|Country||Republic of Ireland|
|Number of teams||10|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Promotion to||League of Ireland Premier Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||FAI Cup|
|League cup(s)||League of Ireland Cup|
|Current champions||Drogheda United, 5th title|
|Most championships||Drogheda United (5)|
|Current: 2021 League of Ireland First Division|
The League of Ireland First Division (Irish : Céad Roinn Sraith na hÉireann), also known as the SSE Airtricity League First Division, is the second level division in both the League of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland football league system. The division was formed in 1985. It replaced the League of Ireland B Division as the League of Ireland's second level division. Since 2003 the First Division has operated as a summer league.
In 1985 five teams – Bray Wanderers, Cobh Ramblers, Derry City, EMFA and Newcastle United – were elected to join the League of Ireland. All five subsequently participated in the inaugural 1985–86 First Division season, along with Monaghan United from the League of Ireland B Division and four clubs – Drogheda United, Finn Harps, Longford Town and Sligo Rovers – who were relegated following the 1984–85 League of Ireland season. Bray Wanderers were the inaugural First Division champions.
As a second level division, clubs playing in the First Division cannot qualify directly for Europe. However First Division clubs have qualified for Europe after winning the FAI Cup. In 1989–90 Bray Wanderers qualified for the 1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup after winning the 1989–90 FAI Cup final. As a result, they became the first First Division team to play in Europe. In 1993–94 Sligo Rovers qualified for the 1994–95 European Cup Winners' Cup after winning the 1993–94 FAI Cup final. Rovers were also the 1993–94 First Division champions and were promoted to the 1994–95 Premier Division. As a result, they were actually a Premier Division club when they played in Europe. Bray Wanderers qualified for the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup after winning the 1999 FAI Cup Final. However, after finishing eleventh in the 1998–99 Premier Division, they were relegated to 1999–2000 First Division and as a result they were playing in the First Division when they subsequently embarked on their European campaign.
In 2009 Sporting Fingal qualified for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League after winning the 2009 FAI Cup Final. They were also promoted to the 2010 Premier Division after winning the promotion/relegation play-off.In 2015 UCD qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League via the UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking system. After the FAI finished third in the 2014–15 rankings, they nominated UCD for the extra European place.
A promotion and relegation system has existed between the League of Ireland Premier Division and the First Division since 1985–86. In 1992–93 a promotion/relegation play-off was also introduced. Between 2008 and 2011, A Championship teams were also eligible for promotion to the First Division. During this time both Mervue United and Salthill Devon were both promoted to the First Division from the A Championship.There is no formal promotion and relegation relationship between the First Division and the three third level provincial leagues – the Leinster Senior League Senior Division, the Munster Senior League and the Ulster Senior League. However provincial level teams have been invited to join the division. In 1990–91 St James's Gate were invited to join and in 1996–97 they were replaced by St Francis. In 2015, Cabinteely became the most recent team to accept an invite. All three clubs were recruited from the Leinster Senior League
|Athlone Town||Athlone||Athlone Town Stadium|
|Cabinteely||Dublin (Blackrock)||Stradbrook Road|
|Bray Wanderers||Bray||Carlisle Grounds|
|Cobh Ramblers||Cobh||St. Colman's Park|
|Cork City||Cork||Turners Cross|
|Galway United||Galway||Eamonn Deacy Park|
|Shelbourne||Dublin (Drumcondra)||Tallaght Stadium|
|Treaty United||Limerick||Markets Field|
|UCD||Dublin (Belfield)||UCD Bowl|
|1985–86||Bray Wanderers||Sligo Rovers||Longford Town|
|1986–87||Derry City||Shelbourne||Drogheda United|
|1987–88||Athlone Town||Cobh Ramblers||Finn Harps|
|1988–89||Drogheda United||UCD||Bray Wanderers|
|1989–90||Waterford United||Sligo Rovers||Bray Wanderers|
|1990–91||Drogheda United||Bray Wanderers||Cobh Ramblers|
|1991–92||Limerick City||Waterford United||Cobh Ramblers|
|1992–93||Galway United||Cobh Ramblers||Monaghan United|
