Leinster Senior League Senior Division

Football league
Leinster Senior League Senior Division
CountryRepublic of Ireland Ireland
RegionLeinster Leinster
Number of teams14
Level on pyramid4
Domestic cup(s)Leinster Senior Cup
FAI Intermediate Cup
FAI Junior Cup
League cup(s)Metropolitan Cup
Charlie Cahill Cup
Current championsCrumlin United
Most championshipsShelbourne (12 titles)

The Leinster Senior League Senior Division is the top division of the Leinster Senior League. It is organized by the Leinster Football Association. Together with the Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division and the Ulster Senior League Senior Division, it forms the third level of the Republic of Ireland football league system. Formed in 1896, it is the oldest association football league in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Shelbourne have won the most titles. However, in more recent seasons Crumlin United, Cherry Orchard, Wayside Celtic and Bangor Celtic have been the divisions strongest teams. In 2014–15 Bluebell United were Leinster Senior League champions, 27 years after winning their previous title.[1][2] Clubs from this division play in the Leinster Senior Cup, the FAI Cup, the FAI Intermediate Cup and the FAI Junior Cup. In recent seasons the winners of the Senior Division have also been invited to play in the League of Ireland Cup.

From 1896–97 until 1964–65, the league was the de facto second-level league in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Initially the Irish Football League was the top level. Then for one season, 1920–21, the Leinster Senior League was briefly the top-level league. However, this status was short-lived and ended with the establishment of the League of Ireland in 1921–22. The Leinster Senior League remained a second-level league until 1964–65, when it was effectively replaced by the League of Ireland B Division. With the establishment of the A Championship in 2008, it became a fourth-level league. However, since the demise of the A Championship in 2011, it has reverted to third-level status.

2022–23 teams


Team Home town/suburb Home ground
Bangor Celtic Crumlin, Dublin Iveagh Grounds
Bluebell United Bluebell/Red Cow Capco Park
Ballymun United Ballymun, Dublin Ballymun United Soccer Complex
Crumlin United Crumlin, Dublin Pearse Park
Glebe North Balbriggan Old Market Green
Home Farm Whitehall, Dublin Whitehall
Killester Donnycarney Killester Haddon Park
Kilnamanagh Kilnamanagh, Dublin Ned Kelly Park
Liffey Wanderers Ringsend, Dublin Ringsend Park
Lucan United Lucan, County Dublin O'Hanlon Park, Celbridge
Malahide United Malahide Gannon Park
Maynooth University Town Maynooth, County Kildare NUI Astro Maynooth
St. Mochtas F.C. Clonsilla/Blanchardstown Porterstown Road
Wayside Celtic Kilternan Jackson Park

Source: [3]

Promotion and relegation

A promotion and relegation system operates within the Leinster Senior League structure itself. However, there is no formal promotion and relegation relationship with the League of Ireland. Teams can only be "promoted" by sending an application to the FAI. In the past successful and prominent members of the Leinster Senior League have regularly been invited and/or elected to join the League of Ireland. Current League of Ireland clubs Bohemians, Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers, St Patrick's Athletic and Bray Wanderers are all former Leinster Senior League champions. While Bohemians and Shelbourne were founding members of the League of Ireland, Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic were all effectively "promoted" to the League of Ireland after winning the Leinster Senior League Senior Division title. Incidentally both Rovers and St Pats won successive Leinster Senior League and League of Ireland titles in 1921-22 and 1922-23 and 1950–51 and 1951–52 respectively.

Reserve Teams

Throughout its history the Leinster Senior League Senior Division has regularly featured the reserve teams of League of Ireland teams. The reserve teams of Shelbourne, Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick's Athletic, Brideville, Drumcondra and Dolphins have all been Senior Division champions in their own right. The reserve teams of Cabinteely and UCD currently play in the lower levels of the Leinster Senior League.



Within a few seasons of the Leinster Football Association been formed in 1892, the Leinster Senior League was established. Ciarán Priestley highlights a printed notice in the 4 September 1894 edition of The Irish Times. Under the headline "Leinster Football League" there is a report of "a general meeting of the league... held the other evening at 27 D'Olier Street". Priestley also lists Bohemians, Britannia, Dublin University, Leinster Nomads, Phoenix and Montpelier as participants in the first season. The Leinster Senior League website states it was established in 1896.[4] However other sources suggest the league started a little later and was first played for in 1897–98 and that an unidentified British Army regimental team where the inaugural winners while Shelbourne were runners up. See
Note 1

