A Guide to the Ireland Premier Division

The Ireland Premier Division, also known as the League of Ireland Premier Division or the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, is the top-tier football league in Ireland. Established in 1985, the league features ten teams from across the country, each competing for the title of champion.

The league has a rich history, with traditional powerhouses such as Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Bohemians, and Dundalk dominating the early years. The current season, the 39th in the league’s history, features Bohemians, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Sligo Rovers, St. Patrick’s Athletic, and University College Dublin. Each team plays 36 matches over the course of the season, with the team that finishes with the most points being crowned champions.

Whether you’re a seasoned fan of Irish football or a newcomer to the league, this guide to the Ireland Premier Division will provide you with all the information you need to follow the action and stay up-to-date with the latest news and results. From team previews and player profiles to match reports and analysis, this guide has everything you need to become an expert on the League of Ireland Premier Division.

History and Overview

The League of Ireland Premier Division is the top level of the Republic of Ireland’s football league system. The league was founded in 1985, replacing the League of Ireland as the country’s top-tier football competition. The inaugural members of the Premier Division included the traditional top four clubs of the League of Ireland – Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Bohemians, and Dundalk – along with eight other clubs.

The Premier Division is a men’s league, with the League of Ireland First Division acting as the second tier of the competition. The First Division was founded in 1985, the same year as the Premier Division, and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the Premier Division.

The Premier Division features ten teams, each playing each other twice over the course of the season. At the end of the season, the team with the most points is crowned the champion. The bottom team is relegated to the First Division, while the team finishing ninth enters into a playoff against the team finishing second in the First Division.

Since its inception, the Premier Division has been dominated by a small group of clubs. Shamrock Rovers hold the record for the most league titles, with 18 championships to their name. Dundalk and Shelbourne are tied for second place with 13 titles each.

It is worth noting that one club based in Northern Ireland, Derry City, plays in the Republic of Ireland’s league system and is currently a member of the Premier Division. The Premier Division is a men’s league, and there is no women’s equivalent at this time.

Top Teams

The Republic of Ireland Premier Division is home to some of the most competitive football clubs in the country. Here are some of the top teams that are worth keeping an eye on:

Derry City

Derry City is a professional football club based in Derry, Northern Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title twice in their history. The team has a strong fan base and plays their home games at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

Dundalk

Dundalk is a professional football club based in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. They are the most successful club in the history of the Premier Division, having won the title 14 times. The team plays their home games at the Oriel Park Stadium.

Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers is a professional football club based in Dublin, Ireland. They are the second most successful club in the history of the Premier Division, having won the title 12 times. The team plays their home games at the Tallaght Stadium.

Dun

Dun is a professional football club based in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title once in their history. The team plays their home games at the Carlisle Grounds.

Shelbourne

Shelbourne is a professional football club based in Dublin, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title seven times in their history. The team plays their home games at the Tolka Park Stadium.

Sligo

Sligo is a professional football club based in Sligo, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title three times in their history. The team plays their home games at the Showgrounds Stadium.

Bohemians

Bohemians is a professional football club based in Dublin, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title 11 times in their history. The team plays their home games at the Dalymount Park Stadium.

UCD

UCD is a professional football club based in Dublin, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title once in their history. The team plays their home games at the UCD Bowl.

St Patrick’s Athletic

St Patrick’s Athletic is a professional football club based in Dublin, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title nine times in their history. The team plays their home games at the Richmond Park Stadium.

Cork City

Cork City is a professional football club based in Cork, Ireland. They have won the Premier Division title three times in their history. The team plays their home games at the Turner’s Cross Stadium.

These teams have a rich history and a loyal fan base. Each team brings something unique to the Premier Division and is worth watching.

Key Players

The League of Ireland Premier Division is home to some of the most talented players in Ireland. Here are some key players to watch out for in the upcoming season:

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban is a striker for Dundalk FC and one of the top scorers in the league. He has been instrumental in Dundalk’s recent success, including their run to the group stages of the Europa League in 2016. Hoban’s ability to score goals and create chances for his teammates makes him a key player to watch this season.

Rory Gaffney

Rory Gaffney is a forward for Shamrock Rovers and one of the most exciting players in the league. He has a great eye for goal and is known for his pace and skill on the ball. Gaffney’s ability to create chances and score goals makes him a key player for Shamrock Rovers this season.

Adam Foley

Adam Foley is a winger for Finn Harps and one of the most promising young talents in the league. He has great speed and skill on the ball, and is known for his ability to take on defenders and create chances for his teammates. Foley’s potential makes him a key player to watch this season.

Ben Doherty

Ben Doherty is a left-back for Derry City and one of the best defenders in the league. He is known for his solid defensive skills and his ability to get forward and create chances for his team. Doherty’s consistency and leadership make him a key player for Derry City this season.

Mason Melia

Mason Melia is a midfielder for Bohemians and one of the most promising young talents in the league. He has great vision and passing ability, and is known for his ability to control the midfield. Melia’s potential makes him a key player to watch this season.

