|Full name||Tolka Park|
|Location||Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland|
|Public transit||Drumcondra railway station|
| Home Farm Drums 1950s–1989|
Ireland national rugby league team (1998–2006)
Tolka Park (Irish : Páirc na Tulchann) is an Irish football ground located in the north Dublin suburb of Drumcondra, on the northern banks of the River Tolka. It is currently the home ground of League of Ireland club Shelbourne. The stadium formerly held 9,680 people, but this has been scaled down in recent times due to health and safety regulations in the venue, mainly concerning the 'New' and Ballybough stands. Tolka Park has hosted national cup finals along with international matches, Champions League qualifiers, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup ties and was a venue for the 1994 UEFA European Under-16 Championship and 2000 Rugby League World Cup.
Its future is currently uncertain due to the sale of the ground by Shelbourne to businessman Ossie Kilkenny in 2006,the purchase of the ground by Dublin City Council in 2015, with the proposal to redevelop Dalymount Park as a shared home for Shelbourne and Bohemian F.C., and with Shelbourne's proposal to reacquire ownership of the ground.
Over the years, seven different League of Ireland clubs have used Tolka Park for home league matches on a regular basis. They are Drumcondra, Shelbourne, Dolphin, Home Farm, Dublin City, Shamrock Rovers and St James Gate F.C.
Tolka Park was originally home to Drumcondra, who in the 1950s, and 1960s were one of the most popular teams in Dublin [ citation needed ]. In 1929, over 30 people were injured at the ground when a hoarding collapsed at a Drumcondra vs Shelbourne cup-tie. The ground hosted its first floodlit game on 30 March 1953. However "Drums" merged with local team Home Farm in 1972, and after the demise of Drumcondra, Home Farm moved into the ground. However, Home Farm never drew large crowds and Tolka fell into disrepair (though it did host the replay of the 1984 FAI Cup final).
In 1989, Shelbourne, who had played home games regularly in Tolka during the fifties, sixties, seventies, and early eighties, acquired Home Farm's long term lease from Dublin Corporation on the ground. Home Farm moved to their own ground in nearby Whitehall Stadium. Shelbourne invested heavily in the stadium, converting it into Ireland's first all-seater stadium and building a new stand behind the Drumcondra end goal in 1999.
The first-ever League of Ireland match to be broadcast live on TV was a fixture between Shelbourne and Derry City, staged at Tolka Park during the 1996/97 season.
However, Shelbourne FC ran into several severe problems that have put the future of Tolka Park in doubt. One problem was a flood in 2000 that caused extensive damage to the pitch and greatly increased the club's insurance costs. But a far more serious long-term problem was caused by the club's getting into severe debt through overspending on playing staff. In 2006, Ollie Byrne, Shelbourne Chief Executive sold the ground to property developer Ossie Kilkenny to help repay the club's debts.Shelbourne are still playing at the venue but its future is uncertain. Legal action between the parties who bought the ground delayed its demolition and development, as has a slowdown in the Irish property market. By 2011, the club were reporting that the ground was in need of maintenance.
In 1987, the then owners of Shamrock Rovers, the Kilcoyne family, attempted to move the club to Tolka Park. Rovers played there for a season, but the games were boycotted by some of their fans, who were trying to save Glenmalure Park from demolition.
Rovers returned to the ground in 1996 which they rented for a time from Shelbourne on and off (1996–1999, 2001–2002, 2004–2005 and 2006–2008) while Tallaght Stadium was being developed. They eventually moved into the Tallaght Stadium in 2009. Rovers' home tie against Sligo Rovers during the 2009 season was moved to Tolka Park amid safety concerns due to construction on-site at Tallaght before the club friendly against Real Madrid.
Tolka Park has staged two full internationals for the Republic of Ireland men in 1981 and 1993. Both matches were friendlies against Wales.
|Ireland International Football Matches|
|24 February 1981||Republic of Ireland||1–3||Wales||Friendly||15,000|
|17 February 1993||Republic of Ireland||2–1||Wales||Friendly||9,500|
Anne O'Brien scored a hat-trick at Tolka Park in 1971, as her Vards team beat St John Bosco 3–2 in the final of the Drumcondra Cup.Tolka Park hosted the 2010 FAI Women's Cup final, in which Áine O'Gorman scored a hat-trick to help Peamount United beat Salthill Devon 4–2. The Republic of Ireland women have sporadically played games at Tolka Park including a 0–0 friendly draw against France in September 1978 and a 1–0 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification (UEFA) defeat by Poland in November 1997.
