American Football, International American Football, Irish American Football Teams

Ireland National American Football Team 1986-Present

Iris Wolfhounds Logo [23]

Irish National American Football Team 1995-Present

Home Ground: Kilmacud, Co. Dublin (1986), Phoenix Park, Dublin 2 (1990), Ravenhill, Belfast & St. Mary’s RFC, Dublin (1995), Belfast (1997), Santry, Dublin (1998-1999), Ringsend, Dublin 4 (2000), Greystones, Co. Wicklow (2004-2005), Pairc Tailteann, Navan, Co. Meath (2017-Present)

Colours: Green & White

Career Record: (W-L-T Pct) 8-20-0 .286

History: Irish National American Football Team, started in 1995 as the Irish Leprechauns and playing friendlies and in the Nations Cup with England, Scotland and Wales. A match versus Mount St. Joseph’s High School from Baltimore in Maryland in 2000 led to the resurrection of the Irish American Football League which had disbanded in disarray earlier that year. The Team Ireland Programme played a further four games in 2004-2006 against English and American College Opposition before being put on hiatus. It was started again in 2016 with a Full International against the Dutch Lions. The Irish Wolfhounds, as the team has been Christened, has won its last two Full Internationals by a point both times against the Belgian Barbarians.

Name Changes: Irish Squad 1990 / Fighting Irish 1995-1996 / Irish Leprechauns 1996-1999 / Irish Lions 2001 / Team Ireland 2004-2006 / Irish Wolfhounds 2016-Present.

Reference:

Era-by-Era Record

Team NameYearsPWLTPFPAPct
IAFL All-Stars *1986613044126.250
Fighting Irish1995-19967340148176.429
Irish Leprechauns1996-19998260105216.250
Team Ireland2000-2006716035252.000
Irish Wolfhounds2016-Present42203399.500
Ireland National American Football Team Era-by-Era Record 1986-Present Ref: Compiled from Results in 1-22]

Note: * Three results unknown: Northern Hordes (IAFL North All-Stars) v Dublin Celts 1988; IAFL All-Stars v USAF Lakenheath Eagles, and Dublin All-Stars (IAFL South) v Great Britain Bulldogs 1995. Team Ireland results include both a Win and Loss for the IAFL North All-Stars (Northern Ireland) v IAFL South All-Stars (Republic of Ireland) in 2003.

IAFL All-Stars / Irish Squad Results

DateVenueCompetitionVersusW/LScore
1986Kilmacud (Irl)ExhibitionMarlboro Shamrocks (MA)L0-36
03.07.1988DublinSummer BowlDublin Celts  +
18.11.1990Phoenix Park (Irl)FriendlyDublin TornadoesW31-15
1991Northants (Eng)FriendlyNorthants Storm (Eng)L6-48
1991Malone RFC (Irl)ExhibitionUSAF Lakenheath Eagles (Eng)
98.1994(Fra)FriendlyTeam CanadaL7-24 *
08.1995Wicklow RFC (Irl)FriendlyGreat Britain Bulldogs^
IAFL All-Stars Results 1986 [Ref: 1-5]

Note: * Combined Ireland / Le Mans Caimans team. + Northern Hordes (IAFL North All-Stars) v Dublin Celts. ^ Dublin All-Stars (IAFL South) v Great Britain Bulldogs.

Fighting Irish Results

DateVenueCompetitionVersusW/LScore
17.03.1995 Leicester (Eng)FriendlyGreat Britain LionsL0-22
1995Ravenhill (Irl)FriendlyTeam USAL12-47
19.07.1995 Ottawa (Can)FriendlyOttawa Gee-Gees Alumni (Can)L22-34
03.08.1995 Ottawa (Can)FriendlyOttawa Gee-Gees Alumni (Can)W27-24
03.09.1995 Hanau (Ger)FriendlyHanau Hawks (Ger)L6-19
26.11.1995 St. Mary’s (Irl)FriendlyGreat Britain NW All-StarsW45-0
1996 FriendlyNorthants Storm (Eng)W36-30
Ireland Fighting Irish Results 1995-1996 [Ref: 7-8]

Irish Leprechauns Results

DateVenueCompetitionVersusW/LScore
1996 Birmingham (Eng)Nations CupScottish BraveheartsL6-20
1996Nottingham (Eng)Nations CupWelsh DragonsW44-21
1996 Brmingham (Eng)Nations CupScottish BraveheartsL3-14
1997 Belfast (Irl)Nations CupScottish BraveheartsL6-31
1997 (Wal)Nations CupWelsh DragonsW40-20
1998 Santry (Irl)Nations CupWelsh DragonsL6-34
1999 Santry (Irl)Nations CupEnglandL0-46
1999 Glasgow (Sco)Nations CupScottish BraveheartsL0-30
Irish Leprechauns Results 1996-1999 Reference: [11-17]