Chris Forrester

Chris Forrester is a midfielder for St. Patrick’s Athletic and one of the most experienced players in the league. He has great technical ability and is known for his passing and shooting skills. Forrester’s experience and leadership make him a key player for St. Patrick’s Athletic this season.

Stadiums

The League of Ireland Premier Division is home to some of the most iconic football stadiums in Ireland. Each stadium has its unique atmosphere and history, making it a must-visit for any football fan. Here are some of the most notable stadiums in the League of Ireland Premier Division:

Tallaght Stadium

Tallaght Stadium is the home of Shamrock Rovers, the most successful club in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 8,000 and was opened in 2009. It is a modern, all-seater stadium with excellent facilities. In addition to hosting Shamrock Rovers’ home matches, Tallaght Stadium has also hosted international matches and concerts.

Oriel Park

Oriel Park is the home of Dundalk FC, one of the most successful clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 4,500 and was opened in 1926. It has undergone several renovations over the years, with the most recent one completed in 2005. Oriel Park is known for its passionate supporters and is considered one of the most intimidating stadiums for away teams to visit.

The Showgrounds

The Showgrounds is the home of Sligo Rovers, one of the oldest clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 5,500 and was opened in 1950. It has undergone several renovations over the years, with the most recent one completed in 2019. The Showgrounds is known for its unique atmosphere, with the stands located close to the pitch.

Dalymount Park

Dalymount Park is the home of Bohemian FC, one of the most historic clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 3,640 and was opened in 1901. It has undergone several renovations over the years, with the most recent one completed in 2021. Dalymount Park is known for its old-school charm and is considered one of the most iconic stadiums in the League of Ireland.

Turners Cross

Turners Cross is the home of Cork City FC, one of the most popular clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 7,485 and was opened in 1940. It has undergone several renovations over the years, with the most recent one completed in 2018. Turners Cross is known for its passionate supporters and is considered one of the most intimidating stadiums for away teams to visit.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is the home of St. Patrick’s Athletic FC, one of the most successful clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 5,340 and was opened in 1929. It has undergone several renovations over the years, with the most recent one completed in 2008. Richmond Park is known for its tight atmosphere, with the stands located close to the pitch.

Tolka Park

Tolka Park is the home of Shelbourne FC, one of the oldest clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 4,300 and was opened in 1953. It has undergone several renovations over the years, with the most recent one completed in 2017. Tolka Park is known for its passionate supporters and is considered one of the most historic stadiums in the League of Ireland.

UCD Bowl

UCD Bowl is the home of University College Dublin AFC, one of the most unique clubs in the League of Ireland. The stadium has a capacity of 3,000 and was opened in 2008. It is a modern, all-seater stadium with excellent facilities. UCD Bowl is known for its relaxed atmosphere and is considered one of the most family-friendly stadiums in the League of Ireland.

Competitions and Achievements

The League of Ireland Premier Division is the top tier of Irish football. The competition consists of ten teams, with each team playing each other four times in a season. The team with the most points at the end of the season is crowned the champions.

The champions of the Premier Division qualify for the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. The second and third-placed teams qualify for the UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round. The fourth-placed team qualifies for the UEFA Europa Conference League preliminary round.

The FAI Cup is the premier knockout cup competition in Irish football. All Premier Division teams enter the competition in the first round, with the winner qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round.

The Premier Division team that finishes in last place at the end of the season is relegated to the League of Ireland First Division. The team that finishes in ninth place enters a relegation/promotion playoff against the team that finishes in second place in the First Division.

Shamrock Rovers is the most successful team in the history of the Premier Division, having won the competition 20 times. Dundalk is the second most successful team, having won the competition 13 times.

It is worth noting that no Premier Division team has ever progressed beyond the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League or the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

Statistics and Records

The Ireland Premier Division is the top level of the League of Ireland and is known for its competitive nature and passionate fans. In this section, we will take a look at some of the most notable statistics and records from the league’s history.

Most Successful Teams

Shamrock Rovers is the most successful team in the history of the league, having won the title a total of 18 times. They are followed closely by Dundalk, who have won the title 14 times. Other teams that have enjoyed success in the league include Bohemians, who have won the title 11 times, and Shelbourne, who have won the title 13 times.

Current Season

The current season of the Ireland Premier Division is well underway, with 10 teams competing for the title. As of the current date, the league table is led by Shamrock Rovers, who have amassed 42 points from their 18 matches played. They are followed by Dundalk, who have 34 points from their 18 matches played.

Goals and Clean Sheets

Goals are an important metric in football, and the Ireland Premier Division is no exception. As of the current season, the team that has scored the most goals is Shamrock Rovers, who have scored 43 goals in their 18 matches played. The team with the most clean sheets is Dundalk, who have kept 10 clean sheets in their 18 matches played.

