2012 League of Ireland

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League of Ireland
Season 2012

The 2012 League of Ireland was the 92nd season of the League of Ireland, the highest football league of the Republic of Ireland. At the FAI Club Convention held on 24 November 2011, it was agreed that the 2012 Premier Division would consist of 12 teams, meeting three times each over a season starting on 2 March 2012.[1] There was a mid-season break coinciding with the national team's UEFA Euro 2012 finals campaign. The season continued until the weekend of 28 October 2012.[2] The Premier Division title was won by Sligo Rovers, their first title in 35 years.[3][4][5][6][7]

Changes from last season[edit]


Galway United[edit]

In December 2011, it was announced that Galway United would not be applying for a licence for the 2012 season following the announcement that GUST, who had kept the club afloat during the 2011 league season in the absence of the directors, would be applying for league membership as Galway United Supporters Trust FC.[8]

The directors of Galway United claimed that they hoped to return to the League of Ireland for the start of the 2013 season. The statement was criticised by GUST as an attempt to distract attention from their abandonment of the club.[9] GUST were subsequently refused the opportunity to have their application to the League of Ireland assessed by the FAI. The FAI instead insisted upon merger negotiations between GUST and one of Mervue United and Salthill Devon. GUST members voted unanimously against the proposals of both clubs and to remain as an independent entity.[10]

Following the refusal of the FAI to accept GUST's late application and there being no club genuinely representative club for Galway city and county competing in the league for 2012, Salthill Devon FC re-branded their Airtricity League team to "SD Galway", changing their colours, adopting the maroon and white worn by Galway United and switching their matches from their home at Drom to Eamonn Deacy Park, the home of Galway United since 1976.[11]

Monaghan United[edit]

On 18 June 2012, Monaghan United announced their withdrawal from the league.[12] Their record was subsequently expunged.[13]

Changes to First Division[edit]

With the abolition of the A Championship at the end of the 2011 season, teams that played in that competition have been invited to apply to play in the 2012 League of Ireland First Division. It was expected that Cobh Ramblers,[14] FC Carlow,[15] and Tralee Dynamos[16] would apply, as well as a Galway United Supporters Trust FC.[9] On 26 January 2012, it was announced that applications were indeed received from Cobh Ramblers and Tralee Dynamos, but would only be considered if a vacancy arises in an eight-team First Division.[17]

Premier Division[edit]


Premier Division
Champions Sligo Rovers
Champions League Sligo Rovers
Europa League Derry City
Drogheda United
St. Patrick's Athletic
Matches played 165
Goals scored 437 (2.65 per match)
Top goalscorer Gary Twigg (22 goals)
Biggest home win Shamrock Rovers 7–0 Dundalk
Biggest away win Bray Wanderers 0–4 Derry City
Highest scoring Bray Wanderers 2–4 Drogheda United
St. Patrick's Athletic 5–1 Shamrock Rovers
Shamrock Rovers 6–0 Dundalk
Bray Wanderers 3–3 St. Patrick's Athletic
Cork City 4–2 UCD (6 goals)
Highest attendance 5,621
Sligo Rovers 3–2 St. Patrick's Athletic
Lowest attendance 151
Monaghan United 0–1 Bray Wanderers
Total attendance 107,714 (of 64 matches)
Average attendance 1,683

With the expansion of the Premier Division from ten to twelve teams, Cork City and Shelbourne were automatically promoted from the First Division. In addition, Monaghan United, who finished third in the First Division, beat Premier Division bottom club Galway United in a play-off to take their place in the Premier Division.

Stadia and locations[edit]

Locations of Premier Division teams
Team Location Stadium Capacity
Bohemians Dublin Dalymount Park 7,955
Bray Wanderers Bray Carlisle Grounds 7,000
Cork City Cork Turners Cross 7,365
Derry City Derry Brandywell 7,700
Drogheda United Drogheda Hunky Dorys Park 2,000
Dundalk Dundalk Oriel Park 6,000
Monaghan United Monaghan Gortakeegan 2,000
Shamrock Rovers Dublin Tallaght Stadium 5,947
Shelbourne Dublin Tolka Park 9,600
Sligo Rovers Sligo The Showgrounds 5,500
St. Patrick's Athletic Dublin Richmond Park 5,340
UCD Dublin UCD Bowl 3,000