Team Ireland Results

DateVenueCompetitionVersusW/LScore
2000Ringsend (Irl)FriendlyMount. St. Joseph’s HS (MD)L12-36
2003Carrickfergus (Irl)All-Star GameIAFL SouthW7-0 *
2003Carrickfergus (Irl)All-Star GameIAFL NorthL0-7 *
05.2004Greystones (Irl)Celtic Classic IJohn Carroll Blue Streaks (OH)L2-52
04.09.2004Derby (Eng)FriendlyGreat Britain BulldogsL6-69
06.05.2005Greystones (Irl)Celtic Classic IIAdrian College Bulldogs (MICH)L0-53
15.08.2006 Coventry (Eng)Celtic Classic IIICoventry Jets (Eng)L8-35
Team Ireland Results 2004-2006 References: [18-22]

Note: * All-Star Game: IAFL North All-Stars (Northern Ireland) 7 IAFL South All-Stars (Republic of Ireland) 0.

Irish Wolfhounds Results

DateVenueCompetitionVersusW/LScore
27.08.2016 Waalwijk (Ned)Full InternationalDutch LionsL0-20
08.04.2017 FriendlyTeam USA AFWL6-54
20.10.2018 Navan (Irl)Full InternationalBelgian BarbariansW20-19
11.09.2019 Ostend (Bel)Full InternationalBelgian BarbariansW7-6
Irish Wolfhounds Results 2016-2019 References: [23-27]

Report

The first Ireland National American Football Team was the IAFL All-Stars, a team made up of the top players in the Irish American Football League in the mid-to-late 1980s. In 1990s the first Irish Squad, of Irish-born players, and players with Irish Passports (Grandparents Rule), played a match against Dublin Tornadoes, winning 31-15. In 1991 the team lost 6-48 to the Northants Storm, one of the top UK sides. Then in 1994 a combined Ireland / Le Mans Caimans team lost to Team Canada 7-27 in France.

In 1995 the Fighting Irish team was assembled from Tryouts in Dublin, Belfast and Northamptonshire (England), and played its first full international against the Great Britain Lions, losing 22-0. Over the following year the team went 3-4, with wins over the Ottawa Gee-Gees Alumni (a team of former Canadian College players), The North West GB All-Stars and the Northants Storm, one of the United Kingdom’s best teams. The Fighting Irish also lost to the Gee-Gees, Team USA, and the Hanau Hawks, Germany’s National Champion, one of over 80 teams in Germany.

From 1996 to 1999 the Irish Leprechauns competed in the Nations Cup against the Scottish Bravehearts, Welsh Dragons and England, winning two matches against the Welsh Dragons.

In 2000, the only match played in Ireland was one between the Ireland team and a High School from Baltimore, Maryland (Mount St. Joesph’s High School). The match led to the resurrection of the Irish American Football League.

From 2004 to 2006 team Ireland played in the Celtic Classic against two United States College teams from the NCAA Division III level, as well as a match against the Coventry Jets, one of the top teams in Europe, and UK Champions. The team also played a friendly against the Great Britain Bulldogs. while Team Ireland lost all matches they showed great promise.

That promise was to unfold a decade later, when the Ireland National Team was restarted, with the Irish Wolfhounds, as they were named, going down to the Dutch Lions and Team USA American Football World (an elite High School National Team) and beating the Belgian Barbarians by a point, not once, but twice.

There has also been a couple of IAFL North and South All-Stars matches. In 1988 the Northern Hordes, made up of IAFL teams in Northern Ireland played the Dublin Celts in the Summer Bowl, and in 1995 in Co. Wicklow, a Dublin / IAFL South All-Stars team played the Great Britain Bulldogs, a British University National team. In 2003 the IAFL North and IAFL South All-Stars played each other in a game the North won 7-0.

Links to Season-By-Season Rosters & Match Reports

Great Britain Lions 22 Ireland Fighting Irish 0 – 17 March 1995

Ireland Fighting Irish 45 Northwest GB All-Stars 0 – 26 November 1995

Ireland 6 Great Britain Bulldogs 69 | 4 September 2004

Ireland 8 Coventry Jets 35 | 15 October 2006

Dutch Lions 20 Irish Wolfhounds 0 | 27 August 2016

Irish Wolfhounds 20 Belgian Barbarians 19 | 20 October 2018

Belgian Barbarians 6 Irish Wolfhounds 7 Oct 2019

References

Newspapers

[1] Irish Press (1987) It’s not so good for the ‘Giants’ Irish Press. Thursday, November 05, 1987. pg. 11[Internet]

[2] Anon. (1990) U.S. Football Irish Independent. Monday, November 19, 1990. pg. 20

[3] Anon. (1996) “NORTHANTS MOVEN ON UP” First Down. April 6, 1996.

