A record crowd packed out Tallaght Stadium as Shamrock Rovers were crowned league champions for the 19th time on Friday night.
,765 packed in – a league record for the stadium – to witness a 2-1 win over Drogheda United as the Hoops celebrated a second straight title.
Graham Burke scored twice in the second half as the Hoops sealed a club record 78 points and 24 wins to finish 14 points clear of second-placed St Patrick’s Athletic.
Rovers unveiled Jack Byrne, whose re-signing on a two-year deal was announced this morning, before kick off.
And the home crowd said farewell to defender Joey O’Brien, who received a standing ovation after playing his final game before taking up a role as Damien Duff’s assistant at Shelbourne.
Both sides exchanged half-chances in the early stages with Burke stabbing a shot just wide before Mark Doyle shot narrowly over from the tightest of angles.
Doyle put the visitors in front a minute before half time from the spot after Sean Hoare was penalised for tugging his former St Patrick’s Athletic teammate Darragh Markey’s shirt.
The Hoops were level within four minutes of the restart as Danny Mandroiu’s pinpoint through-ball sent Burke clear.
Burke controlled the ball with his first touch and raced through before slotting the ball calmly past Ireland under-21 keeper David Odumosu in the Drogs goal.
Rovers pushed on for victory and Dylan Watts shot over from the edge of the box before a super intervention from Daniel O’Reilly prevented a certain goal.
Mandroiu ran through on goal and stabbed the ball cutely past Odumosu, but defender O’Reilly did brilliantly to block the ball and clear with one movement on the line.
Darragh Markey curled just wide for the visitors, while Doyle stung the palms of Alan Mannus, who has also signed a one-year extension, with a shot late on.
It was Burke who delivered the decisive blow two minutes from the end, however, as he powered home a Dylan Watts corner.
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Gannon, Hoare, O’Brien (Murphy 76); Finn (Lopes 60), Towell (Noonan 78), McCann (Emakhu 60), Greene (Cotter 60); Watts, Burke, Mandroiu.
Drogheda United: Odumosu; Philips, Redmond, O’Reilly; Brown, Deegan, Massey (Heeney 70), Kane; Doyle (Clarke 77), Markey (Boudiaf 77), Corcoran (Obakhan 60).