Bohemians and Shelbourne era

Up until the 1920s the league was dominated by Bohemians and Shelbourne. These two clubs still remain the league's two most successful teams based on titles they won in this era. Even when Bohemians and Shelbourne joined the Irish Football League in 1902 and 1904 respectively, their reserve teams continued to win titles regularly. Initially only St James's Gate and British Army regimental teams challenged the Bohemians/Shelbourne duopoly. During the First World War the Irish Football League was suspended and the senior teams of both Bohemians and Shelbourne rejoined the Leinster Senior League. Meanwhile, their northern counterparts competed in the Belfast & District League. The 1919–20 saw a return to an all-Ireland league. However further disruption caused by the Irish War of Independence meant this was short-lived and at the end of this season Bohemians and Shelbourne withdrew from the Irish Football League permanently. They subsequently rejoined the Leinster Senior League and for the 1920–21 season. The league now briefly became the top level league in what is now the Republic of Ireland.[7] 1920–21 also saw Shelbourne United emerge as champions, becoming only the fourth civilian team to win the title.


The 1921–22 season saw the establishment of the League of Ireland and this had a considerable impact on the Leinster Senior League. All eight founding League of Ireland members – Shelbourne, Bohemians, St James's Gate, Jacobs, Olympia, Dublin United, Frankfort and YMCA – had all spent the previous season playing in the Leinster Senior League. The emergence of the League of Ireland thus created a number of vacancies in the Senior Division and among the clubs who filled them were Shamrock Rovers. For the 1921–22 season Rovers were joined in the Senior Division by Bohemians B, St James's Gate B, Bray Unknowns, Midland Athletic, Pioneers, Brooklyn, Shelbourne United, Merrion, Glasnevin, CYMS and Richmond. With a team that included John Joe Flood, William Glen, Bob Fullam and Dinny Doyle, Rovers won the Senior Division and reached the 1921–22 FAI Cup final. The 1922–23 season saw the League of Ireland expand to twelve teams. After Frankfort and YMCA dropped out, six new teams – Shamrock Rovers, Midland Athletic, Pioneers, Shelbourne United, Athlone Town and Rathmines Athletic – were invited to join. Once again the Leinster Senior League provided most of the League of Ireland's newest members. Further vacancies in the Senior Division were now created and among the clubs who subsequently filled them were Brideville, Dolphins, Dundalk and Drumcondra. Like Shelbourne United and Shamrock Rovers before them, Bray Unknowns, Brideville, Drumcondra and Dolphins all won the Leinster Senior League title and were then invited to join the League of Ireland. Brooklyn were also elected to the League of Ireland for the 1923–24 season. Dundalk joined the Leinster Senior League in 1922–23. They were runners up in 1923–24 and then finished third in 1925–26 before making their League of Ireland debut in 1926–27. While playing in Leinster Senior League, Drumcondra also won an FAI Intermediate Cup / FAI Cup double in 1926–27. [8][9][10][11]


During the 1930s three more Leinster Senior League champions made the step up to the League of Ireland. These included Sligo Rovers, Brideville and Reds United. At the end of the 1931–32 League of Ireland season Brideville dropped out. However 1932–33 saw them win their second Leinster Senior League title. 1932–33 also Sligo Rovers join the Leinster Senior League. In their first season they finished third. During the season they had twice beaten the champions Brideville and also defeated Bohemians B. In 1933–34 Sligo Rovers achieved a treble, winning the Leinster Senior League, the FAI Intermediate Cup and the LFA Metropolitan Cup. On the back of this success, they joined the League of Ireland for the 1934–35 season. The following season, 1935–36 saw Brideville return to the League of Ireland along with the 1934–35 Leinster Senior League champions, Reds United. During the late 1930s and 1940s the Leinster Senior League's most successful team was Distillery. They won the title five times during period. However unlike some of their contemporaries, Distillery never moved up the League of Ireland.

St Patrick's Athletic era

During the late 1940s and 1950s the strongest team in the Leinster Senior League was St Patrick's Athletic. During this period they won the league title on six occasions. This included four successive titles between 1947–48 and 1950–51. In 1947–48 St Pat's completed a treble after also winning both the FAI Intermediate Cup and Leinster Senior Cup. The 1948–49 season would see St Pat's win a Leinster Senior League / FAI Intermediate Cup. In 1950–51 a young Shay Gibbons helped St Pat's win the Leinster Senior League title for a fourth time. St Pat's were subsequently invited to join the 1951–52 League of Ireland and went on to win their first League of Ireland title at their first attempt. With St Pat's first team now in the League of Ireland, their reserve team won two further Leinster Senior League titles in 1955–56 and 1956–57.

