For Sligo Rovers, it was their 3rd final in row. Sligo Rovers won the last cup final in 2010, beating Shamrock Rovers on penalties 2-0,having lost the 2009 final 2-1 to the now defunct Sporting Fingal. The last time Shelbourne reached the final was in 2000, the game in which they beat Bohemians F.C. to win the cup. Rovers have a total of 3 titles and Shels have a total of 7 titles. 
Wicklow-based referee Richie Winter was named as the referee for the 2011 FAI Cup Final on 25 October 2011. Winter's previous assignments in the FAI Cup Final included a position as fourth official for the 2008 FAI Cup Final.
His assistants for the 2011 final were Mark Gavin from Kildare, Dermot Broughton from Limerick, with Graham Kelly of Cork as the fourth official.
Since both sides' first-choice kits are red, the toss off a coin was used to decide which team had choice of kit. Shelbourne won the toss and wore their home kit of red shirt and white shorts, while Sligo Rovers wore their away kit of white shirts and white shorts.