[6] Lord, Miriam (1988) “Incredible hulks – just like a herd of buffalo” Irish Independent, Monday, July 4, 1988. pg. 3

Facebook

[4] Dublin Celts American Football Team | Facebook (2019) Post: September 8, 2019 [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10219514775570943&set=pcb.975213116205143&type=3&theater&ifg=1 [Accessed 5 October 2019]

Websites

[7] Britball Now (2009) British and Irish Friendly results against foreign opposition [Internet] Available from: http://www.britballnow.co.uk/History/UKClubsForeignOppo.html [Accessed 16 November 2017]

[8] British Collegiate American Football League (2001) GB Bulldogs History [Internet] Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20010710011259/http://bcafl.org/cgi-bcafl/showdoc.pl?section=/bulldogs&article=1 [Accessed 27 March 2018]

[9] Naughton, Lindie (1995) “American Football” Evening Herald. Thursday, July 13, 1995. pg. 73 [Pg. 79 Irish Newspaper Archive]

[10]O’Doherty, Caroline (1995) “Feast of entertainment at American Football Blitz” Wicklow People. Thursday, August 10, 1995. pg. 5.

Sources

[11] Anon. (1996) “KICKING KEV KEEPS IRISH EYES SMILING” First Down. March 15, 1996. Pg. 20

[12] Anon. (1997) “IRELAND HARPOON WALES” First Down. April 5, 1997. Pg. 21.

[13] Anon. (1997) “EMERALD SMILES? – Ireland have a tough task in gaining Nations Cup revenge over Scotland” First Down. Saturday, September 6, 1997. Pg. 23

[14] Anon. (1997) “SCOTLAND 31 IRELAND 0” First Down. Saturday, September 20, 1997. Pg. 21

[15] Anon. (1998) “WALES 34 IRELAND 6” First Down. October 8-14, 1998. Pg. 24

[16] Anon. (1999) “HART’s SOUL FIRES ENGLAND TRIUMPH: IRELAND 0 ENGLAND 46” First Down. October 14-20, 1999. Pg. 27

[17] Anon. (1999) “Scots clinch hom nations hat-trick: FOUR NATIONS CUP SCOTLAND 30 IRELAND 0” First Down. October 21-27, 1999. Pg.

[18] Anon (2000) Plucky Irish Denied by Americans First Down. June 12, 2000. pg. 17.

Websites

[19] Irish American Football Association (2004) IRELAND 6 GREAT BRITAIN BULLDOGS 69 [Internet] Available from: http://www.americanfootbal.ie/iafl/irlgb04.htm [Accessed 25 October 2017]

[20] Irish American Football Association (2004) John Carroll win Celtic Classic 2 [Internet] Available from: http://www.americanfootball.ie/john-carroll-win-celtic-classic-2/ [Accessed 8 December 2016]

[21] Wayback Machine – Irish American Football Association (2006) IRISH NATIONAL TEAM & IAFL ALLSTARS RESULTS [Internet] Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20060622144820/http://www.americanfootball.ie/teamirelandresults.htm [Accessed 6 July 2017]

Internet Archive

[22] Dublin Dragons (2006) Team Ireland 8 Coventry Cassidy Jets 35 [Internet] Available from: https://web.archive.org/web/20071117035949/http://www.dublindragons.com/e107/news.php?extend.20 [Accessed 31 October 2017]

Social Media

[23] IAFA Ireland Facebook Page (2017) Post April 3 2017 [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/iafaireland/posts/1474457059254856:0 [Accessed 25 August 2017]

[24] IAFA Ireland Facebook Page (2017) Post April 8 2017 [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/iafaireland/posts/1479857652048130 [Accessed 25 August 2017]

Websites

[25] Irish American Football Association (2016) Team Ireland play historic fixture away to the Netherlands [Internet] Available from: http://www.americanfootball.ie/team-ireland-historic-fixture-away-netherlands/ [Accessed 2 September 2016]

[26] Irish American Football Association (2019) Irish Wolfhounds beat Belgium Barbarians 7-6 [Internet] Available from: https://www.americanfootball.ie/irish-wolfhounds-beat-belgium-barbarians-7-6/ [Accessed 13 September 2019]

Social Media

[27] Irish American Football Association Facebook Page (2016) Post: October 20, 2018 – “IRELAND WIN!! 20-19,” [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/iafaireland/posts/2145681338799088 [Accessed 22 October 2016]

Images

[23] Irish American Football Association (2019) Irish Wolfhounds Logo [Internet] Available from: https://www.americanfootball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Irish-Wolfhounds-IAFA_2.png [Accessed 13 September 2019]

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Sean Douglas, Irish Wolfhounds & Dublin Rebels

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 17 May 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved.

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