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Keith joins the list of returning Irish stars

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Liam O'Brien. Photo: MICHAEL MCSWEENEY/PROVISION

Liam O'Brien. Photo: MICHAEL MCSWEENEY/PROVISION

Liam O'Brien. Photo: MICHAEL MCSWEENEY/PROVISION

WITH John Giles being a high-profile returnee to these shores from England back in the late 1970s, KEITH FAHEY signing for St Patrick's Athletic is the latest example in the relatively modern idea of Irish international players coming 'home' at the latter stages of their careers.

For decades, Irish players exported abroad rarely had the opportunity, or saw the need, to come back and play in the League of Ireland.

LIAM O'BRIEN (pictured) who had spells with Manchester United and Newcastle United, began a trend when he came back to Ireland, following a 13-year spell in England, with his move to Cork City in 1999 and he also played for Bohemians.

Ireland striker DAVID KELLY had a brief spell with Derry City in 2002 but he still managed to pick up an FAI Cup medal.

In the middle of the last decade a number of high-profile internationals took advantage of the new-found riches in the LOI as GARETH FARRELLY (Bohemians, Cork City), DOMINIC FOLEY (Bohemians and later Limerick FC), ALAN MOORE (Shelbourne, Derry City) and CURTIS FLEMING (Shels) all came back to Ireland to play.

Former Premier League winner JEFF KENNA was player/manager of Galway United (2008) and also managed St Pat's while COLIN HEALY - capped 13 times - is now in his second spell with Cork City.


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