League of Ireland Attendances - FAI Cup Round Two

Sun, May 22 2016

Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

The Cup – the potential for a modern day retelling of David and Goliath where non-league clubs face the top tier of football and, over the span of one game, aim to slay themselves a giant.


Firhouse Clover, Midleton, St Peter’s, Letterkenny Rovers, Cherry Orchard, Crumlin United, Pike Rovers, Bluebell United, Ringmahon Rovers and Glebe North all entered the drum for the Second Round of the Daily Mail FAI Cup with their dreams of cup glory intact.


After the weekend, Ringmahon Rangers, Crumlin United and Letterkenny Rovers can still dream. Ringmahon overcame Glebe North in the only all non-league clash. Greg Moorhouse played the role of David as Crumlin overcame Finn Harps 1-0, whilst Letterkenny lived to fight another day as they drew against Athlone Town.


But what of the crowds that flocked to watch the drama and romance of cup football. We are a football mad nation, with a suspected 75,000 people travelling to France this summer to support our national team. No doubt the Irish will be declared “great supporters” and our country will be praised for our legions making the pilgrimage to Euro 2016 but what of our domestic following.


32 teams went into battle this weekend and, with a population of 4.6 million, the total audience reached 8,486, an average of 530 per game. To put it into perspective, the 16 cup games that took place totalled less than the average attendance of one Plymouth Argyle League Two home fixture.


The lowest attendance of the weekend went to Athlone Town. They have been struggling lately and fans staged a protest at the cup game. As a result 57 fans watched Letterkenny hold Athlone to a scoreless draw.



UCD and Bray Wanderers played out a drama filled 4-3 in the UCD Bowl but only registered 171 at the game. I’m pretty certain every single one of them tweeted what an amazing cup tie it was. It probably will be the football equivalent of 2005’s Electric Picnic performance by Arcade Fire with roughly 1.3 million people now claiming to have been there….




Top of the pile and the only two games to break 1,000 are based on estimates. Dundalk v Shels (1,750) and Derry City v Drogheda United (1,200) rank highest. If we get the official numbers we will update this article. On a random note, Cork City played St Peter's and the official attendance was 666. I'm not going to lie, I googled to find something funny to say about St Peter and 666 but not a single relevation.


After that, the remaining 14 cup ties drew 853 or less people. 14 of those games saw league teams playing at home. All alarm bells need to be sounded at this point. The premier cup competition in the country should be drawing more than this. I could suggest many solutions and wax lyrical about this and that but instead I’ll leave you all with the figures and three questions. You can tweet me @garethpenrose or @extratimeNews with your answers.


1)      Did you see any advertisements or promotions for a cup game this weekend?


2)      Did you come across the results or did you have to go looking?


3)      If you go to league games and didn’t go to this weekend’s cup game what was the reason?


I’ll be back with last week’s league attendance article on Tuesday but in the meantime, here is the list of attendance figures from the second round of the FAI Cup.


Home Team

Away Team





Derry City

Drogheda United



Galway United


Sligo Rovers



Cork City

St. Peter's


Shamrock Rovers



Bluebell United



Finn Harps

Crumlin United


St. Patrick's Athletic

Pike Rovers



Sheriff YC


Waterford United

Longford Town


Cobh Ramblers

Cherry Orchard



Bray Wanderers


Firhouse Clover

Wexford Youths


Ringmahon Rangers

Glebe North


Athlone Town

Letterkenny Rovers






Average Overall