The oldest football competition in Ireland, the FAI Cup, is the Blue Riband event for clubs in Ireland. Clubs from the SSE Airtricity League compete with junior and intermediate clubs in a competition that dates back to 1922.
Since the early 1920s, all but a handful of FAI Cup finals were held at Dalymount Park, Dublin. Two replays in the 1920s were held at Shelbourne Park, the 1973 replay was held in Flower Lodge in Cork and the 1984 replay was in Tolka Park. However, since 1990, due to the lack of development of Dalymount, the final has been played at a number of different venues. From 1990 until 1997 it was played at Lansdowne Road stadium, from 1997–1999 back at Dalymount, from 1999 to 2002 at Tolka Park and from 2003 to 2006 back at Lansdowne Road. Due to the redevelopment of Lansdowne, the 2007 and 2008 finals were played at the RDS Arena. The 2009 final took place in Tallaght Stadium. Finals from 2010 onwards are to take place in the Aviva Stadium.
The current holders of the competition are Cork City FC. They lifted the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup after a dramatic last-minute winner from Sean Maguire to beat SSE Airtricity League Champions Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium. It took 120 minutes for the game to find a winner as both teams had a number of chances throughout the game but Maguire scored the final goal of the 2016 season.
The FAI Cup is Ireland's oldest and most prized football competition with every junior, intermediate and senior football club capable of winning it as the last 16 clubs in each season's FAI Intermediate Cup and the semi-finalists of the FAI Junior Cup are invited to join the 20 SSE Airtricity League clubs in the competition.
The 2017 edition of FAI Cup is scheduled to start, as usually, at the beginning of April with 16 clubs involved which came from Leinster Senior League, Munster Senior League and Ulster Senior League. Half of them qualifies for the 2nd round which has at its start all the participating teams. Each rubber has only a match, with the winner getting the ticket for the next round, while if the first match ends equally, another match is being played few days after. The competition will keep going in the same way until 2 teams remains in the battle for the great trophy.
The main favorites of the competition remains the finalist of last editions, Dundalk and Core City FC, while the presence of another team than Derry FC in the final would be extremely unexpected.