TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has proposed the creation of an all-Ireland soccer team to play charity games against England, alternately in Wembley and Croke Park.
Mr Kenny opened up the possibility of the likes of the Republic’s John O’Shea linking up with and this former Manchester United playing partner, Jonny Evans, of the North
The Taoiseach was speaking at a sports reconciliation conference in Armagh.
He caused surprise when he mentioned the idea, adding that the money raised from the games could be used to help fund new children’s hospitals in Dublin and Belfast.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were also at the conference which was organised by the GAA, the Irish Football Association and the Ulster Rugby Football Union.
The Taoiseach said: “It’s just a thought. It might be something that could become a reality.”
Mr Kenny made clear that he did not believe the creation of a permanent all-Ireland soccer team was currently possible, but that charity games were feasible.
He added: “We have two children’s hospitals in Belfast and Dublin. Wouldn’t it be wonderful when you can’t have all-Ireland soccer teams playing in international competitions that perhaps on a biannual basis there would be a charity match played in Ireland and in England.”