SINN Féin are leading calls for the national sides of Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to merge into a United Ireland football team.
The party launched a document on Irish unity in both Belfast and Dublin on Monday morning, with the proposal to unite Ireland’s football teams part of the initiative.
In a video posted to their Facebook page, Sinn Féin shared images of successful all-Ireland sports teams such as Ireland’s Rugby Union players, Olympic athletes and GAA sportsmen.
“Irish sports teams are stronger and better when they are all-Ireland teams,” a party spokesperson wrote on Facebook.
“Look at the success of our rugby teams and golfers. As an all-Ireland organisation the GAA is unmatched by any other sports organisation.
“Support for an all-Ireland soccer team is growing. We are stronger and more successful together.”
A United Irish football team did play together in 1973, when a team billed as 'Shamrock Rovers XI' – made up of Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland internationals – lost 4-3 to Brazil in Lansdowne Road.
The team was titled 'Shamrock Rovers XI' after objections from the Irish Football Association (IFA) over the use of the name 'Ireland'.
The idea of a permanent United Ireland football team has been mooted on numerous occasions in the past, but proposals have never come close to being implemented.