Time for an all-Ireland soccer team - Pearse Doherty TD
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin deputy Dáil leader Pearse Doherty TD has said it is time to consider the establishment of an all-Ireland soccer team.
Teachta Doherty said:
"We already have all-island teams that demonstrate that we can achieve great success when we work on an all-island basis.
“The departure of Martin O’Neill as manager of the Ireland soccer team yesterday has been a major talking point. The past year has not been an easy one for Irish soccer fans and I want to say that Irish teams are stronger and better when they are all-Ireland teams.
“We already have all-island teams in sports like hockey, rugby, and boxing; sports that demonstrate that we can achieve great success when we work on an all-island basis.
“The fantastic result of the Irish rugby team against New Zealand at the weekend is just one example.
“The former Taoiseach Enda Kenny raised this a number of years ago when he said an all-Ireland soccer team should take on England every two years to raise money for children.
“I don’t think it makes sense for our small island to have two separate teams, splitting the pool of talent and available resources.
“A number of surveys show that a majority of people, north and south, support the idea of an all-Ireland team and I would urge the government to get behind the idea of an all-Ireland soccer team”.