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Here's The Last Irish Football International From Every County In The Country

By Balls Team
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While the history of the Republic of Ireland team may be dominated by players from a select few counties, there has been a wide spread of players capped from throughout the island over the years.

28 of the 32 counties in Ireland have had players capped at senior level. Unfortunately, there's still nothing on the horizon from Offaly, Carlow, Tyrone, Leitrim.

If you know of any Irish (senior) internationals from any of these places, be sure to let us know and we will update.

For now, here is the most recent player from each county to make their debut for the Republic of Ireland.

Irish international by county: The last player from each county to play for their country

Antrim - Mark Sykes

Mark Sykes is the newest addition to this list, making his debut late on in the 1-0 over Malta on Sunday. A Belfast native, he is the first man from the city to play for the Republic of Ireland since the 1940s.

The 25-year old came through the youth ranks at Glenavon, lining out for Northern Ireland at U21 level. However, he turned down a call-up to their senior setup back in 2020 in order to pursue an international future with the Republic of Ireland.

Prior to the weekend, the last players from Belfast to feature for the Boys in Green were Jackie Vernon and Jimmy McAlinden back in 1946, although players from elsewhere in Antrim have featured down through the years.



Armagh - Paddy Sloan

Paddy Sloan was one of four Northern players to feature in the Iberian double header in 1946.

Born in Lurgan, Sloan played in many countries including Malta and Italy. During his time in the latter, he played for Milan, Torino, Udinese and Brescia.


Sloan played along with the Antrim trio of Jimmy McAlinden, Jackie Vernon and Billy MacMillan in the Iberian tour of '46, having all previously played for Northern Ireland. All three Antrim lads played for Belfast Celtic, with McAlinden and Vernon travelling south to play for Shamrock Rovers.

Ireland lost 3-1 in the opener to Portugal but then shocked Spain 1-0 the following week.

[Watch Video]


Cavan - Cillian Sheridan

Bailleborough born Sheridan has proven there are more Irish soccer internationals from Cavan than there are hurlers (or sliotars probably).

Clare - Paddy Bermingham

A policeman, an Olympian, a ten-time national discus champion and Irish record holder in that event, he also played once for the Irish Free State soccer team in 1934.

He scored and everything as Ireland lost 4-2 to Hungary. Played club football for St. James's Gate. He was born in the town of Moyasta in Clare.


Cork - Caoimhín Kelleher and Chiedozie Ogbene

There was a glut of recent debuts of Cork men for Ireland over the last few years. Conor Hourihane and John Egan both made their first appearance in a friendly against Iceland in 2017, while in our next match, in June that year, Burnley's Kevin Long and Preston's Alan Browne both debuted in an Irish loss to Mexico. Adam Idah had pride of place on this list most recently having made his debut against Bulgaria in 2020, but it didn't last too long.

Substitute appearances for both Caoimhin Kelleher and Chiedozie Ogbene in Ireland's game against Hungary in June of 2021 gives the two Rebel youngsters pride of place for now, even though Cork men don't tend to last too long before a new face comes along to topple them.

Derry - Eunan O'Kane

It is now de riguer for Derry men to play for the Republic, with James McClean, Shane Duffy and Darron Gibson leading the way.


The most recent addition to the Irish team from the county is Eunan O'Kane, now of Leeds United. He won the first of his seven caps in a pre-Euro 2016 friendly against Switzerland.



Donegal - Seamus Coleman

Donegal's strong football culture has produced many players down the years.

Now the Irish captain, the Killybegs man might be the best of them all.

Down - John Feenan

Born in Newry, he played for Newry Town and Belfast Celtic. Earned two caps for the Irish Free State, which then laid claim to the entire island.

Feenan holds a 100% record with Ireland, beating Switzerland 1-0 and then France 2-0 the following week.

Dublin - Evan Ferguson

The most recent of thousands, the Brighton teenager made his debut during the 2-1 loss to Norway last week. Having only just turned 18-years old, he became the fourth youngest debutant in Republic of Ireland history in the process.

While his international career has only just begun, hopes are high that he will have a long and successful stint in green.

