This book assesses association football’s history and development in Ireland from the late 1870s until the early twenty-first century. It focuses on four key themes—soccer’s early development before and after partition, the post-Emergency years, coaching and developing the game, and supporters and governance. In particular, it examines key topics such as the Troubles, Anglo-Irish football relations, the failure of a professional structure in the Republic and Northern Ireland, national and regional identity, relationships with other sports, class, economics and gender. It features contributions from some of today’s leading academic writers on the history of Irish soccer while the views of a number of pre-eminent sociologists and economists specialising in the game’s development are also offered. It identifies some of the difficulties faced by soccer’s players and administrators in Ireland and challenges the notion that it was a ‘garrison game’ spread mainly by the military and generally only played by those who were not fully committed to the nationalist cause. This is the first edited collection to focus solely on the progress of soccer in Ireland since its introduction and adds to the growing academic historiography of Irish sport and its relationship with politics, culture and society.
The chapters in this book were originally published an a special issue in Soccer & Society.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to ‘going beyond the ‘‘garrison game’’: new perspectives on association football in Irish history’
Conor Curran and David Toms
2. Association Football in the Shamrock Shire’s Hy Brasil: The ‘Socker’ Code in Connacht, 1879–1906
Paul I. Gunning
3. ‘Who were the Shoneens?’: Irish militant nationalists and association football, 1913–1923
Aaron O´ Maonaigh
4. ‘‘Inciting the roughs of the crowd’: soccer hooliganism in the south of Ireland during the inter-war period,
5. Football unity during the Northern Ireland Troubles?
6. Linfield’s ‘Hawk of Peace’: pre-Ceasefires reconciliation in Irish League football
7. Harry Cannon: a unique Irish sportsman and administrator
8. How it all began: the story of women’s soccer in sixties Drogheda
9. The development of schoolboy coaching structures for association football in Ireland, 1945–1995
10. Pedagogy, game intelligence & critical thinking: the future of Irish soccer?
11. Supporter ownership as a method of football governance: the concept of a Supporters’ Trust and its operation within England and the Republic of Ireland
12. Rule changes and incentives in the League of Ireland from 1970 to 2014
David Butler and Robbie Butler
Conor Curran is Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and has taught sports history at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He has published two books, The Development of Sport in Donegal, 1880–1935 (2015) and Irish Soccer Migrants: A Social and Cultural History (2017).
David Toms is an independent scholar based in Norway. Previously, he taught sports history at University College Cork, Ireland, and his monograph, Soccer in Munster: A Social History, 1877–1937, was published in 2015.