Strolling 'Off the Beaten Track' I came across this square in a residential area, just Off Ormond Quay Upper, while I was looking for 'Dublin's Last Supper' .
It was quite a surprise to come across this 'village in the City', where Children were playing football and generally 'hanging around' I guess they weren't too used to tourists wandering into their neighbourhood, from the reaction I got!
On a low wall was a plaque - stating that "John Giles Irish International Footballer was born and raised in Ormond Square Heroes Come From Here"
Well it didn't state what year John was born - I now know that it was here, at Number 7, on 6th November 1940, that Michael John "Johnny" Giles born. He was to become one of Irelands best known soccer players, with a talent that took him away from his birthplace to an International Career, gaining 59 Republic of Ireland caps.
I remember Johnny Giles playing for English clubs in the seventies. Respected by managers, players and fans alike, he went on to become a Football Manager, and is now a pundit/commentator on RTE and a sports writer for the local press.
The green plaque was unveiled in July 2006, and sits opposite the house where he was born. Apparently it cost €1,500 paid for by Dublin Council, who intended it to inspire the children of the area to take pride in their neighbourhood and themselves.
Address: Ormond Square, Smithfield, Dublin
Directions: From O'Connell Bridge with O'Connell Street behind you, turn Right, along the river to Gratton Bridge. Ormond Square is in the area behind here and before the Four Courts
Below you will find a list of sites with information regarding soccer clubs in Dublin.
St Patricks Athletic FC
University City Dublin
Dublin City FC
Come down and see what I would describe as one of the best clubs in Ireland's answer to the Premiership, the Eircom League, as of 12/06/07 Saint Patricks, or Pats as they are known are top of the league. It's great for a family day out and then a couple of pints in Mc Dowells pub afterwards!
Directions: Bus No. 79 or 51b or take the Luas to Blackhorse and its a 10/15 minute walk
Website: http://www.stpatsfc.comRelated to:
We can only wonder what heights Ireland might have reached in world soccer if petty politics hadn't split the island into two football teams around the same time as the island itself was divided into two disfunctional halves. A glimpse however was revealed in the early 1970s at Dalymount Park when an All-Ireland selection (even without the great Georgie Best) were narrowly defeated 4-3 by a Brazil team that featured most of the 1970 World Cup winning squad - easily the greatest international football side of the modern era. Since then both Northern Ireland and the Republic have qualified themselves for the World Cup Finals and neither have disgraced themselves by a long shot; which of course merely makes the question more tantalising still ...
Soccer internationals these days are played at Lansdowne Road - though tickets are hard to get, the unique atmosphere of that stadium is a treasure to savour while it still lasts (plans are afoot to build a new stadium elsewhere).