Richie Ryan in action for Shamrock Rovers in 2013. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

New club is one of strongest in USL and has firm ambitions to make the step up to MLS

Limerick City manager Tommy Barrett: “Cork are the best team in the league so the very least we will need is a lot of hard work and application.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Tommy Barrett’s side have suffered some heavy defeats already in this campaign

 Graham Cummins celebrates after Cork City defeated St Patrick’s Athletic. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Cork striker has enjoyed dream start to the season after rejoining club

 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will know that the Europa League is his team’s best chance at qualifying for next year’s Champions League. Photograph: Getty Images

The importance of securing participation in Champions League goes well beyond it

St Pats’ Ryan Brennan and Robbie Benson of Dundalk fight for the ball. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Solid defensive display helps Liam Buckley’s side frustrate Lilywhites at Richmond Park

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill reads a statement at his press conference on Monday. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

‘I’ve been asking my counterpart at the FAI for a meeting for more than eight months’

Dundalk’s Pat Hoban: “I had a very frustrating year in terms of not playing, injuries, little niggles . . . I’m lucky to be playing here now under Stephen Kenny.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

In-form striker will bid to add to his goals tally against St Patrick’s Athletic at Inchicore

Cork City’s Karl Sheppar+d challenges for the ball with Chris Shields of Dundalk during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at  Oriel Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Early goal from striker helps Stephen Kenny’s men close the gap on rivals Cork to just a point

Denis O’Brien has ended his 10-year arrangement with the FAI whereby he contributed to the salaries of the Ireland senior management team. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

John Delaney says FAI ‘are strong enough to stand on our own two feet’

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill at the squad announcement at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill claims FAI bias towards Catholic players

John Caulfield: expecting a tough test for Cork City when they visit rivals Dundalk.  Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Victory at Oriel Park would see champions open up a seven-point gap on home side

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill was unhappy with comments made by Northern Ireland counterpart Michael O’Neill. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Northern Ireland manager said that Republic only ever approach Catholic players

Northern Ireland might do well to have a bit of a policy review if they are really serious about inclusiveness. Photograph: Inpho

Up in Belfast, it sometimes seems, they cannot leave the past completely behind

Michael O’Neill claims the FAI targeted former Manchester United defender Paddy McNair in the mistaken belief that he was a Catholic. Photograph: Getty Images

Players born in the North are automatically eligible to declare for the Republic of Ireland

Robbie Keane has found form after returning from injury in India. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Record Irish goalscorer is in temporary charge of Indian Super League side ATK

Michael Carson has been charged with historical child abuse offences related to his work with British underage teams. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

74-year-old released on conditional bail and is due to appear in court next month

Everton midfielder James McCarthy  is expected to rejoin his side in the next few days. Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Midfielder could be in contention to play in Ireland’s first Nations League game

Limerick were hammered 8-0 by Dundalk at Oriel Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Despite heavy defeats and poor facilities clubs have retained their top flight status

Stephanie Roche at a Dublin event  to mark the launch of a five-a-side  football tournament which returns to Ireland for a  third consecutive year. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Improvements in treatment has allowed squad members raise their game

Ian Mallon has resigned and will take up a role with Uefa as “National Associations Communications Consultant”.

Former Communications Director will take up new position with Uefa

Derry’s Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring the winner at Dalymount Park. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Ronan Curtis’s goal is the difference as visitors take the spoils from Dalymount Park

Shamrock Rovers’ Dan Carr celebrates scoring a goal. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Brandon Miele nets a brace as Bradley’s Hoops overrun Wanderers in second half

Dundalk’s Marco Tagbajumi with goalkeeper Kevin Horgan of Shamrock Rovers during their Airtricity League clash. Photo: Ciaran Culligan/Inpho

Mistakes from both led to a 0-0 draw in Tallaght as they slipped further behind Cork

Galway United’s manager Shane Keegan is not happy with his team’s pre-season. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Shane Keegan: For first time I’m going into a match without having seen other side

Shamrock Rovers Greg Bolger challenges Bohemians’ Keith Ward during the Bohs’ 3-1 victory at Dalymount Park on the opening night. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Tallaght encounter offers both clubs chance to bounce back while First Division kicks off

