League of Ireland U19 Division

Last updated
League of Ireland U19 Division
Country Republic of Ireland (20 teams)
Other club(s) from Northern Ireland (1 team)
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams21
Domestic cup(s) FAI Youth Cup
League cup(s)Dr Tony O'Neill Cup
Enda McGuill Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Youth League
Current champions St Patrick's Athletic U19
(3rd title)
Most championships Cork City (7)
Website www.sseairtricityleague.ie

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.



Eircom U21 League

The inaugural season of the U21 division took place in 2000–01 and St Patrick's Athletic finished as the first champions. In 2001–02 Waterford United won the title before Cork City won their first title in 2002–03. City then retained the title in 2003–04. UCD subsequently won three of four remaining titles during the U21 era. [1] [2] [3] [4] As well as featuring the youth teams of contemporary League of Ireland clubs, the division also featured the representative teams of junior leagues such as the Kerry District League, the Mayo Association Football League and the Sligo/Leitrim League. In 2004 Sligo/Leitrim reached the final of the Enda McGuill Cup. [5] [6] In addition to featuring UCD, the division also featured three other university teams – NUI Galway, the University of Limerick and Dublin University. [2] [5] The division was also used by the League of Ireland as an avenue for future members of its senior divisions. Both Salthill Devon and Mervue United began their League of Ireland careers in the U21 division. In 2003 Mervue United were Enda McGuill Cup finalists and in 2006 Salthill Devon became the first club to win the Dr Tony O'Neill Cup without having a team in the senior divisions. [7] [8] [9] In addition to competing for the Dr Tony O'Neill Cup and the Enda McGuill Cup, teams in the U21 division also played in several other competitions including pre-season tournaments in 2006 and 2007 and a futsal league in 2007 which was won by Shamrock Rovers. This latter competition evolved into the FAI Futsal Cup. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

Eircom U20 League

In 2008, as part of a restructuring of the League of Ireland that also saw the introduction of the A Championship, the U21 division was relaunched as a U20 division. The new division featured the youth teams of the 22 clubs in the Premier Division and First Division plus four other teams – F.C. Carlow, Kilkenny City, Salthill Devon and Mervue United. [4] [15] [16] Cork City were the first U20 champions in 2008–09 followed by UCD in 2009. In 2010 Andrew Myler guided Shamrock Rovers to their first title. [17] [18] [19]

Airtricity U19 League

During the U19 era Cork City have established themselves as the dominant team, winning the Dr Tony O'Neill Cup four seasons out of five and winning the Enda McGuill Cup on three occasions. [3] [20] In 2016 Cork City also became the first team to represent the division in the UEFA Youth League. [21] [22]


During the U21 and U20 eras teams playing in the division were divided into four regionalised groups, more or less corresponding to North and South Leinster, Munster and Connacht/Ulster. The top two teams from each group then qualified for the quarter-finals and the remainder of the competition was decided on a knock-out basis. [2] [15] Between 2011–12 and 2013–14 teams playing in the division were divided into the three groups. One of these groups, the Elite Division, was a national division. The remaining teams were divided into Southern and Northern divisions. During these three seasons the winners of the Elite Division were awarded the Dr Tony O'Neill Cup. The 2014-15 season saw the introduction of two regional divisions known as the Northern Elite Division and the Southern Elite Division and a play-off system was again used to decide the overall champions. The 2015 season featured three regional groups simply numbered one to three. The 2016 season saw the return of the Northern Elite Division and the Southern Elite Division format. [20] [23] [24]


Northern Elite Division

Athlone Town U19 Athlone Lissywollen
Bohemians U19 Phibsborough IT Blanchardstown
Derry City U19 Derry Brandywell Stadium
Drogheda United U19 Drogheda United Park
Dundalk U19 Dundalk Oriel Park
Finn Harps U19 Ballybofey Killygordon
Longford Town U19 Longford City Calling Stadium
Monaghan United Cavan Football Partnership U19 Monaghan Gortakeegan
Shelbourne U19 Drumcondra, Dublin AUL Complex
Sligo Rovers U19 Sligo The Showgrounds
St Patrick's Athletic U19 Inchicore IT Blanchardstown