|1993–94||Sligo Rovers||Athlone Town||Finn Harps|
|1994–95||UCD||Drogheda United||Finn Harps|
|1995–96||Bray Wanderers||Finn Harps||Home Farm Everton|
|1996–97||Kilkenny City||Drogheda United||Waterford United|
|1997–98||Waterford United||Bray Wanderers||Limerick|
|1998–99||Drogheda United||Galway United||Cobh Ramblers|
|1999–2000||Bray Wanderers||Longford Town||Kilkenny City|
|2000–01||Dundalk||Monaghan United||Athlone Town|
|2001–02||Drogheda United||Finn Harps||Dublin City|
|2002–03||Waterford United||Finn Harps||Galway United|
|2003||Dublin City||Bray Wanderers||Finn Harps|
|2004||Finn Harps||UCD||Bray Wanderers|
|2005||Sligo Rovers||Dublin City||Cobh Ramblers|
|2006||Shamrock Rovers||Dundalk||Galway United|
|2007||Cobh Ramblers||Finn Harps||Dundalk|
|2010||Derry City||Waterford United||Monaghan United|
|2011||Cork City||Shelbourne||Monaghan United|
|2012||Limerick||Waterford United||Longford Town|
|2013||Athlone Town||Longford Town||Mervue United|
|2014||Longford Town||Shelbourne||Galway F.C.|
|2015||Wexford Youths||Finn Harps||UCD|
|2019||Shelbourne||Drogheda United||Longford Town|
|2020||Drogheda United||Bray Wanderers||UCD|
|Drogheda United||5||1988–89, 1990–91, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2020|
|Waterford||4||1989–90, 1997–98, 2002–03, 2017|
|UCD||3||1994–95, 2009, 2018|
|Limerick||3||1991–92, 2012, 2016|
|Bray Wanderers||3||1985–86, 1995–96, 1999–00|
|Athlone Town||2||1987–88, 2013|
|Derry City||2||1986–87, 2010|
|Sligo Rovers||2||1993–94, 2005|
|1985–86||Con McLoughlin||Finn Harps||11|
|Harry McLoughlin||Sligo Rovers||11|
|1986–87||Aleksandar Krstić||Derry City||18|
|1987–88||Con McLoughlin||Finn Harps||19|
|1988–89||Pat O'Connor||Home Farm||14|
|1989–90||John Ryan||Bray Wanderers||16|
|1990–91||Jim Barr||Monaghan United||12|
|Con McLoughlin||Finn Harps||12|
|1991–92||Con McLoughlin||Finn Harps||12|
|Barry Ryan||Limerick City||12|
|1992–93||Mick Byrne||Monaghan United||15|
|Richie Parsons||Longford Town||15|
|1993–94||Karl Gannon||Home Farm||16|
|1994–95||Philip Power||Home Farm||14|
|1995–96||Jonathan Speak||Finn Harps||17|
|1996–97||Richie Hale||Kilkenny City||13|
|Tony Izzi||Cobh Ramblers||13|
|1997–98||Fergal Coleman||Galway United||13|
|1998–99||Tony Izzi||Cobh Ramblers||13|
|1999–00||Robbie Farrell||Home Farm Fingal||17|
|Andrew Myler||Monaghan United||17|
|Keith O'Connor||Longford Town||17|
|2000–01||Andrew Myler (Note 1)||Athlone Town||29|
|2001–02||Kevin McHugh (Note 2)||Finn Harps||27|
|2002–03||Willie Bruton||Cobh Ramblers||14|
|Kevin McHugh||Finn Harps||14|
|2003||Alan Murphy||Galway United||21|
|2004||Kevin McHugh||Finn Harps||24|
|2005||Kieran O'Reilly||Cobh Ramblers||17|
|2007||Conor Gethins||Finn Harps||15|
|2008||Robbie Doyle||Sporting Fingal||17|
|2009||Conan Byrne||Sporting Fingal||21|
|2010||Graham Cummins||Cork City||18|
|Mark Farren||Derry City||18|
|Willie John Kiely||Waterford United||18|
|2011||Graham Cummins||Cork City||24|
|2012||Sean Maguire||Waterford United||13|
|Kevin McHugh||Finn Harps||13|
|Daniel Furlong||Wexford Youths||13|
|2013||David O'Sullivan||Longford Town||21|
|2014||David O'Sullivan||Longford Town||21|
|2015||Daniel Furlong||Wexford Youths||30|
Bray Wanderers Football Club are an Irish association football club playing in the League of Ireland First Division. The club in its present form was founded in 1942 in Bray, and was known until 2010 as Bray Wanderers A.F.C. It was elected to the League in 1985, and plays its home matches at the Carlisle Grounds. Club colours are Green and White, and it goes by the nickname The Seagulls.
The League of Ireland, together with the Football Association of Ireland, is one of the two main governing bodies responsible for organising association football in the Republic of Ireland. The term was originally used to refer to a single division league. However today the League of Ireland features five divisions – the Premier Division, the First Division, U19 Division, U17 Division, U15 Division and starting U13 Division. The League of Ireland has always worked closely with the FAI and in 2006 the two bodies formally merged. All the divisions are currently sponsored by Airtricity and as a result the league is also known as the SSE Airtricity League. In 2007, it became one of the first leagues in Europe to introduce a salary cap.
Ronan Finn is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland. He has also played for U.C.D., Sporting Fingal and Dundalk. Having made over 30 appearances in European competition, Finn competed in the group stages of the Europa League with both Shamrock Rovers (2011) and Dundalk (2016).