Far more Dubliners have played for Ireland than have players from the rest of the country combined. Players don't tend to last very long on this list.

Fermanagh - Tommy Donnelly

The Enniskillen born forward played in the League of Ireland for both Drumcondra and Shamrock Rovers and won two Irish caps in 1937-38, scoring in the latter.

Galway - Ryan Manning

Ryan Manning became the latest player from the Connacht county to feature for Ireland at senior level when he made his debut against Bulgaria in the Nations League in 2020. He has since added five more caps to his tally.

It's a bit of a golden era for the county. Other Galway men Aaron Connolly, Daryl Horgan, David Forde, Alan Lee and Greg Cunningham have also played internationally since the turn of the century.

Kerry - Tony O'Connell

Peter Byrne informs us that O'Connell is the only Kerry-born man to play for Ireland. O'Connell's accent however wouldn't lead one to suspect he was born in Tralee.

The current life President of Bohemians played for Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk and Bohs. He terrorised Jimmy Armfield down the right wing on the famous night the League of Ireland defeated the Football League in 1963.

He was the first person in the UK or Ireland to plaster sponsors on jerseys in the early 1970s, when the name of his company 'Jodi' was emblazoned across the Bohemians jerseys.

Intriguingly, he later involved himself with Northern side Crusaders, where his money helped them to two League titles in the middle of the 1990s.

Some Kerry people will tell you that Sheffield United's John Egan is the proper holder of this title. He made his debut in friendly against Iceland in 2017 and now has 30 caps to his name.

His father John is a Kerry Gaelic football legend and his mother also represented Kerry in Camogie. However, given John was born in Cork and grew up in Bishopstown, Tony O'Connell holds onto his title for another while anyway.

Kildare - Nathan Collins

When Mark Travers made his debut in the win over Bulgaria in the summer of 2019, he became the first Kildare man since 1971 to play for Ireland. He would win a second cap in the game against New Zealand a few months later.

In 2021, two more players from the county would make their international bow. The first was Andrew Omobamidele, who came on in the 2-1 defeat to Portugal in September and has since gone on to win four more international caps.

Nathan Collins is the most recent, coming off the bench in the 4-0 win over Qatar in October of 2021. The defender, who moved to Burnley in a £12million deal before even being called up at senior level, is sure to add significantly to that tally in the years ahead.


READ HERE: Nathan Collins Scores Incredible Solo Goal To Give Ireland Lead Over Ukraine

Kilkenny - Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire made his Ireland debut in the World Cup qualifier against Moldova in 2017, going on to earn 12 caps, scoring his first goal for his country against New Zealand in 2019.

Maguire replaced Matt O'Mahony of Mullinavat who had held his place on the list since the 1930s.

Laois - Tony Byrne

Stephen Hunt was born in Laois but is essentially a product of Waterford. Tony Byrne, by contrast, was born in Rathdowney, leaving for England as an 18-year old.

He earned 14 caps for Ireland in the late 1960s and early 70s.

Limerick - Steve Finnan

Despite his accent, Finnan was born in Limerick. The voice was shaped by Chelmsford, the town to which he moved at a young age.

He is by no means the first Limerick man to play for Ireland.

READ HERE: Rafa Benitez On The Utter Chaos Around The Steve Finnan Substitution In Istanbul

Longford - Willie Browne

A student in St. Mel's, Browne began his career with Longford Town but ultimately became more associated with Bohemians.

Bohs were still resolutely amateur and the elegant central defender Browne was, for many years, the last amateur capped for Ireland. It was a title he might have expected to hold forever. He died in 2004, three years before Joe Lapira stole this mantle from him.

He earned three caps for Ireland in 1963-64 against Austria, Spain and England, starring in particular in the 0-0 draw in Vienna.

He was at the heart of the defence the night the League of Ireland defeated the Football League. An accountant by profession, he also featured for the League of Ireland on an unhappier evening when they conceded eleven against the Scottish League.

This formed the basis of a story he told Peter Byrne later on.

