Capped at U16, U17, U19 and U21 level for the Republic of Ireland, Darragh Leahy is widely regarded as one of the brightest young stars in the SSE Airtricity League.
Born in Swords in 1998, the full-back played with Swords Celtic and Malahide at schoolboy level before joining St Kevin’s Boys where he lined up alongside fellow League of Ireland talents like Robbie McCourt (Sligo Rovers) and Danny Mandroiu (Shamrock Rovers).
Darragh made his Republic of Ireland U17 debut against Hungary in August 2014 and won his first competitive cap against Gibraltar in a UEFA U17 Qualifying Round tie later that year.
The opportunity of a move to the UK arose when he impressed for St Kevin’s Boys in a friendly against Coventry City and after being invited to stay on for a week’s trial, the 16-year-old joined the Sky Blues as a first-year scholar in January 2015. Later that year, he impressed for the Irish U17 team at the UEFA European Championship finals in Bulgaria.
A mainstay of the Irish U19 side in the 2016-17 season, Leahy enjoyed two successful loan spells at Nuneaton Town and was part of Coventry’s successful U18 and U23 teams but he opted to return to Ireland in January 2018 and signed for Bohemians.
His first season in the League of Ireland was a huge success and he was named in the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year after making 23 league starts for Keith Long’s side. His only goal for the Gypsies proved to be a memorable one as he popped up with a 98th-minute winner against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght in April 2018.
Leahy made a further 24 league appearances in 2019 as Bohs finished third and although his season was cut short with injury, he established himself as Stephen Kenny’s first-choice left-back for the Irish U21 side.
Darragh moved to Oriel Park ahead of the 2020 campaign and made 19 appearances for the Lilywhites in his first season at Oriel Park, winning an FAI Cup winners medal and also helping Dundalk to a place in the UEFA Europa League group stages, starting seven of the club’s 10 European matches.