Local women play part in historic win
Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe from Kilnamanagh leads the celebrations with her teammates after the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Play-off at Hampden Park on Tuesday Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Local women play part in historic win

HISTORY has been made as the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team qualified for a first major tournament, with strong local representation in the team that made playing in the 2023 FIFA World Cup possible.

On Tuesday night, the nation was enraptured and gripped by the scenes on television screens which broadcast Ireland’s nail-biting 1-0 triumph over Scotland in their World Cup Qualifying Play-Off.

Captained by Kilnamanagh native Katie McCabe, Ireland dispatched of the Scots in the crucial play-off game – the result of which will now see the Girls in Green travel to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next summer.

After goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan made an outstanding save to deny Scotland’s Caroline Weir from the penalty spot, former Peamount United player Amber Barrett produced the goods on 72-minutes.

Replacing a fellow former Pea, Heather Payne, Barrett slotted the ball into the Scotland net to, ultimately, secure Ireland’s place at the 2023 World Cup Finals.

Megan Campbell, formally of St Francis, played the full 90-minutes alongside Peamount captain Áine O’Gorman.

Peamount United had strong representation in the squad including former players Payne, Barrett, Denise O’Sullivan, Louise Quinn, Niamh Farrelly, Roma McLoughlin and Hayley Nolan.

Having started their women’s football section in 1988, the Greenogue club has been at the forefront of the sport in Ireland.

Stephanie Roche represented Ireland on the world stage when she was nominated for the 2014 FIFA Pukás Award and Eileen Gleeson managed the club to the Last 32 of the Champions League, a first for men’s and women’s soccer in Ireland at the time, in 2011.

On Tuesday, as Ireland, filled with Peamount-produced talent, were making history, the Newcastle-based club was filled to the rafters with young girls looking up their idols.

“We had six former players in the squad and a current player, Áine O’Gorman,” says Denis Commins, founder member of Peamount United and it’s girls football section.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Peamount has been able to contribute so much to girls’ football over the last 30 years.

“If you look at the senior Irish squad, I don’t think any other club has produced as many players in that squad than Peamount, aside from maybe Shelbourne.

“It’s a huge honour, and the ambition of the club is unreal. So, it’s happening, they’re heading off to Australia and New Zealand.”

With over 300 girls playing sport in Peamount United, dozens of which play international football with the Ireland underage squads, the future is bright.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals will take place in Australia and New Zealand next July and August.