Individual Records

The Ireland Premier Division has seen many talented players over the years, and some of them have set records that still stand today. The player with the most goals in a single season is Glen Crowe, who scored 29 goals for Bohemians in the 2000/2001 season. The player with the most appearances in the league is Pat Fenlon, who made 563 appearances for various teams throughout his career.

Conclusion

The Ireland Premier Division is a league with a rich history and many notable records. From the most successful teams to the individual records set by talented players, there is much to appreciate about this exciting league.

Management and Ownership

The League of Ireland Premier Division is home to a diverse range of club owners, each with their own unique management style. From the experienced leadership of Ruaidhrí Higgins at Derry City to the fresh approach of Kevin Doherty at Bohemians, the league is filled with personalities who are passionate about their clubs and the sport.

One notable owner is Damien Duff, who took over as head coach of Shamrock Rovers in 2021. Duff has brought a wealth of experience to the club, having played for top teams such as Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers. He has also worked as a coach for the Republic of Ireland national team and Celtic FC.

Another prominent figure in the league is Declan Devine, who has been the manager of Derry City since 2019. Devine has a strong track record in the league, having previously led Derry to victory in the League of Ireland Cup in 2012. He is known for his tactical acumen and ability to motivate his players.

John Russell is another experienced manager in the league, having taken over at Finn Harps in 2020. Russell has previously managed Galway United and Sligo Rovers, and has a deep understanding of the league and its players.

Roddy Collins is a well-known figure in Irish football, having managed a number of clubs over the years, including Athlone Town, Monaghan United, and Waterford United. Collins is known for his outspoken personality and his willingness to take risks in order to achieve success.

In terms of ownership, the league is made up of a mix of local and international investors. Many clubs are owned by supporters’ trusts, while others are owned by private individuals or companies.

Overall, the management and ownership of the League of Ireland Premier Division is diverse and dynamic, with a range of personalities and styles represented. Whether it’s the experienced leadership of Ruaidhrí Higgins or the fresh approach of Kevin Doherty, there is no shortage of passion and commitment in the league.

Media Coverage

The Irish Premier Division is one of the most popular football leagues in Ireland, and as such, it receives extensive media coverage. Fans of the league can follow their favourite teams and players through a variety of media outlets, including television, radio, and online platforms.

RTÉ

RTÉ, the national broadcaster of Ireland, provides extensive coverage of the Irish Premier Division. The broadcaster airs live matches, highlights, and analysis of the league, making it a go-to source for fans of Irish football. RTÉ also covers the league on its website, providing up-to-date news, scores, and fixtures for fans to follow.

External Media Outlets

In addition to RTÉ, external media outlets also cover the Irish Premier Division. Newspapers such as The Irish Times and The Irish Independent provide in-depth coverage of the league, including match reports, player interviews, and analysis. Online sports websites such as ESPN and Sky Sports also cover the league, providing fans with the latest news and scores.

Twitter

Twitter is a popular platform for fans of the Irish Premier Division to stay up-to-date with the latest news and scores. Fans can follow their favourite teams and players, as well as journalists and pundits who cover the league. Twitter is also a platform for live match updates, with fans sharing their thoughts and opinions on the action as it happens.

Images

Images are an important part of media coverage for the Irish Premier Division. Fans can find images of their favourite players and teams on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The league also provides images on its website, including match photos and player headshots.

Overall, the Irish Premier Division receives extensive media coverage, providing fans with a variety of ways to follow their favourite teams and players. Whether it’s through traditional media outlets such as RTÉ and newspapers, or through social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, fans can stay up-to-date with the latest news and scores from the league.

Frequently Asked Questions

What teams are currently in the League of Ireland Premier Division?

As of the current season, the League of Ireland Premier Division is contested by 10 clubs. These clubs are Bohemian FC, Derry City FC, Drogheda United FC, Finn Harps FC, Longford Town FC, Shamrock Rovers FC, Sligo Rovers FC, St Patrick’s Athletic FC, Waterford FC, and Dundalk FC.

What is the current League of Ireland Premier Division table?

The current League of Ireland Premier Division table can be found on the official website of the SSE Airtricity League. It is updated regularly to reflect the latest results and standings.

How many teams are in the Airtricity League First Division?

The Airtricity League First Division is the second tier of the League of Ireland football league system. It is contested by 10 clubs, with the winner earning promotion to the Premier Division and the bottom team being relegated to the third tier.

What is the SSE Airtricity League?

The SSE Airtricity League is the top level of the League of Ireland football league system. It is sponsored by energy provider SSE Airtricity and is divided into two divisions – the Premier Division and the First Division.

How many games are played in a League of Ireland season?

Each team in the League of Ireland Premier Division plays 36 matches over the course of a season. The season typically runs from February to November, with a break in the middle of the year to accommodate international fixtures.

How many divisions are there in Irish football?

There are three divisions in the League of Ireland football league system – the Premier Division, the First Division, and the League of Ireland U19 Division. The League of Ireland U19 Division is a youth league for players under the age of 19.


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