Pearse Doherty has called for the establishment of an all-Ireland football team.
"We already have all-island teams that demonstrate that we can achieve great success when we work on an all-island basis," the Sinn Féin TD said in the Dáil on Thursday.
"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."
The island's two sides played out a 0-0 draw in Dublin last week with the North looking by far the better team. It was a game they should have won.
“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," continued Doherty.
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.
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