Pat Bonner has expressed his desire to cement further Celtic’s ties with Ireland, a country with which the club already shares a deep-rooted connection.

Celtic park
REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Bonner has proposed an ambitious plan to Dermot Desmond, Celtic’s majority shareholder, to acquire a club in Ireland’s top-flight league.

The strategic move aims to increase Celtic’s influence in Ireland and enhance the club’s ability to recruit the country’s best young talents.

The plan sounds very similar to the City Football Group’s global network of clubs, which has proven successful in nurturing and transferring talent within the group.

While on the Celtic View podcast, Bonnar shared: “I’ve been talking to Dermot Desmond a few times. I mentioned that we should have a club over there. We should have a club in the League of Ireland and run the whole thing.”

Bonnar envisions the Irish club acting as a feeder club for Celtic, a model that has been successfully implemented by Manchester City and their affiliates worldwide. He added, “Man City do it all over the world, why can we not do it?”

While acknowledging the connection with Shamrock Rovers through Desmond’s involvement, Bonnar believes owning a club would offer a more direct and influential pathway for Celtic in Ireland. “But, buy your own club; that would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?” he mused.

Celtic’s historical and emotional ties with Ireland are undeniable. Founded by Irish Marist Brother Walfrid in 1887, the club’s Irish heritage is woven into its DNA, a fact that Bonnar emphasises. “The club is special. It’s special. It’s got that connection with Ireland that’ll never change. It’s in the history. It’s in the DNA.”

Bonner’s proposal represents a bold vision for Celtic’s future, potentially reshaping the club’s relationship with Ireland and its football landscape.


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