|National teams|| Men's|
|National federation||Irish Ice Hockey Association|
|IIHF since||September 26, 1996|
|Top league||Irish Ice Hockey League|
|Current champion||Charlestown Chiefs(2009-10)|
The Republic of Ireland is a country in Northern Europe, bordering on Great Britain. Dublin is the capital and largest city.
|Irish Ice Hockey League||2007||2010||Defunct national league|
|Irish Championship||1999||2002||Defunct national championship|
History of hockey in IrelandEdit
The first official game in Ireland took place at the Dolphins Barn Ice Rink on April 21, 1982, between the Dublin Stags and the Liverpool Leopards (an English club), with the home side winning by a score of 11-7. Numerous recreational games were played after this.
The Irish Ice Hockey Association is the governing body of ice hockey in the country, and Ireland joined the IIHF on September 26, 1996. There is currently no full-size ice rink in Ireland, as the Dundalk Ice Dome closed in May 2010. There is however a small ice rink in Dublin, Castleknock on Ice.
The Irish Ice Hockey League was first played in the 2007-08 season, and was contested for three seasons between 2007 and 2010. There was also a second-tier league for lower-skilled players known as the Development Division. Prior to the formation of the league, a national championship is recorded to have been played in 2000 and 2002.
The men's national team made its international debut in 2004, playing in the Division III World Championships held in Reykjavik, Iceland. Ireland finished second at the 2007 Division III tournament, which was played in Dundalk. The Irish claimed the title at the 2010 Division III tournament and earned a spot in Division IIB for 2011.
After one year at that higher classification, Ireland was relegated back to Division III. They have not participated in the World Championships since 2013 as the IIHF enacted new "minimum participation standards" which stipulated that countries must have at least one full-sized, functional ice rink to compete - something Ireland has obviously lacked since 2010.
Some of the best Irish players to wear their home colors on the international stage have been: Mark Morrison, Sean Dooley, Gareth Roberts, Steven Ewen, Stephen Hamill, and goaltender Kevin Kelly.
The women's national team first appeared on the international scene in 2011, playing in the Women's World Championship Division V tournament held in Sofia, Bulgaria. They went 0-4 in the tournament, finishing in last place, and were outscored 43-0. Ireland later lost both games at the 2013 Division IIB Qualification tournament.
The junior national team participated in the 2002 IIHF World U20 Championship Division III Qualification tournament held in Luxembourg City from April 26-28, 2001. They lost 10-0 to Luxembourg and 20-1 to Iceland.