By Sean Creedon
There’s good news at last for Dublin club Shamrock Rovers. The famous Hoops have finally got the go-ahead to build a 6,000-seat stadium in Tallaght, South Dublin.
Rovers had got permission last year, but an area school objected, which held up construction. Now the club, who have won the League of Ireland championship a record 15 times and the FAI Cup a record 24 times, can go ahead with their stadium, which will be situated just across the road from The Square Shopping Centre. It will be named Glenmalure Park, in memory of Rovers old ground in town, which now boasts some fine town houses.
Meanwhile, Derry City returned to Windsor Park, Belfast last week after an absence of 26 years. Derry played Linfield at Windsor in a testimonial game for long-servicing Blue player John Easton.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey says he hopes that the return of Derry in Windsor will pave the way for their return to the Irish League.
"I would love to see them return to the Irish League, where they played until 1972 and I know many others would welcome it as well," he said.
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Derry have been playing in the League of Ireland since 1985, but the novelty of their move south has now worn off and maybe the Candystripes would prefer to return to the Irish League, where there would be much less traveling for the team and their supporters.
In GAA, former Cork football manager Billy Morgan has joined the Wicklow camp as a consultant. The Wickow senior footballers will continue to be managed by Neil Rennicks.
Tom Cribben is the new manager of the Laois Footballers. The Portalington native has been player-manager of the Clane Club in Kildare for the last four years. His first game in charge of Laois will be against Mayo in the second round of the National League on Sunday, Nov. 15.
Meanwhile, there’s news of another Kildare player retiring. Seamus "Sos" Dowling has decided to call it a day. Long-serving Kildare Secretary Seamus Aldridge is also stepping down. But the former referee will continue to be involved in GAA affairs as he is due to shortly take over as Chairman of the Leinster Council.
Race to honor Carroll
GOAL, the third world charity, will honor the late Noel Carroll by staging an annual mini-marathon through the streets of Dublin in memory of their former chairman. Dublin already has a very successful women’s mini-marathon, which last June attracted more than 30,000 entries.
New swimming organization
The first signs of real changes within the Irish Amateur Swimming Association have begun to show with the formation of a new body titled Swim Ireland at their recent EGM. This is in accordance with the Murphy Report recommendation. In future, all officials must be members of an affiliated body or club and must report directly to the board of directors.
The Irish Showjumping Association have had their troubles. The association’s first female chairman, Bernie Brennan, and 11 executive members resigning last week. The row was over the terms of re-employment of former director general Tony Kelly. Kelly had resigned in August stating that his position had become untenable due to allegation of mismanagement and queries over the association’s 1997 accounts.
Irish jockey Kieren Fallon has ridden 200 winners in England for the second consecutive season. Fallon reached the mark at Musselburgh last week and becomes only the fourth jump jockey to ride two double centuries, following in the footsteps of Fred Archer. Sir Gordon Richards and Frankie Dettor.
Home Farms sign Americans
Dublin Soccer club Home Farm have signed two Americans to try to boost their rankings in the FAI National League first division. The newcomers are Randolf Clarke, a 6-foot-4 goalkeeper who played for Pensacola Flyers, and center-half John Murray.
A page from soccer
The FAI have taken a fair bit of criticism over the years for their use of the granny rule by capping players who were not born in Ireland. But only one player on the Irish Rugby League team that lost to France last week was born in Ireland. To be fair, Rugby League is only in its infancy in Ireland and we are probably lucky to be able to field a team at all.