Irish Professional Championship

The Irish Professional Championship was an invitational professional snooker tournament for mostly Irish and Northern Irish snooker players.

Irish Professional Championship
Tournament information
FormatNon-ranking event
Final year2007
Final championRepublic of Ireland Ken Doherty

History edit

The Irish Professional Championship was first staged in 1947 in Northern Ireland, and Jackie Rea became the inaugural champion. After that the event was held on a challenge basis, with the champion choosing his challenger. Rea won the championship every year but one until 1972, when he was beaten 28–12 by Alex Higgins. Higgins could defend the title four times in a row, before losing the title to Dennis Taylor. Taylor defended the title in the following two years. During this time the tournament was only sponsored in 1978 by Benson & Hedges and in 1979 by Smithwicks Brewery.[1]

In 1982 the tournament was converted to a knock-out tournament. Eight players took part, and was sponsored by Smithwicks Brewery. Higgins and Taylor won nine titles between them, and their run of success in the championship was interrupted only by Jack McLaughlin, in 1988. After the 1983 event Smithwicks ended their sponsorship, and Strongbow took over for 1985 and 1986 and Matchroom for 1987. After the 1989 event the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association withdrew their backing to national championships in form of £1,000 per player, and the event was discontinued.[1]

In 1992 the event was revived with sponsorship by Murphy's, and for the first time, the event was held in Republic of Ireland. 34 players competed at the event. When Joe Swail and Jason Prince contested the 1992 final, it was the first time in over 20 years it featured neither Higgins or Taylor. It was held again in 1993, but was abandoned again. The event was held again between 2005 and 2007.[1]

Winners edit


Year Winner Runner-up Final score Venue Season
Challenge matches
1947–1952   Jackie Rea various challenges n/a
1952   Jack Bates   Jackie Rea
1952–1971   Jackie Rea various challenges
1972   Alex Higgins   Jackie Rea 28–12   Belfast 1971/72
1978   Alex Higgins   Dennis Taylor 21–7   Belfast 1977/78
1978   Alex Higgins   Patsy Fagan 21–13   Belfast
1979   Alex Higgins   Patsy Fagan 21–12   Belfast 1978/79
1980   Dennis Taylor   Alex Higgins 21–15   Belfast 1979/80
1981   Dennis Taylor   Patsy Fagan 22–21   Coleraine 1980/81
Knockout tournaments
1982   Dennis Taylor   Alex Higgins 16–13   Coleraine 1981/82
1983   Alex Higgins   Dennis Taylor 16–11   Belfast 1982/83
1985   Dennis Taylor   Alex Higgins 10–5   Belfast 1984/85
1986   Dennis Taylor   Alex Higgins 10–7   Belfast 1985/86
1987   Dennis Taylor   Joe O'Boye 9–2   Antrim 1986/87
1988   Jack McLaughlin   Dennis Taylor 9–4   Antrim 1987/88
1989   Alex Higgins   Jack McLaughlin 9–7   Antrim 1988/89
1992   Joe Swail   Jason Prince 9–1   Cork 1991/92
1993   Ken Doherty   Stephen Murphy 9–2   Cork 1992/93
2005[2]   Joe Swail   Ken Doherty 9–7   Templeogue 2005/06
2006[3]   Ken Doherty   Michael Judge 9–4   Templeogue 2006/07
2007[4]   Ken Doherty   Fergal O'Brien 9–2   Dublin 2007/08

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Turner, Chris. "Irish Professional Championship". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  2. ^ "2005 Irish Professional Championship". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  3. ^ "2006 Irish Professional Championship". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 23 October 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  4. ^ "2007 VC Poker Irish Professional Championship". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2013.