List of winners by club

  • Brackets indicate a victory for the club's reserve team.
Team Titles Seasons won
Shelbourne 12 1902–03, 1903–04, (1906–07), (1907–08), (1908–09), (1910–11), 1915–16, 1916–17, 1918–19, (1923–24), (1942–43), (1943–44)
Bohemians 8 1899–1900, 1900–01, 1901–02, (1904–05), (1912–13), (1913–14), 1917–18, (1931–32)
Bluebell United 7 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1986–87, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18
Cherry Orchard 6 1993–94, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2006–07
St. James Gate 6 1909–10, 1911–12, 1914–15, 1919–20, 1987–88, 1988–89
T.E.K. United 6 1964–65, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1974–75, 1977–78
St. Patrick's Athletic 6 1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, (1955–56), (1956–57)
Crumlin United 7 2007–08, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2018–19, 2021-22
Wayside Celtic 5 1997–98, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2010–11
Distillery (Dublin) 5 1935–36, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1940–41, 1941–42
St. Francis 4 1989–90, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1995–96
Jacobs 4 1952–53, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1967–68
Drumcondra 4 1927–28, (1928–29), (1945–46), (1951–52)
Bray Wanderers 3 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60
Pegasus 3 1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81
Shamrock Rovers/B 3 1921–22, (1924–25), (1939–40)
British Army See
Note 1
3 1897–98, 1898–99, 1905–06
Bangor Celtic 2 2004–05, 2008–09
Hammond Lane 2 1979–80, 1982–83
Rialto 2 1969–70, 1972–73
Home Farm 2 1960–61, 1963–64
Transport 2 1946–47, 1962–63
Brideville 2 (1925–26), 1932–33
Dolphin 2 1929–30, (1930–31)
St. Mochta's FC 2 2016-17,2022-23
Newbridge Town 1 1998–99
Glanmire Celtic 1 1990–91
St. Mary's (Athlone) 1 1984–85
Aer Lingus 1 1976–77
CYM Terenure 1 1973–74
St. Brendan's 1 1971–72
Glebe North Athletic 1 1966–67
Workman's Club (Dunleary) 1 1961–62
Bradmola 1 1944–45
Fearon's Athletic 1 1936–37
Reds United 1 1934–35
Sligo Rovers 1 1933–34
Bendigo 1 1926–27
Shelbourne United 1 1920–21
Bray Unknowns 1 1922–23 1
Malahide United 1 2019–20