In March 2019 Shelbourne's women's team announced that they would play their home fixtures at Tolka Park, instead of the smaller AUL Complex.In October 2021 the TG4 Irish language television network broadcast the first ever Women's National League match. Alex Kavanagh scored the goal in Shelbourne's 1–0 win over DLR Waves at Tolka Park.
The Irish Rugby League Team have also played home games at the ground and hosted two games of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.
|International Rugby League Matches|
|4 November 1998||Ireland||22–24||France||European Tri Nations Championship||1,511|
|31 October 1999||Ireland||31–10||Scotland||Triangular Series||385|
|1 November 2000||Ireland||18–6||Scotland||2000 Rugby League World Cup||1,782|
|4 November 2000||Ireland||30–16||Maori||2000 Rugby League World Cup||3,164|
|5 November 2006||Ireland||18–18||Lebanon||2008 RLWC qualifying||450|
From 1999 to 2002 it hosted the FAI Cup final until the fixture was shifted to Lansdowne Road. The stadium hosted the first Setanta Cup Final when Linfield defeated Shelbourne. Tolka hosted two games in the 2011 UEFA Regions' Cup.
In August 1938, September 1939 and April 1947 it held boxing championship bouts.
The Richmond Road Stand or Main Stand runs the length of the north side of the pitch. The Technical area is located at the stand as well as the Box office, Stadium Bar and First aid area. The stand is named after Richmond Road which is directly behind the stand.
The Riverside Stand runs the length of the south side of the pitch. Today it is mainly used for Broadcasting and seating home fans. It is named after the River Tolka which is nearby.
The Drumcondra Stand or New Stand is located behind the goal at the west end of the ground and it is the most recent stand opened in 2000. The stand is named after the town of Drumcondra which is located behind the stand. The Ultras within the club's support base formerly congregated in the Drumcondra Stand, but it has been closed since 2019 as it was found to be unsafe. The Drumcondra stand also houses the dressing rooms. The club shop is located beside the stand.
The Ballybough End is located behind the goal at the east end of the ground. It is named after the neighbourhood of Ballybough which is located behind the stand. The Ballybough stand has become neglected over the years due to the decreased attendance of Shelbourne and was deemed unsafe and closed by the Dublin Fire Brigade Health and Safety Unit in 2010. The stand was reopened in time for the 2022 season to house away fans. The broken seats that formerly occupied the stand were removed and replaced with standing barriers, transforming the lower half of the stand into a terrace with a capacity of 800. This may be increased in the future pending other infrastructural improvements.In July 2023, the away allocation for visiting clubs in the Ballybough End increased by 250.
Since the sale of Tolka Park in 2006, Shelbourne have been trying to relocate to a new ground. Plans for a new stadium in Finglas and Swords came to nothing, as has an FAI-backed proposed ground-share with North Dublin neighbours Bohemians. Plans were underway in March and April 2015 for the Council to take back ownership of the land, and for Shelbourne to groundshare Bohemians in (newly Council-owned) Dalymount Park.On 4 October 2016 Shelbourne announced that they would leave Tolka Park for a newly refurbished Dalymount Park. In April 2021, the Dalymount redevelopment was expected to conclude by 2025.
A local campaign called 'Save Tolka Park' was set up with the aim to secure the future of the stadium and prevent the stadium from being demolished.In February 2022, the city council agreed to examine the feasibility of the sale of the stadium back to Shelbourne.
Tolka Park is served by Irish Rail commuter services that stop at Drumcondra, on routes to and from Dublin Connolly serving M3 Parkway, Maynooth, and Hazelhatch/Celbridge.
Bohemian Football Club, more commonly referred to as Bohemians or Bohs, is a professional football club from Dublin, Ireland. Bohemians compete in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland, and are the oldest League of Ireland club in continuous existence. Bohs are the fourth most successful club in League of Ireland football history, having won the League of Ireland title 11 times, the FAI Cup 7 times, the League of Ireland Shield 6 times and the League of Ireland Cup 3 times. Prior to the establishment of the Football Association of Ireland and League of Ireland, Bohemians competed in the Irish Football League and Irish Cup, which were at the time all-Ireland competitions. During that period they won the Irish Cup once and finished runners up 5 times. They hold the record for Leinster Senior Cup wins with 32 cups claimed.
