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Hail Glorious Saint Patrick's

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St Patrick's Athletic's victory in the Europa League showed the League of Ireland can still entertain.

St Patrick's Athletic's victory in the Europa League showed the League of Ireland can still entertain.

St Patrick's Athletic's victory in the Europa League showed the League of Ireland can still entertain.

• It's been a tough time for the genuine Ireland football fan of late, with the Euro 2012 odyssey crashing on the hard rocks of reality and criticism, some of it justified, for the beleaguered FAI and their well remunerated CEO.

John Cuffe (Letters, July 26) bemoans the current status of the League of Ireland and hankers after the glory days of Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Cork Hibs, both domestically and at European level in the 1960s and early 1970s.

While I agree with much of his sentiment, the domestic game is sometimes an easy target and much of our best home-grown talent is snapped up by the Sky/Russian/Middle Eastern/oligarch-financed English Premier League.

However, occasionally, a ray of sunshine can warm the cockles of the domestic fan's heart.

Last year, it was Shamrock Rovers, and sitting in the Stadium of Light on Thursday night as St Patrick's Athletic overcame their Bosnian opponents in the Europa League in front of the Inchicore faithful demonstrated to me (and most definitely to my two daughters by my side) that the League of Ireland must be doing something right.

The atmosphere was electric, the banter good humoured (well most of the time -- it got a bit edgy when Siroki Brijeg equalised); and what was particularly pleasing was not only the victory, but the way it was achieved.

Crisp, neat passing; rapid movement and interplay; and the absence of the long-ball philosophy, meant that not only did the team triumph, but it did so in a way that brings the paying public back for more.

Mark Lawler
Kilmainham, Dublin 8

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