Southern Elite Division

Bray Wanderers U19 Bray Carlisle Grounds
Cabinteely U19 Cabinteely AUL Complex
Cobh Ramblers U19 Cobh St. Colman's Park
Cork City U19 Cork Bishopstown Stadium
Galway United U19 Galway Eamonn Deacy Park
Limerick U19 Limerick Jackman Park
Kerry U19 Tralee Mounthawk Park
Shamrock Rovers U19 Tallaght Tallaght Stadium
Wexford Youths U19 Crossabeg Ferrycarrig Park
Waterford United U19 Waterford Waterford RSC
UCD U19 Belfield, Dublin UCD Bowl

Source: [25] [26] [27]

Dr Tony O'Neill Cup

The main league championship trophy is named after Dr Tony O'Neill, the former general manager of University College Dublin A.F.C.. O'Neill was a founding member of the Irish Universities Football Union, a former general secretary of the FAI and a member of various UEFA committees. He also served as Director of Sport at UCD and was credited with revitalising sport at the university following the introduction of a scholarship scheme. [28] [29] [30] This competition should not be confused with the other Dr Tony O'Neill Cup, a national competition organised by the FAI for schools teams. [31]

2000–01 St Patrick's Athletic U21 1–0 Longford Town U21
2001–02 Waterford United U21 [2] 2–2 (Note 1) Athlone Town U21
2002–03 Cork City U21 2–1 Bohemians U21
2003 Cork City U21 2–1 St Patrick's Athletic U21
2004 UCD U21 3–2 Cork City U21
2005 UCD U21 2–1 Shelbourne U21
2005–06 Salthill Devon U21 [7] [8] 2–1 Cork City U21
2007 UCD U21 [4] 0–0 (Note 2) St Patrick's Athletic U21 Belfield Park
2008–09 Cork City U20 [17] 1–0 Bohemians U20 O’Shea Park, Blarney
2009 UCD U20 [18] 5–3 [32] Salthill Devon U20 UCD Bowl [33]
2010 Shamrock Rovers U20 [19] 1–1 (Note 3) Bohemians U20 Tallaght Stadium [34]
2011–12 Cork City U19 (Note 4) Shamrock Rovers U19 n/a
2012–13 Cork City U19 (Note 4) Shelbourne U19 n/a
2013–14 Cork City U19 [35] [36] (Note 4) Shamrock Rovers U19 n/a
2014–15 St Patrick's Athletic U19 [37] 3–2 Derry City U19 Maginn Park, Buncrana

Source: [1] [3] [20]


  • ^1 Waterford United U21 won 5–4 on penalties.
  • ^2 UCD U21 won 4–2 on penalties.
  • ^3 Shamrock Rovers U20 won 6−5 on penalties.
  • ^4 Title decided using league format only. No play-off final.

Enda McGuill Cup

The Enda McGuill Memorial Cup is the division's league cup. It is named after Enda McGuill, a former chairman of Dundalk F.C. and a former president of the League of Ireland. [38] [39]

2001–02 Waterford United U21 0–0 (Note 1) Shelbourne U21
2002–03 Longford Town U21 4–2 Mervue United U21 [9]
2003 Shelbourne U21 4–3 St Patrick's Athletic U21
2004 Cork City U21 3–0Sligo/Leitrim League [6]
2005 Bray Wanderers U21 1–1 (Note 2) St Patrick's Athletic U21
2006 Cork City U21 1–0 Kildare County U21
2007 Derry City U21 1–0 Bray Wanderers U21
2011–12 Cork City U19 [40] 3–2 Dundalk U19 Oriel Park
2012–13 Cork City U19 [41] 3–1 Shelbourne U19 Turners Cross
2013–14 Cobh Ramblers U19 [42] 3–2 Drogheda United U19 St Colman's Park
2014–15 UCD U19 [43] [44] 3–2 Derry City U19 UCD Bowl
2016 Cork City U19 [45] [46] 2–0 St Patrick's Athletic U19 Turners Cross
2017 Dundalk U19 2-1 a.e.t. UCD U19 Richmond Park
2018 Bohemians U19 2-1 St Patrick's Athletic U19 UCD Bowl
2019 Shamrock Rovers U19 4–1 Bohemians U19 Dalymount Park

Source: [1] [3] [20]

League of Ireland U19 Champions