He was walking down the street a week later and he met this Dublin fella coming up and he said 'Hey Willie, I know why you were selected for that team that played in Glasgow. You're an accountant by profession aren't you?' And Browne said, 'I am', He said 'the only reason they brought you to Glasgow was to count the goals going in against the Irish.

He was the SWAI Personality of the Year 1963. The Longford Town website even writes that the club adopted the red and black strip in response to Browne's association with Bohemians.

Louth - Ian Harte

The Dundalk-Drogheda duopoly in Louth has produced many Irish internationally down the years, most famously Steve Staunton.

Mayo - Ollie Conmy

Conmy and his family were forced to emigrate from his birthplace of Mulraney when he was eight. Played for Huddersfield Town and Peterborough United over the course of his career. Was signed by Bill Shankly at the former.

He earned five caps for Ireland in the latter half of the 1960s.

110 cap Kevin Kilbane has strong family routes in Achill and is often seen at Mayo games these days, though he grew up in Preston.

Meath - Jamie McGrath

Meath internationals, it turns out, are like buses. You wait a century for one to come along, and then two come together.

Actually that's nothing like buses, but Darragh Lenihan became the first Meath man to represent Ireland at senior level when he made his debut against the USA in 2018, and just three years later, Athboy's Jamie McGrath earned his first cap, coming on in a friendly against Andorra.

The St. Mirren midfielder has quickly established himself as an important member of the squad in the time that has followed, putting in some very impressive performances towards the end of the recent World Cup qualifying campaign.

Monaghan - Jonathan Douglas

The former Monaghan United player had a great career in England for over 15 years and was a regular in Steve Staunton Irish squads, earning the last of his 8 caps in 2007.

Roscommon - Dinny Hannon

Hannon was born in Connaught Street in Athlone, a town which has produced a fair number of Irish internationals (at least until the 1970s). He captained the Irish Free State in their first ever international at the 1924 Olympics, in which they beat Bulgaria 1-0.

Hannon was a solicitor who played for both Bohemians and Athlone Town. The appropriately named 'Connaught Street', we are reliably informed, pokes its way into Roscommon.

Hannon served as the solicitor for Roscommon County Council in later life.

Sligo - Paul McGee

McGee played for about 10,000 clubs during his lengthy career. He flitted between Sligo Rovers and Galway United routinely, spending about five different spells at each.

He holds the Irish record for movement between clubs (34) and remains Galway United's highest ever scorer.

Scored four times in fifteen appearances for Ireland between 1978 and 1980.

Tipperary - Shane Long

Long scored 2-1 for Tipperary in the Munster Minor final of 2004, and featured in All-Ireland minor semi-finals against Galway and Kilkenny in 2003 and 2004.

He also has the small matter of 88 caps for his country, along with 17 goals.

Waterford - Jayson Molumby

After Cork and Dublin, the county that has possibly produced the most Irish soccer internationals.

Daryl Murphy, John O'Shea, and Derrick Williams, and Lee O'Connor are just some of the recent examples of players to emerge from the county, with Cappoquin's Jayson Molumby becoming the latest when making his debut in September of 2020 against Finland.

Westmeath - Turlough O'Connor

A member of a famous Athlone footballing family, O'Connor began his career with Athlone but enjoyed his best spell with the successful Bohemians team of the 1970s, scoring over one hundred goals and winning League titles in 1975 and 78.

Scored two goals in seven games in the late 60s and early 70s.

Wexford - Kevin Doyle

Doyle would move back to his native county after retirement, even becoming involved for a time with the Wexford U20 Gaelic footballers.

Follows in the footsteps of another illustrious Wexford international, Bill Lacey, who played for Liverpool and Everton and featured on the first Ireland to win the British Championship in 1914.

READ HERE: Wexford Camogie Legend Loving Underdogs Journey

Wicklow - Darren Randolph

A Bray man, Randolph made his start with Ardmore Rovers before heading across the pond to join Charlton Athletic where he turned pro in 2004.

A basketball star at Pres Bray, he decided to focus on football after realising he would never make the NBA. We think it worked out pretty well.

SEE ALSO: Kevin Doyle Gives Grim Assessment Of Ireland's Current Standing In World Football

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