Dalymount days: Identity crises in the home of Irish football 1914-1939

A fine piece from Ciaran Priestly on the role of Dalymount Park in the sporting and social landscape of Dublin and the country as a whole.

dear durty dublin

While speaking at a public event of the Blizzard football journal in Dublin, esteemed French football journalist Philippe Auclair remarked on the “schizophrenic” nature of the modern Irish football fan’s mentality. This analysis of the current state-of-play is entirely accurate. In truth, the most common popular expression of football supporter identity in Ireland is to wear a premier league shirt to the pub. Football’s mass-culture in Ireland grew out of a similar process.

Advocates of the League of Ireland were dismayed that the summer obsession with football during Italia ’90 did not lead to a bounce in attendance figures, despite virtually nothing being done to attract newly converted fans to their clubs. The decline of the League of Ireland continued throughout the nineties as the national team captured the nation’s imagination while elite English club football commercialised at an unprecedented rate. Ireland was a ripe football market which SKY TV…

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