Personnel and kits[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Team Manager Captain Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
Bohemians Republic of Ireland Aaron Callaghan Republic of Ireland Owen Heary Macron DHL
Bray Wanderers Republic of Ireland Pat Devlin Republic of Ireland Danny O'Connor Adidas Sinnot Autos Volkswagen
Cork City Republic of Ireland Tommy Dunne England Dan Murray Umbro Clonakilty Blackpudding
Derry City Northern Ireland Declan Devine Republic of Ireland Kevin Deery Hummel Diamond Corrugated
Drogheda United Republic of Ireland Mick Cooke Republic of Ireland Paul Crowley Vandanel Scotch Hall Shopping Centre
Dundalk Republic of Ireland Darius Kierans Republic of Ireland Chris Shields Umbro Fyffes
Monaghan United Republic of Ireland Roddy Collins Republic of Ireland Alan Byrne Nike None
Shamrock Rovers England Brian Laws[18] Republic of Ireland Ken Oman Umbro SEAT
Shelbourne Republic of Ireland Alan Mathews Republic of Ireland David Cassidy Macron Cab 2000
Sligo Rovers England Ian Baraclough England Danny Ventre Jako Connolly's Volkswagen
St. Patrick's Athletic Republic of Ireland Liam Buckley Republic of Ireland Conor Kenna Umbro Nissan Motors
UCD Republic of Ireland Martin Russell Republic of Ireland Michael Leahy O'Neills O'Neills Soccer

Managerial changes[edit]

Team Outgoing manager Manner of departure Date of vacancy Position in table Incoming manager Date of appointment
Dundalk England Ian Foster Contract Ended 29 October 2011 Pre-season Republic of Ireland Sean McCaffrey 23 December 2011
Bohemians Republic of Ireland Pat Fenlon Signed by Hibernian 25 November 2011 Pre-season Republic of Ireland Aaron Callaghan 31 December 2011
St. Patrick's Athletic Republic of Ireland Pete Mahon Contract Ended 2 December 2011 Pre-season Republic of Ireland Liam Buckley 2 December 2011
Derry City Republic of Ireland Stephen Kenny Resigned 24 December 2011 Pre-season Northern Ireland Declan Devine 6 January 2012
Shamrock Rovers Northern Ireland Michael O'Neill Signed by Northern Ireland 24 December 2011 Pre-season Republic of Ireland Stephen Kenny 27 December 2011
Sligo Rovers England Paul Cook Signed by Accrington Stanley 13 February 2012 Pre-season England Baraclough, IanIan Baraclough 27 February 2012
Dundalk Republic of Ireland Sean McCaffrey[19] Mutual Consent 12 January 2012 10th Stephen Kenny N/A
Shamrock Rovers Republic of Ireland Stephen Kenny Sacked[20] 11 September 2012 4th England Brian Laws 17 September 2012[21]
Bray Wanderers Republic of Ireland Keith Long Mutual Consent September 2012 9th Republic of Ireland Pat Devlin September 2012

League table[edit]

Team Pld
Qualification or relegation
1 Sligo Rovers (C) 30 17 10 3 53 23 +30 61 2013–14 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round
2 Drogheda United 30 17 6 7 51 36 +15 57 2013–14 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round
3 St Patrick's Athletic 30 15 10 5 44 22 +22 55
4 Shamrock Rovers 30 14 10 6 56 37 +19 52
5 Derry City 30 11 6 13 36 36 0 39 2013–14 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round 1
6 Cork City 30 8 12 10 38 36 +2 36
7 Bohemians 30 9 9 12 35 38 −3 36
8 Shelbourne 30 9 8 13 35 43 −8 35
9 UCD 30 8 7 15 32 48 −16 31
10 Bray Wanderers 30 5 10 15 33 54 −21 25
11 Dundalk (O) 30 4 8 18 23 63 −40 20 Promotion/Relegation play-off
12 Monaghan United 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 002 Club withdrew, record expunged

Updated to games played on 26 October 2012.
Source: League of Ireland
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1Derry City qualified for the second qualifying round of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League as they won 2012 FAI Cup competition.
2Monaghan United withdrew after 14 games. Their record was expunged.[13]
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.


Season statistics[edit]