James McClean: “The way Martin was getting hammered about his job considering what he’d achieved? That was crazy. He’s done an unbelievable job.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

West Brom winger says criticism of boss after Denmark defeat was ‘over the top’

Cork City striker  Graham Cummins will be available for the club’s game away to Sligo Rovers next Monday after the FAI’s disciplinary committee decided not to add to his automatic one-match ban for a sending off against St Patrick’s Athletic. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Sligo Rovers sign former Celtic left back Calum Waters and Waterford’s Patrick McClean

Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen signed for the club when he was 15. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Barcelona team built on academy products like Messi, Iniesta, Busquets, Pique and Alba

Republic of Ireland under-21 defender Seán Kavanagh has signed for Shamrock Rovers. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dubliner admits lure of signing for Tallaght club was too much

Cork City’s Graham Cummins scores a goal on an eventful night for him. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Champions remind everyone of their pedigree to win a tough away encounter

Liam Buckley: “They’re coming to us as champions and they’ve had a good win the other day, but we’ve had a good pre-season.” Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Liam Buckley eager to see how his charges cope with the visit of Cork City

Brentford’s John Egan has recovered from a second concussion injury. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty

Ireland defender determined two knocks to the head won’t change the way he plays

Cork City manager John Caulfield is unhappy with the TV coverage League of Ireland clubs are recieving. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

John Caulfield has repeatedly called for improved TV coverage of Irish club game

Players at the launch of the Airtricity League. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cork boss John Caulfield critical of the television coverage National League receives

Fran Gavin: “We’ve done a thorough investigation into the game against Waterford and found that there’s insufficient evidence to bring a charge.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Insufficient evidence uncovered to bring charges says league director Fran Gavin

Ireland’s Wes Hoolahan has retired from international football. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland playmaker was a centrepoint of discussion during his international career

Robbie Keane in action for the Indian Super League club ATK. Photograph: Getty Images

Move may not be permitted under ISL regulations

Fans had hoped for an investment into Oriel Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Nothing would have reassured like a multi million euro investment into Oriel Park

 Bohemians players Steven Nolan, Jamie Hamilton and Darragh Leahy with St Kevin’s Boys Michael and Zach.

Bohs manager Keith Long praises quality of players coming through Dublin nursery

ATK’s Robbie Keane vies for the ball with FC Goa’s Narayan Das during an Indian Super League (ISL) football match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on January 3. 2018. Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

Former Ireland captain may double up as player/manager after Sheringham’s departure

Republic of Ireland’s Keith Andrews and Sammy Clingan of Northern Ireland during the sides’ last encounter in May 2011, which the Republic won 5-0. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Martin O’Neill’s side also to visit Poland as part of preparations for Nations League

UCC’s Darragh Lucey and Conor Cannon of UCD compete for the ball during last year’s Collingwood Cup final. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Players still being held back from playing for colleges as Collingwood Cup gets underway

At Oriel Park on Sunday evening more than 300 Dundalk supporters turned up hoping for concrete commitments from the club’s new owners. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

On subjects of cash and construction, there was little of substance from new chairman

Séamus Coleman returned to action in Everton’s 2-1 win over Leicester City at Goodison Park. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Ireland captain manages 90 minutes while Cyrus Christie completes move to Fulham

Séamus Coleman celebrates with Theo Walcott after he scored his second goal in the Premier Division game against Leicester City at Goodison Park. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Transfer deadline day proves a quiet one for Irish players

Ireland women’s manager Colin Bell has had his contract extended. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Women’s coach could be the first to lead Ireland to a major championship

Séamus Coleman returns to the Everton squad for the Premier League game against Leicester City on Wednesday night. Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ireland captain in line to play against Leicester City on Wednesday night

Newport County’s Pádraig Amond in action during the FA Cup third round tie against  Leeds United  at Rodney Parade. Photograph:  Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sunny south Wales coast is the latest port of call for the experienced Irish striker

Séamus Coleman has spoke about the injury suffered by Everton and Ireland teammate James McCarthy. Photo: Inpho

Ireland captain knows all too well what his friend and teammate has to go through

Preston’s Kevin O’Connor has signed for Fleetwood Town on loan. Photo: Getty Images

Former Cork City player is making the move down to League One to get more game time

