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10 Irish-born Sportsmen Who Have Represented Other Countries

10 Irish-born Sportsmen Who Have Represented Other Countries
By Balls Team
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Here are a number of other Irish athletes who have represented a country other than that of their birth.

NOTE: We've excluded southern based Ireland players who represented both Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland in the '30s and '40s (eg. Jackie Carey).

Eamon Zayed

While still playing in the League of Ireland, Zayed declared for Libya in 2010.

He has earned eight caps for the Libyan national team in the years since, scoring in a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea in 2013. Made headlines for his exploits in Iran in 2012, scoring a hat-trick in the Tehran derby.


Kyran Bracken


Born in Skerries, Bracken's parents left for England when he was four years of age. He had no choice but to go with them. Bracken played his first match against Ireland in Twickenham in 1994, a game in which the Irish pack unsurprisingly decided to single him out for special attention. A staple of dinner party speeches ever since. Won a World Cup and a couple of Grand Slams with England, amassing over 50 caps along the way. Never quite nailed down the no.9 jersey.


AJ MacGinty


Blackrock educated outhalf MacGinty moved to New York on a one-year visa in 2012, before opting to coach rugby while studying for a Masters down in Atlanta. He made his debut against Samoa in 2o15.

Following the World Cup in which he starred for the US at out-halve, he was picked up by Connacht, before moving to Sale the following year., where he just signed a new contract last week. He has 17 caps for the USA.



Jim Stynes

The Boatengs of Rathfarnam, the Stynes brothers hold the unusual distinction of playing against each other in international competition. When the series was resurrected in 1998, following an eight year hiatus, Jim represented Australia while Colm O'Rourke had selected Brian to play for Ireland. Jim had already played for Ireland in the series back in the 1980s.

Jim Hogan


Limerick born Jim Hogan won a European gold medal in 1966. This achievement is little remembered in Ireland now because it was won for Great Britain.


Hogan was born 'Jim Cregan' but took on the name 'Hogan' on account of a misunderstanding about his registration as an athlete in both Ireland and Britain.

He competed for Ireland in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, in which he failed to complete the race.


Read more about Hogan in this article on the blog Run and Jump.


David Gallagher

Born in Donegal, Gallagher and his family emigrated to New Zealand when he was a small child. Over there, he acquired a new spelling for his surname, dropping the silent 'G' an d becoming Dave Gallaher.


He was the captain of the team now renowned as the 'original All Blacks', the first New Zealand team to tour Britain and Ireland. The team won 34 out of 35 matches under his leadership.


Ed Joyce

The first of the cricketers, Joyce played for England between 2006 and 2010, playing in the Ashes series of 2006-07 - a comedown for England - who lost 5-0.

In successive World Cups, he was on the winning team in the England-Ireland clash, playing for England in their 2007 win and Ireland in their 2011 win.. Despite being on the victorious side in the 2007 game, Joyce couldn't bring himself to score any runs, being bowled out for a duck.


Eoin Morgan

The most successful Ireland-to-England swap, Morgan was selected as England captain for the 2015 World Cup. It went badly for the side as they were dumped out in the group stage. Despite that, he remains England captain in limited overs cricket and has played 175 One Day Internationals for his adopted country.

He told the Sunday Times in 2009,

From the age of 13, I wanted to play cricket for England. I’ve never felt any shame in saying this is what I wanted to do. And the people at home involved in cricket, they were like, “Fair play, it’s going to be unbelievable if you make it”. So I’ve never had any shame about this and my father’s never had any shame about it.

Brian Quinn

Born in Belfast, Quinn was a youthful GAA player before Everton came calling. He spent two years playing at Goodison Park without making any impression on the first team.

He left for the States, playing in the North American Soccer League and, when that hit the wall, in 1984, moving onto the Canadian Soccer League. In his early 30s, he became an American citizen and made his debut for the national team in 1991. He earned 48 caps between 1991 and 1994.

Quinn played twice against Ireland in the first half of 1992, losing 4-1 in Dublin in April, but gaining revenge with a 3-1 win in Boston the following month.


Willie Maley

Legendary manager and player with Celtic, Maley was born in Newry to a father from Clare and a mother from Canada. The family moved to Glasgow in his youth and Maley would be associated with Scottish football thereafter.


Read more: 12 Iconic Club Championship Challengers From So-Called Weaker Counties

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