100 years ago today, on 2 September 1921, the Football Association of Ireland was created at a meeting held at Molesworth Hall in Dublin. But rarely has the founding of an association been achieved in such difficult circumstances.
One issue dominated British politics in the 19th century above all else and that was the “Irish question”. Having joined forces with Great Britain in 1801 to create the United Kingdom, Ireland spent much of the rest of the century trying to get out of it, and it all came to a head in the aftermath of the First World War. In January 1919, 73 newly elected Sinn Féin members of parliament refused to take up their seats in Westminster and instead set up a rival parliament in Dublin, declaring independence from the United Kingdom.