Best Football Clubs in Ireland – Part 3


For a club that started much later than the other greats, the Finn Harps football club happens to be a junior club that rose to the ranks of the premier league status. The club was formed in 1954 and was only created to support the junior players in society that hail from Ballybofey. As a junior club, they performed very well and even won the FAI Juniors title in the year 1968. They immediately caught the attention of the football fans and tried their hand at an Intermediate level the very next year. Though their attempt at getting to the stop through the Intermediate level was not a success, the team managers decided that they should move away from juniors/intermediates. They decided to apply for a membership with the greater association of Ireland. The very next year they were able to secure a spot in the Irish league of football, and they had a miserable loss. The club did not give up and kept fighting for the top for the next two years. Little did anyone expect that the junior club would rise to become one of the greatest and a force not to be reckoned with in the 70s.

Dominating The 70s

The 70s came as a decade of wins and widespread theme that the club was not to be taken lightly. They threatened the other greats with their amazing playoffs and won the Dublin City Cup in 1972. The players were great and were bringing down legends that were invincible in the past. Brendan Bradley was one of the highest goal scorers in the club. They again won the FAI cup two years later and over the next few years thanks to his dominant performance. The club rose in status and performance that they were qualified for the league competitions in Europe, four times throughout the 70s – a feat that not many clubs were able to reach during the time. They were so good that they not once finished in the bottom rungs of the ladder to their success in the 70s – a truly great success and dominance.

The Consecutive Decades

The first time the club declined was in the year 1981, and they were not at the top position as before. They were back to their First Division level, and management was changed in hopes of climbing to the top again several times. It took the club ten years to get out of their slump with only a few scattered wins and more changed in management and striving for the top. After 11 years of never being in the league, they finally broke their spell in 1995 and were offered to be bought but a massive business giant. However, the team rejected the idea and many members resigned. The existing members only strove to keep the name of the club and allow it to be run and managed by people who truly cared for the interest of the club and its members without letting monetary influences come in the way. For this reason, the club has managed to stay afloat through different wins and losses, because they genuinely believe that the essence of the club was in the members it supported.