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List of Republic of Ireland international footballers born outside the Republic of Ireland

This is a list of players who have played international football for the Republic of Ireland national football team who were born outside of the Republic of Ireland. All players have received at least one cap playing for the Republic of Ireland national football team as governed by the Football Association of Ireland. The first player to have qualified for the Irish team through his parent's nationality was Shay Brennan, making his debut against Spain in a World Cup qualifier in 1965.[1]

The majority of these players were born in England, mostly the North West and London due to the large Irish diaspora in those areas. Most famously, in the late 1980s and 1990s the Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton sought out players in England and used what became known as the "granny rule",[2][3] with the stronger pool of talent helping the team to qualify for several tournaments, which had never been achieved prior to Charlton's appointment. There were a few English-born internationals in the squads of that era who had been raised in Ireland and learned to play football at local clubs, not least Paul McGrath and David O'Leary as well as Curtis Fleming and Stephen McPhail.[4]




Northern IrelandEdit


United States of AmericaEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Shay Brennan". Soccer Ireland. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. ^ Paul, Rowan (1994). The Team That Jack Built. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company. ISBN 1 85158 670 9.
  3. ^ "Irish Football and the 'Granny Rule'". Soccer Ireland. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Stephen McPhail: 'What has happened to me has made me a lot stronger'". Irish Independent. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2018.