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The Four Provinces Flag of Ireland contains the flags of Ireland's four traditional constituent provinces: (clockwise, from the top left) Munster, Connacht, Leinster, and Ulster

"All-Ireland" is an attributive term which emphasises the whole of the island of Ireland. It contrasts with terms such as Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, which apply only to specific jurisdictions on the island. "All-Ireland" is most frequently used to refer to sporting teams or events which apply to the whole island, but also has related meanings in politics and religion.

In sports[edit]

Many but far from all sports are organised on an all-Ireland basis.[1][not in citation given]

"All-Ireland" is often used as an abbreviation of All-Ireland Championship, held by sports organised on All-Ireland basis. In particular:

Many sports are organised on an all-Ireland basis, for example American football, basketball, boxing, cricket, curling, Gaelic games, hockey, golf, lawn bowls, rugby league and rugby union, in which case the international team is usually referred to simply as "Ireland". Others are organised primarily on an all-Ireland basis, but with both "Ireland" and "Great Britain" international teams, in which case players from Northern Ireland may opt for either – these include tennis, swimming, athletics and any events at the Olympics. Some others have separate Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland organisations and teams, including notably football and snooker.

Similarly, the term may be used in reference to annual competitions in certain traditional music and art forms:

In religion[edit]

It is also used in the title Primate of All Ireland, the senior clergyman in each of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland:

In politics[edit]

In Irish republicanism, expression "Counties of Ireland" is often used instead: 32 as distinct from the 26 traditional counties of the Republic and the remaining 6 of Northern Ireland. Those who subscribe to Irish republican legitimatism, that the Irish Republic continues to exist, refer to the All-Ireland Republic to distinguish from the 26 county Republic of Ireland.

Republican Sinn Féin hold an Eve of All Ireland Rally ahead of the senior All-Ireland Football Championship final on O'Connell Street, Dublin.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 1, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.