Ireland’s Shane Duffy scoring  against  Denmark last November. Martin O’Neill said the eventual  5-1 loss to Denmark was “still fresh in the memory”. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland boss more worked up about RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue than Nations League draw

Christian Eriksen and his Denmark  team-mates  will return to the Aviva stadium on October 13th for a Nations League match against the Republic of Ireland. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

Nations League home matches against Wales and Denmark to take place in October

The new Uefa Nations League trophy. Photograph: Pierre Albouy/Reuters

Martin O’Neill’s men will face familiar foes in inaugural edition of new Uefa competition

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill may discuss he recent talks with Stoke City at the inaugural Nations League draw in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

O’Neill commits until Euro 2020 ahead of draw for potential backdoor to tournament

Sligo Rovers marketing and PR officer Shane Crossan (left) talks with Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton at a ceremony at Carmichael House in Dublin. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Sligo Rovers among five clubs to see benefits of scheme set up by Show Racism the Red Card

Dundalk FC has been sold American investment firm PEAK6 Sports for an undisclosed sum. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Club’s co-owners sell 100% of their shares to Peak6 Sports

Jon Walters has struggled for game time at Burnley and underwent keyhole surgery to address a cartilage problem. Photograph:  Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Ireland striker out for eight weeks after undergoing keyhole surgery

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt at the announcement that Aviva Ireland is extending its naming rights of the Aviva Stadium until 2015. O’Neill will sign a new contract  ahead of the Nations League draw on Wednesday, said FAI chief John Delaney. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

FAI head says he did not believe O’Neill would go to Stoke, but needed time to decide

 Daryl Horgan takes a free kick in Dundalk’s Europa League group stage game against AZ Alkmaar at Tallaght Stadium in November 2016. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Revenues grew by 73% to €19m thanks mainly to Europa League campaign

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will sign a new contract next week, according to FAI chief executive John Delaney. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

FAI chief executive says he always felt the manager would honour the verbal agreement

 Bohemians player   Oscar Brennan (second from right)  with (from left) More Than A Club representatives Shane Fox, Carina O’Brien and Ger Coughlan at Dalymount Park on Tuesday. Photograph:  David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

‘More Than A Club’ will provide support to social projects run by clubs

A big win would quickly take the attention off Martin O’Neill. Photograph: Inpho

If social media is anything to go by his standing amongst fans has taken quite a hit

 Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill  during the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Awards at The Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland manager turns down reported offer of substantial pay rise

Neither O’Neill nor Stoke responded to attempts to contact them on Sunday while the FAI would not comment on the situation.

Weekend fails to bring clarity on Republic of Ireland manager’s plans

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, during the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Awards 2017. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland manager avoids top table at Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland banquet

Cork City manager John Caulfield is presented with his personality of the year award at the the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland awards at The Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Double-winning boss claims personality of the year award

Martin O’Neill looks like remaining at the helm as Republic of Ireland manager. Photograph: Getty Images

Republic of Ireland manager to attend SWAI awards as Stoke set to appoint Quique Sánchez Flores

Martin O’Neill has left his post as Ireland manager to take over at Stoke City. Photo: Inpho

Quique Sanchez Flores is to make a decision on Friday as to whether he will take job

Martin O’Neill: Republic of Ireland manager is thought to be on Stoke City’s shortlist to succeed Mark Hughes.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Republic of Ireland manager has yet to sign a new contract with FAI after two months

Ciaran Kilduff left Dundalk for Jacksonville Armada in the summer. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

MLS is progressing well but speed of NASL’s apparent demise is something of a shock

 Karolis Chvedukas in action for Lithuania against Scotland in October. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The young midfielder has featured in five World Cup qualifying games for his country

Alan Judge of Brentford during the FA Cup third round match between Brentford and Notts Country at Griffin Park. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

The Dubliner, who stopped watching football for a year, is finally back in action for Brentford

Martin O’Neill is being considered by Stoke City for their vacant manager’s ppsition. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland manager may be tempted by a return to club football and a Premier League job

Gary McCabe has rejoined Bray Wanderers ahead of the upcoming season. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Gary McCabe, Hugh Douglas, John Sullivan, Conor Kenna and Ger Pender have all re-signed

Stoke gave Ireland a six-month deal in the summer when his four-year €16m contract expired, and another one in December to take him through to the season's end.