List of winners by season

Season Winner Runners-up
2021-22 Crumlin United
2020-21 Malahide United
2019-20 Malahide United
2018-19 Crumlin United Killester United
2017-18 Bluebell United F.C. Crumlin United
2016-17 St. Mochta’s F.C. Bluebell United A.F.C
2015–16 Bluebell United Firhouse Clover
2014–15 Bluebell United[12] Drumcondra
2013–14 Crumlin United Tolka Rovers
2012–13 Crumlin United Cherry Orchard
2011–12 Crumlin United Bluebell United
2010-11 Wayside Celtic Bluebell United
2009-10 Crumlin United Bluebell United
2008-09 Bangor Celtic Tolka Rovers
2007-08 Crumlin United Bangor Celtic
2006-07 Cherry Orchard Bangor Celtic
2005-06 Wayside Celtic Malahide United
2004-05 Bangor Celtic
2003-04 Wayside Celtic
2002-03 Wayside Celtic
2001-02 Cherry Orchard
2000-01 Cherry Orchard
1998-99 Newbridge Town Cherry Orchard
1997-98 Wayside Celtic Cherry Orchard
1996-97 Cherry Orchard
1995-96 St. Francis Cherry Orchard
1994-95 Cherry Orchard Ashtown Villa
1993-94 Cherry Orchard Glanmire Celtic
1992-93 St. Francis Glanmire Celtic
1991-92 St. Francis Ballyfermot United
1990-91 Glanmire Celtic St. Francis
1989-90 St. Francis St. James Gate
1988-89 St. James Gate Bluebell United
1987-88 St. James Gate Bluebell United
1986-87 Bluebell United T.E.K. United
1985-86 Bluebell United T.E.K. United
1984-85 St. Mary's (Athlone) Bluebell United
1983-84 Bluebell United Dun Leary Celtic
1982-83 Hammond Lane
1981-82 Bluebell United St. Joseph's Boys
1980-81 Pegasus Railway Union
1979-80 Hammond Lane AIB
1978-79 Pegasus Bray Wanderers
1977-78 T.E.K. United Workman's Club (Dunleary)
1976-77 Aer Lingus Bluebell United
1975-76 Pegasus Parkvilla
1974-75 T.E.K. United CYM Terenure
1973-74 CYM Terenure Transport
1972-73 Rialto T.E.K. United
1971-72 St. Brendan's T.E.K. United
1970-71 T.E.K. United St. James Gate
1969-70 Rialto
1968-69 T.E.K. United
1967-68 Jacobs
1966-67 Glebe North Athletic
1965-66 T.E.K. United
1964-65 T.E.K. United
1963-64 Home Farm
1962-63 Transport
1961-62 Workman's Club (Dunleary) Ormeau
1960-61 Home Farm Shelbourne Reserves
1959-60 Bray Wanderers Chapelizod
1958-59 Bray Wanderers
1957-58 Bray Wanderers
1956-57 St Patrick's Athletic Reserves Workman's Club (Dunleary)
1955-56 St Patrick's Athletic Reserves
1954-55 Jacobs
1953-54 Jacobs Longford Town
1952-53 Jacobs
1951-52 Drumcondra Reserves
1950-51 St. Patrick's Athletic
1949-50 St. Patrick's Athletic
1948-49 St. Patrick's Athletic
1947-48 St. Patrick's Athletic Transport
1946-47 Transport
1945-46 Drumcondra Reserves
1944-45 Bradmola Drumcondra Reserves
1943-44 Shelbourne Reserves
1942-43 Shelbourne Reserves
1941-42 Distillery (Dublin)
1940-41 Distillery (Dublin)
1939-40 Shamrock Rovers B
1938-39 Distillery (Dublin)
1937-38 Distillery (Dublin)
1936-37 Fearon's Athletic
1935-36 Distillery (Dublin)
1934-35 Reds United
1933-34 Sligo Rovers Distillery (Dublin)
1932-33 Brideville Bohemians Reserves
1931-32 Bohemians Reserves
1930-31 Dolphin
1929-30 Dolphin
1928-29 Drumcondra Reserves Edenville
1927-28 Drumcondra
1926-27 Bendigo
1925-26 Brideville
1924-25 Shamrock Rovers B
1923-24 Shelbourne Reserves Dundalk GNR
1922-23 Bray Unknowns
1921-22 Shamrock Rovers
1920-21 Shelbourne United
1919-20 St. James Gate
1918-19 Shelbourne
1917-18 Bohemians Shelbourne
1916-17 Shelbourne
1915-16 Shelbourne
1914-15 St. James Gate
1913-14 Bohemians Reserves
1912-13 Bohemians Reserves
1911-12 St. James Gate
1910-11 Shelbourne Reserves
1909-10 St. James Gate
1908-09 Shelbourne Reserves
1907-08 Shelbourne Reserves
1906-07 Shelbourne Reserves
1905-06 British Army
1904-05 Bohemians Reserves
1903-04 Shelbourne
1902-03 Shelbourne
1901-02 Bohemians
1900-01 Bohemians
1899-1900 Bohemians
1898-99 British Army
1897-98 British ArmySee Note 1 Shelbourne



  1. ^ www.gazettegroup.com
  2. ^ "www.echo.ie". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Senior Sunday". finalwhistle.ie.ie. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the Leinster Senior Football League". lsl.ie. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  5. ^ Leinster Senior League
  6. ^ Ciarán Priestley: The Bohemian Football Club: The Enduring Legacy of an Idle Youth Archived 2015-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Garnham, Neal (2004). Association Football and society in pre-partition Ireland. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation. ISBN 1-903688-34-5.
  8. ^ www.rsssf.com Archived 2008-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Graham, Alex (14 May 2024). Football in the Republic of Ireland a Statistical Record 1921-2005. Soccer Books Limited. ISBN 978-1-86223-135-1.
  10. ^ www.shamrockrovers.ie
  11. ^ Paul Doolan, Robert Goggins (1993). The Hoops. Gill & MacmillanLtd. ISBN 0-7171-2121-6.
  12. ^ www.gazettegroup.com
  13. ^ IFA Cup, Rsssf
  14. ^ Where's My Country?, Rsssf
  • v
  • t
  • e
Intermediate and Provincial association football in the Republic of Ireland
Governing bodiesLeagues
  • Leinster Senior League
    • Senior Division
  • Munster Senior League
  • Ulster Senior League
  • Connacht Senior League
Cup competitions
  • v
  • t
  • e
Governing Bodies
National Teams
National Leagues
Provincial Leagues
County/Local Leagues
National Cups
Provincial Cups
  • Leinster Senior Cup
  • Munster Senior Cup
  • Connacht Junior Cup
All-Ireland Cups
  • v
  • t
  • e
Third-level football leagues of Europe (UEFA)
Authority control databases Edit this at Wikidata
  • VIAF