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Republic of Ireland Soccer Facts & Information

The following are some interesting statistics, facts and information about the Republic of Ireland soccer team and Irish football in general.

First Irish International Soccer Match as the Republic of Ireland

On the 7th of November 1954 the Irish national soccer team played as the Republic of Ireland for the first time. This was the official title of the team as designated by FIFA to avoid any ongoing confusion between the two international soccer teams from the island of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland played Norway at Dalymount Park in a friendly football match. The Irish won 2-1 coming from behind through goals from Con Martin and a Reg Ryan penalty.

Republic of Ireland Red Cards

More than 470 players have won caps with the Republic of Ireland soccer team. Of these 19 have been sent off however two players were sent off twice in their Irish international careers. That means that in more than 520 matches Ireland has had a player sent off on 21 occasions

Father and Sons that Played for the Republic of Ireland

There have been seven sets of fathers and sons that have played soccer for Ireland down through the years. There has also been at least one uncle / nephew relationship that appeared for the Republic of Ireland in the same team. The details are as follows:

Father
Caps Won
Son
Caps Won
Jack Fagan (1926)
1
Fionan Fagan (1954-1961)
8
Jimmy Dunne (1930-1939)
15
Tommy Dunne (1956)
3
Con Martin (1946-1956)
30
Mick Martin (1971-1983)
52
John 'Kit' Lawlor (1949-1951)
3
Mick Lawlor (1970-1973)
5
Don Donovan (1954-1957)
5
Terry Donovan (1979-1981)
2
Alan Kelly Snr (1956-1973)
47
Alan Kelly Jnr (1993-2001)
44
Ronnie Whelan Snr (1963-1964 )
2
Ronnie Whelan Jnr (1981-1995)
53
Uncle   Nephew  
Gary Kelly (1994-2002)
52
Ian Harte (1996-2007)
64

First Republic of Ireland Player Sent Off

John Dempsey, who won an FA Cup winners medal with Chelsea, holds the unenviable record of having been the first Irish soccer player to be sent off in an international match. Dempsey received his red card in the Nep Stadium in a 4-0 defeat away to Hungary in a 1970 World Cup qualification match. Dempsey was one of the earliest players to qualify to play for Ireland under the so-called Granny Rule.

Republic of Ireland Players Sent Off Twice

Two Irish players have been sent off twice while playing for the Republic of Ireland soccer team. Ex-QPR player Don Givens was sent off in 1972 in a tournament against Ecuador and received a red card again in another mini-tournament against Chile in 1974. For the record Ireland won both matches 3-2 and 2-1 respectively

Ex-Manchester United & WBA player Mick Martin was sent off in two competitive matches. In 1975 he received a red card in a famous 4-0 victory over Turkey at Dalymount Park. He was also sent off in a 1977 away defeat to Bulgaria in a 1978 World Cup qualifier in Sofia.

Two Republic of Ireland Players Sent Off in the Same Match

This has happened twice. With the aforementioned Mick Martin, in the match away to Bulgaria, Noel Campbell also received his marching orders after players from both teams became embroiled in a brawl. Two Bulgarians were also shown red cards in the incident.

During a mini-tournament in a match against Mexico in Giants Stadium, New Jersey, the Republic of Ireland soccer team had Niall Quinn and Liam Daish sent off. In his only fifth, and last, appearance for Ireland Daish's red card means that he has the worst red card-to-appearances ratio of any Irish soccer player at international level.

Quickest Red Card for an Irish Player

During the brawl with the Bulgarians mentioned above Noel Campbell had just come on to the pitch as a substitute for Gerry Daly after 79 minutes. Less than two minutes later Campbell had been shown the red card and sent off. This makes the sending off of Noel Campbell the quickest in the history of Republic of Ireland soccer.

There are plenty more such soccer facts and statistics but if you have any gems that you think should be included or if you have any corrections please contact Soccer Ireland today.

Republic of Ireland Goal Facts - Irish Goal Information - Ireland Goal Statistics - Irish Goal Scorers
Goals Scored Direct from Corner - Republic of Ireland Caps Information - Last All Irish-Born Team
Republic of Ireland Soccer Information - Irish Soccer Records - Republic of Ireland Soccer Facts
Irish Soccer Information - Republic of Ireland Wins Losses & Draws - Irish Soccer Facts
Irish Dual Internationals - Irish Soccer Statistics Index - Every Irish International Footballer Ever

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