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Republic of Ireland

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Republic of Ireland
Map of Ireland
Flag and abbrev. Flag of Ireland IRE
Continent Europe
Leader Brian Cowen (Taoiseach)
Population 4,460,000 (est. of 2009)
Registered players 411
National team Irish National Team
National federation Irish Ice Hockey Association
IIHF ranking 42nd (-2)
Top league Irish Ice Hockey League (IIHL)
Current champion Dundalk Bulls

The Republic of Ireland, usually simply referred to as Ireland, is a country of northwestern Europe, bordered to the north by Northern Ireland and to the east, across the Irish Sea, by the main land of Great Britain. It is home to 4,460,000 people.


Ice hockey in Ireland is not very deep in term of divisions. For the moment, the IIHL stands as the top level, fed by a Development Division. There is no promotion and relegation between the two leagues.

Irish hockey scheme
Elite Irish Ice Hockey League
Second Irish Ice Hockey Association Development Division

History of Irish hockeyEdit

Ice hockey in Ireland is a relatively recent thing. The first recorded match dates back only to 1983, where the Dublin Stags defeated the Liverpool Leopards 3-2; the match was played at the Dolphins Barn Ice Rink[1]. Since then, the sport has progressed, until the country was accepted into the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1997. The Irish National Team made its debuts at the U18 and U20 level.

Locally, the sport kept developing, with the cities of Dublin, Belfast and Coleraine being a place where the sport was played at a high level, until came a slump in 1999-2000, when both ice rinks in Dublin closed down, seriously compromising the development of the sport, especially the junior development. Players had to go once a week to Belfast to have a chance to train. This situation was short lived however, as the Dublin City Council, with the help of the Irish Ice Hockey Association, ran an outdoor rink during the festive season.

2004 was an important year for Irish hockey, as for the first time, the IIHA iced a senior national team at the 2004 DIII World Championships, held in Reykjavik, Iceland. Since then, Ireland regularly iced a senior team, which kept improving. In 2007, the World Championship Division III were held in Dundalk, Ireland at the Dundalk Ice Dome. The event proved to be a real success, and in the wake of this success, the Irish Ice Hockey League was created for the 2007-08 season.

Several Irish players (six in total) have played in the National Hockey League. Those players, born in Ireland (or in Northern Ireland), have however all moved to North America at a young age and learned their hockey there. They are Bobby Kirk, Jim McFadden, Sammy McManus, Sid Finney, Owen Nolan and Jack Riley (b. 1910). Of them, Nolan is by far the most prominent player born in Ireland.























IIHF Since

September 26 1996





Ever since the Irish National Team was created in 2004, the team kept steadily improving. Even at its very beginnings, the team didn't fare too badly. While they struggled to beat anyone (except the Armenian National Team, whom they beat by large margins in their first two seasons), they nevertheless provided with a decent opposition and the team rarely got thrashed as is not so rarely the case in the lower levels of the World Championships - in fact, in their first tournament, they finished with an even 23-23 goals for-goals against ratio, while in their second, they had a positive ratio with 32 goals for and 20 against (thanks in good part to a 23-1 win over Armenia).

The team's efforts were crowned in 2007 when Ireland was promoted to the division II following a solid second place at the 2007 DIII World Championship held at home, in Dundalk, Ireland, at the Dundalk Ice Dome. Their performance at the 2008 DII World Championship was not as good, with Ireland losing all six games and finishing with only 8 goals for and 57 against, a performance that promptly sent them back to the third division. Still, Ireland had demonstrated it was a promising nation. The Irish U18 team also participates in the world championships.

Some great Irish playersEdit

Main cities and townsEdit

National TeamsEdit


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