As Irish football fans’ nerves may be jumbled ahead of today’s friendly with Qatar, a local politician debates the prospect of a team from across Ireland.
Senator Robbie Gallagher is seeking a debate on the future of Republican and Northern Ireland football teams following the recent poor results. Senator Gallagher cited the success of other sports organized on a nationwide basis.
In the Seanad he said: “Together with many other people in the country, I watched our international football team lose 1-0 to Luxembourg over the weekend. It was an extremely disappointing result.
“I’ve looked across the border and our friends on the Northern Irish football team are on a similar run where they can’t seem to buy a win either. This begs the question a lot of people ask me, is it maybe the time To have a debate in this country about an all-island football team like we have in rugby and hockey. The reality is that two small nations like Northern Ireland and the Republic have two football teams on one island and expect competition at international level Level is just not up anymore.
“We have seen what we can do when our nation unites. We have seen our rugby team compete with the best in the world. Our rugby team beat England less than a week ago – the same English team that was launched later. ” in a World Cup final not long ago. “
Senator Gallagher suggested that there should be a debate in this country and that members of the Seanad might initiate that debate through the Secretary of State for the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Deputy Jack Chambers, and Come on into the chamber to see how the conversation can be initiated.
“Northern Ireland and the Republic have had some good days in the past. Here in the Republic we had the opportunity to watch a program on Virgin Media One about dementia and the late Jack Charlton, who like many others suffered from the disease. We’ve seen the scenes of the glory days when we succeeded in this country – in fact, Northern Ireland also had its day in the sun – but not as often as we’d like. It is time for us to have this debate. I want us to kick things off in this Chamber by asking the Minister of State responsible for sport to have a debate on this issue, ”he concluded.