"It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas" - Brian Kerr on United Ireland football team 1 month ago

"It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas" - Brian Kerr on United Ireland football team

It's 98 years since the separation of Ireland's football associations.

The footballing relationship between the north and south was a tense one long before, but with with the island of Ireland on the cusp of partition, it became more conflicted than ever in the years leading up to 1921.

The northern teams were dominant and Belfast was fast becoming the home of Irish football when the Leinster football association decided to act. So they split to form their own association in 1921 - the football association of Ireland.

Those associations - the FAI and the IFA still exist and this island fields two teams to this day.

And so with Brexit and all its implications on the horizon, the history, the background and the effects of the separation - and the prospects for the future - were investigated and broadcast on RTÉ on Wednesday night.

'Division: the Irish Soccer Split' told the story.

But despite the moves and the relevant will for a united Ireland, the prospect of the one football team still appears further away than ever according to Brian Kerr, who was amongst the contributors to the programme.

The reason why? Administrators would then be out of suits and out of jobs and the former Republic of Ireland manager can't see those in power throwing cushy numbers away.

"Is there a willingness to have an all-Ireland team? I don't see that because it would be like the turkeys voting for Christmas if the administrators voted for an all-Ireland team," said the Drimnagh man.

"It would mean half of them would be out of business, half of them would have to hand back their blazers and they would miss out on their trip, their benefits, their expenses, their ability to get on UEFA committees, on FIFA committees, and all the perks that go with that..."

Kerr's verdict was the final act of an informing documentary that recounted striking anecdotes aplenty. Niall Quinn's chilling account of the hostile reception afforded to the Republic of Ireland team on their arrival to Windsor Park stands out.

"I can remember very vividly, and it's something that will stay with me until I die, coming into Windsor Park and seeing a crowd of very, very young boys - no older than 10 - all pointing to us (Republic of Ireland bus) with imitation guns and pretending to shoot," Quinn said.

As do the actions of northern Ireland captain Alan McDonald after the game, the Belfast native coming into the dressing room to wish the team well in the world cup.

That moment gave Quinn, and much of the Irish team goosebumps.

Martin O'Neill - a former Northern Ireland captain's installation as Ireland manager was put forward as a sign of how the times have changed, but the one team still seems a distance away.