Worth noting that the IFA have won their battle regarding the Republic’s team poaching Northern Irish players (already noted here). Blogging Northern Ireland football fans seem pleased. Most interesting is Beano’s assertion that this ruling is actually perfectly in line with the Belfast Agreement’s nationality provisions:
Under the agreement a person in Northern Ireland may “identify themselves and be accepted as” British, Irish or both. With the application of this principle in the Republic’s nationality law extending Irish passports to those born in Northern Ireland who want one, the real effect of the Good Friday Agreement seems to be that, in the same way as a British passport is not in itself enough to prove eligibility of a player for any single British national side, an Irish passport alone will no longer be evidence of eligibility for either Irish side.