Which team has the best claim to the tag of greatest League of Ireland side ever seen?

Kevin Doherty, Pat Byrne and WLR's Matt Keane debate on Newstalk's Airtricity League Podcast

BY Raf Diallo 16:28 Wednesday 26 October 2016, 16:28 26 Oct 2016

Rovers' captain Pat Byrne leads his team out in the 1985 FAI Cup final ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

On Monday's Newstalk Rewind podcast, ex-Ireland, Shamrock Rovers and Chelsea full-back Paddy Mulligan was asked who the greatest League of Ireland team of all-time is.

The context is Dundalk's three-in-a-row league achievement as well as their European success in 2016.

For Paddy, his answer was clear and it was the Waterford United side he faced in the '60s while at Shamrock Rovers: ""I think that the Waterford team in the '60s was absolutely brilliant and they won so many leagues."

Listen to the full chat with Doherty, Byrne and Keane on the podcast player or on iTunes:

On this week's Newstalk Airtricity League Podcast, Oisin Langan, Daniel Kelly and Richie McCormack returned to the original question with Dundalk and the Shamrock Rovers four-in-row side also among the leading teams with a claim to being the greatest club side Ireland have produced.

The lads were joined by former Shelbourne manager and defender Kevin Doherty, WLR's Matt Keane and Pat Byrne, who was part of Shamrock Rovers' four-in-a-row team to give their take on the greatest Irish club sides of all time.

Byrne feels that the four-in-a-row side at Rovers could have won even more than they eventually did.

"We had our fallouts as much as anybody else. People forget that. Everyone thought that everything was rosy. We'd have bad days, good days. But the one thing we had was a desire to win," he said, adding that they had so many leaders in their ranks.

"I think had we stayed together for longer, we would have won more as well." 

On the Waterford side that won six league titles between 1965 and 1973, Keane explained that in 1965-66, "Waterford went on this incredible 13-match unbeaten run and if you believe it, of all places where they equalled the record, was up in Dundalk at Oriel Park. For the next eight years, Waterford won the league six times which is absolutely incredible."

And what makes this current Dundalk side so special, Doherty cited their fitness but also their belief exemplified how they bounced back from a defeat to beat title rivals Cork City in the following match which proved crucial in terms of the direction of the league title this season.

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