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Holders Dundalk to begin title defence at home, as new-look Pat's host Cork City

The new League of Ireland season will get underway on Friday 15 February.

DEFENDING LEAGUE OF IRELAND champions Dundalk — still without a manager following the departure of Stephen Kenny — will get their new season underway against Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park.

The opening series of games of the 2019 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division will take place on Friday 15 February, with the Football Association of Ireland today releasing the full fixture list.

Gary Rogers and Jamie McGrath celebrate with the trophy Dundalk will be bidding to retain their title in 2019. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk, who reclaimed their crown en route to a league and FAI Cup double in 2018, host Sligo on the opening weekend, while Harry Kenny’s St Patrick’s Athletic face Cork City in the tie of series one.

St Pat’s have made a number of strong signings over the winter months and will be hoping for a good start to life under Kenny when they welcome last season’s runners-up to Richmond Park.

The First Division champions, UCD, make their return to top-flight football in 2019 and face a trip to the Brandywell to play Derry City first up, while Bohemians entertain Finn Harps at Dalymount Park.

Shamrock Rovers, meanwhile, travel to Waterford for a tough opening assignment at the RSC, with all games scheduled for a 7.45pm kick off that night. 

The First Division season will begin a week later on Friday 22 February as Bray Wanderers travel to Cabinteely, Limerick welcome Longford Town, Shelbourne go to Galway United, Athlone Town host Wexford and Cobh Ramblers face Drogheda United at United Park.

“We’ve made a few changes to the fixture list based on feedback from the clubs and other stakeholders. We’ve switched one midweek round of fixtures from before the mid-season break to after,” said FAI Competitions Director Fran Gavin.

“Also, all Premier Division clubs will now come into the EA Sports Cup at the second round stage and there has also been an adjustment to the play-off dates.” 

Opening weekend fixtures:

  • Bohemians v Finn Harps, Dalymount Park
  • Derry City v UCD, The Brandywell
  • Dundalk v Sligo Rovers, Oriel Park
  • St Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City, Richmond Park
  • Waterford v Shamrock Rovers, RSC 

Full Premier Divison fixture list here

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Ryan Bailey

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