Gabriel Sava is a Romanian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Warrenpoint Town in the NIFL Premiership. He was born in Bacău and played youth football for Lazio, before beginning a career in Ireland in 2001. Throughout his career there, he has played for Drogheda Town, Bray Wanderers, Monaghan United, Drogheda United, Dundalk and Bray Wanderers. He has made three appearances in the UEFA Europa League throughout his career and was a member of Dundalk's squad when they became the first Irish side to reach the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League in August 2016.
The 2010 League of Ireland Premier Division was the 26th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The division was made up of 10 teams. Shamrock Rovers were champions while Bohemians finished as runners-up.
The 2011 League of Ireland Premier Division was the 27th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The league was also known as the Airtricity League for sponsorship reasons. The division featured 10 teams. Shamrock Rovers were champions while Sligo Rovers finished as runners-up.
The 2012 League of Ireland Premier Division was the 28th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The division featured 12 teams. Sligo Rovers were champions, winning their first top league title since 1976–77. Drogheda United finished as runners-up.
The 2016 League of Ireland Premier Division was the 32nd season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The league began on 4 March 2016 and concluded on 28 October 2016; the relegation play-offs followed on 31 October and 4 November 2016. The prize fund for the SSE Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions was €475,500 for the 2016 season.
The 2009 League of Ireland First Division season was the 25th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by 12 teams and UCD won the title. Third placed Sporting Fingal also won the 2009 FAI Cup Final, qualified for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League and were promoted to the Premier Division after winning a promotion/relegation play off.
Andrew Boyle is an Irish professional footballer, who primarily plays as a centre-back. Boyle currently plays for Dundalk. He has previously played for League of Ireland sides Dundalk, UCD and Shelbourne, Scottish club Dundee English Club Preston North End and on loan at Ross County. With Dundalk, Boyle was the team's vice-captain and was part of the first Irish side to reach the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League in August 2016.
The 2015 League of Ireland First Division season was the 31st season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by eight teams. Wexford Youths won the title and Finn Harps were also promoted after winning a play off.
The League of Ireland U19 Division is the under-19 division of the League of Ireland. The current division is the successor of earlier U21 and U20 divisions. Like the Premier Division and First Division, the U19 Division is currently sponsored by Airtricity and as a result it is also known as the SSE Airtricity U19 League. The earlier U21 and U20 divisions were sponsored by Eircom and as a result were referred to as the Eircom U21 League or the Eircom U20 League. The division is also sometimes referred to as the Dr Tony O'Neill League because the winners are awarded the Dr Tony O'Neill Cup. In 2016 Cork City became the first team to represent the division in the UEFA Youth League.
The 2017 League of Ireland First Division season is the 33rd season of the League of Ireland First Division. The league began on 24 February 2017 and concludes on 7 October 2017. The 2017 season had no promotion/relegation play-off system like the previous years, only one team would be eligible for promotion whilst three teams would be relegated from the League of Ireland Premier Division in a revamp of the leagues by the FAI.
The 2018 League of Ireland Premier Division was the 34th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The league began on 16 February 2018 and concluded in 26 October 2018.
The 2018 FAI Cup was the 98th edition of the Republic of Ireland's primary national cup competition. It began with the qualifying round on 21 April 2018, and concluded with the final on 4 November 2018. The winner qualified for the 2019–20 Europa League first qualifying round.
The 2018 season was Bohemian F.C.'s 128th year in existence as a football club. The club participated in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the FAI Cup, the EA Sports Cup and was also involved in the 2018–19 Scottish Challenge Cup known as the IRN-BRU Cup.
The 2019 League of Ireland Cup, also known for sponsorship reasons as the 2019 EA Sports Cup, was the 46th season of the League of Ireland's secondary knockout competition. The EA Sports Cup featured teams from the SSE Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions, as well as some intermediate level teams. Dundalk defeated Derry City in the final in a penalty shoot-out, following a 2-2 draw.
David Webster is an Irish professional footballer playing for League of Ireland Premier Division club, Finn Harps. He has previously played for Waterford for a season, spent three seasons at Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick's Athletic and seven seasons at Bray Wanderers where he started his career.
The 2020 League of Ireland Premier Division, known as the SSE Airtricity League for sponsorship reasons, was the 36th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division.
The 2020 League of Ireland First Division season was the 36th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The league began on 21 February 2020 and concluded on 27 October 2020. Drogheda United won the league title for a record 5th time, winning promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division for 2021. The Coronavirus pandemic in Ireland halted the season in mid-March as per directive of the Irish Government and the Football Association of Ireland. On 13 July 2020, the league announced the season restart with a reduced fixture list of two rounds only and the play-off series as announced pre-season.