This post is a follow up to an entry on League of Ireland (LOI) clubs in the Champions League. Here, I look at the UEFA Cup/Europa League performances since 2003. Various competition changes to the qualification process have been enacted over this time so again I've tried to simplify the structure down to make it amenable to analysis.
Since 2003 most LOI clubs have not encountered too much difficulty in the first qualification stage. St Patricks Athletic have progressed the most. On my count, 21 LOI clubs have progressed from 36 fixtures.
The second phase is often a stumbling block. Since 2003 only 8 out of 25 clubs have progressed. In 14/15 all three first round entrants reached the second round of qualification, but all were defeated. Recently, AEK Larnaca put pay to both Cork City and Dundalk, with neither club scoring a goal over the two legs. The table shows the results from round two qualification fixtures.
In 2016, Dundalk were guaranteed a place in the group stage of the competition, by the virtue of reaching the play-off round of the Champions League. They really improved on Shamrock Rovers 11/12 group stage performances, collecting 4 points.