After two years in the widerness, Mark Hughes may give FA Cup start against Coventry City

Neil McDonald will leave Limerick FC to take the assistant manager role at Scunthorpe United. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

McDonald joins fourth-placed League One side as Graham Alexander’s assistant

Robbie Keane scores the winner for Wolves against Manchester City in the second flight in 1999. Photograph: Inpho

Striker linked with move to Championship high flyers until retirement in the summer

Referee Emma Cleary at work. “You have to keep up with the play, and fitness is a huge issue. This week it’s been four out of five days training”

Physiotherapist from Manorhamilton hopes to get into FAI’s School of Excellence

James McClean celebrates scoring his first goal in 15 months for West Brom, with team-mate Jonny Evans. The match ended in a 2-1 defeat against West Ham. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Derryman’s house 'wrecked' after Andy Carroll scores late winner for West Ham

The Premier League’s longest-serving manager Arsene Wenger, and one of the shortest, Alan Pardew. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty

Ireland manager perhaps appreciates job security in a profession where it is lacking

Seán Maguire waves goodbye to the Cork City fans after playing his final game for the club in  the  Europa League against  AEK Larnaca in Cyprus. Photograph:  Philip Soteriou/Inpho

Ireland’s World Cup rollercoaster only had one thrill and ended with a horrible spill

Dave Mackey is the new manager at the Carlisle Grounds. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The appointment appears to underline a change in direction at the Carlisle Grounds

James McClean celebrates after scoring the winning goal  in the World Cup qualifier against Wales at Cardiff City Stadium in October. Photograph:   Harry Trump/Getty Images

It may seem a little infantile but bursting the Wales bubble left a warm feeling on a cold night in Cardiff

St Patrick’s Athletic have signed Kevin Toner from Aston Villa. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Former Irish youth international made four Premier League appearances

The Dublin derby of Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park will kick the season off. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Meanwhile, Cork will begin their defence of the title with a trip to Richmond Park

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

He hardly needs to use his goal celebrations to rub his former manager’s nose in it

Eoin Doyle skips past a tackle from MK Dons’  Joe Walsh during their recent League One clash. Photo: Harry Hubbard/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Oldham are waiting for Patrick McEleney to decide if he wants to join

Crystal Palace’s Don Rogers tackles Manchester United forward Ian Storey-Moore at Selhurst Park in 1972. “The whole [United] team went missing that day,”  says Mulligan. “Their attitude was terrible.”  Photograph: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Irishman’s goals against United in 5-0 Palace win heralded the end for Frank O’Farrell

David McMillan. “I’m very hungry to succeed. I don’t doubt that I’ll get the opportunity to show what I can do.” Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Ex-Dundalk striker says opportunity to play in Scottish top flight too good to turn down

John Caulfield: “You have guys at some clubs in League Two in England on £150,000 a year.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

City manager prepared to look to Europe as English targets on prohibitive wages

Turkish fans let off flares during the last friendly between the sides in 2014. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

At least two more friendly games are expected to be played in late May or early June

The Premier Legaue are set to introduce Saturday night fixtures as part of the  next television deal. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP

A new television deal on the way for the top flight but not everyone will see the benefit

John Caulfield is among the nominees for SWAI personality of the year. Photo: Inpho

All three nominees for the Personality of the Year come from the champions

See you soon? Republic of Ireland’s James McClean and Denmark’s Andreas Bjelland during the World Cup qualifying play-off. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA

And in inaugural Nations League, O’Neill’s side may face Wales and Demark again

Burnley’s Robbie Brady goes down injured after a collision with Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters

Ireland international has been discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery

The American firm investing in Dundalk must be greeted with caution. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The association should learn from past mistakes, most recently at Athlone last year

In Ireland, 9.7 per cent believed their teammates would be open to the of fixing a game

Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan will remain at the club next season. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Robbie Benson signed new deal with Dundalk, ending speculation of move to Scotland

General view after the draw for the 2018 World Cup was completed. Photo: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

With no group of death there aren’t too many standout games but still plenty of excitement

Airtricity League Premier Division season will get underway on February 16th

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