireland Cup that season however
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
RDS Arena is a multi-purpose sports stadium, owned by the RDS and located in the Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge, Ireland. The arena was developed to host equestrian events, primarily the annual Dublin Horse Show, the site had been acquired in 1879 by the RDS. The primary tenants of the RDS Arena are Leinster Rugby who compete in the Pro12, the arena has also hosted soccer and wrestling events, as well as concerts. The arena has a capacity of 18,500,16,500 of which is seated, the demountable north and south stands are removed for equestrian events, with only the Grandstand and Angelsea Stand permanent. The Angelsea Stand was completed in 1927, the Grandstand was rebuilt in 2006 for the 2006–07 rugby season, to replace the old wooden stand when Leinster first became permanent tenants. A roof was added during 2008-09, there are plans to redevelop the Arena, replacing the Angelsea Stand with another new permanent stand, which would incorporate the only terraced area of the stadium. The selling of naming rights to the arena will be a key component in funding the project, the Stadium first hosted a football game on 30 September 1990 when Shamrock Rovers used it as a home ground. For the next six seasons until April 1996 Rovers played their games there. The Stadium held its first international match on 19 February 1992 when it played host to a game between Ireland and Wales national football team. The stadium hosted games of the 1994 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championships including the third-place playoff. The final of the FAI Cup was held at the RDS in 2007 and 2008 during the construction of the Aviva Stadium, the 2009 final, however, was moved to Tallaght Stadium. The RDS hosted a game between St Patricks Athletic and Hertha Berlin in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup First round, St Patricks Athletic also played Steaua Bucureşti in the Arena on 27 August 2009 in the Europa League. The RDS Arena hosted the Ireland team when they played Paraguay, the Arena was originally constructed to host show-jumping events, the Dublin Horse Show has been held by the RDS annually since 1864. In 1881 the Show moved to ‘Balls Bridge, a greenfield site, the first continuous ‘leaping course was introduced at the Show. In the same year the first viewing stand was erected on the site of the present Grand Stand, in 1925 Colonel Zeigler of the Swiss Army first suggested holding an international jumping event. The Aga Khan of the heard of this proposal and offered a challenge trophy to the winner of the competition. In 1926 International Competitions were introduced to the show and was the first time the Nations Cup for the Aga Khan Challenge trophy was held, up until 1949 the Nations Cup teams had to consist of military officers. Six countries competed in the first international teams competition for the Aga Khan Challenge trophy - Great Britain, the Swiss team won the title on Irish bred horses
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year