Shelbourne Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin, who play in the League of Ireland Premier Division.
Shamrock Rovers Football Club is an Irish professional football club based in Tallaght, South Dublin. The club's senior team competes in the League of Ireland Premier Division and it is the most successful club in the Republic of Ireland. The club has won the League of Ireland title a record 20 times and the FAI Cup a record 25 times. Shamrock Rovers have supplied more players to the Republic of Ireland national football team (64) than any other club. In All-Ireland competitions, such as the Intercity Cup, they hold the record for winning the most titles, having won seven cups overall.
The Football Association of Ireland Senior Challenge Cup, known as the Sports Direct FAI Cup for sponsorship reasons, is a knock-out association football competition contested annually by teams from the Republic of Ireland. Organised by the FAI, the competition is currently sponsored by Sports Direct. It was known as the Free State Cup from 1923 to 1936. Shamrock Rovers hold the record of most wins with 25.
Dalymount Park is a football stadium in Phibsborough on the Northside of Dublin, Ireland.
Tallaght Stadium is an association football stadium in the Republic of Ireland based in Tallaght, South Dublin. The club Shamrock Rovers originally announced details of the stadium in July, 1996. The stadium is now owned and operated by South Dublin County Council with Shamrock Rovers as the anchor tenants.
Owen Heary is an Irish professional football player and manager. He is formerly the manager of Shelbourne in the League of Ireland First Division, the club with which he spent most of his playing career.
Drumcondra Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin.
Tony Sheridan is an Irish retired footballer.
Dermot Keely is an Irish former manager and player. He was a schoolteacher by profession.
Shamrock Rovers Football Club is a football club from Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Founded in Ringsend, a southside, inner suburb of Dublin, the club's date of foundation is uncertain and disputed. Between 1926 and 1987 the club played at Glenmalure Park, Milltown. Shamrock Rovers F.C. is Ireland's most successful football club having won the League of Ireland a record 18 times, including four times in a row in the 1980s, along with the FAI Cup a record 24 times, including six times in a row in the 1960s. It was also the first Irish club to participate in a European competition, playing in the European Cup in 1957. Shamrock Rovers was also one of the European club teams that spent the 1967 season in the United States to found the United Soccer Association, representing Boston as the Boston Rovers.
Tony O'Dowd, is a retired goalkeeper.
Dolphin Football Club was an Irish association football club, originally based in the Dublin suburb of Dolphin's Barn. They played in the League of Ireland between 1930–31 and 1936–37. In 1934–35 they were League of Ireland champions. After St James's Gate, Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, Shelbourne and Dundalk, Dolphin became the sixth club to win the League of Ireland title. In 1931–32 and 1932–33 Dolphin played in two successive FAI Cup finals, losing both games to Shamrock Rovers. Between 1930 and 1931 and 1932–33 Dolphin also played in three successive Leinster Senior Cup finals, winning the cup in 1931–32.
The FAI Cup 1961–62 was the 41st edition of Ireland's premier cup competition, The Football Association of Ireland Challenge Cup or FAI Cup. The tournament began on 18 February 1962 and concluded on 28 April with the final held at Dalymount Park, Dublin. An official attendance of 32,000 people watched Shamrock Rovers win their 14th FAI Cup title by defeating local rivals and League Champions Shelbourne 4-1.
Bohemians–Shamrock Rovers is an Irish football rivalry involving two of the most successful clubs in the League of Ireland. It is also a local derby, one of many involving Dublin clubs. The fixture is over a century in existence and has developed into an intense one, traditionally attracting large attendances. The tie has been played out at numerous venues across the city, with Dalymount Park being the stadium most synonymous with the fixture, having hosted more games than any other.
There are many derbies in the League of Ireland, and despite the fact that historically more teams compete in the First Division, the majority are played in the Premier Division, the top flight of Irish football.
The 2010 FAI Senior Challenge Cup, also known as the 2010 FAI Ford Cup, is the 90th season of the national football competition of the Republic of Ireland.
Dundalk entered the 1932–33 season on the back of a fourth-place finish in the League and a fifth-place finish in the Shield the previous season. 1932–33 was manager Steve Wright's third season at the club, and was Dundalk's 7th consecutive season in the top tier of Irish football. Home matches were played at the Dundalk Athletic Grounds.