Has Preston North End's League of Ireland shopping come to a halt?

Andy Boyle has left Preston to sign for Dundalk
Andy Boyle has left Preston to sign for Dundalk

Andy Boyle didn’t really enjoy the luck of the Irish during his time with Preston North End.

A 30-month stay on PNE’s books will officially end on Friday, and the next day the three-and-a-half year contract he has agreed with Dundalk will kick-in.

Daryl Horgan (left) joined Hibernian last summer and Kevin O'Connor (right) is on loan at Cork City

Daryl Horgan (left) joined Hibernian last summer and Kevin O'Connor (right) is on loan at Cork City

Boyle has gone full circle, Dundalk being the club he left in January 2017 to sign for North End.

The defender was recruited in a spell when PNE shopped a lot in the League of Ireland.

He signed together with winger Daryl Horgan, then came Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor from Cork City in July 2018.

Graham Burke joined from Shamrock Rovers last year, soon after winning his first Republic of Ireland cap.

Preston attacker Graham Burke celebrates scoring against Stoke in August last year

Preston attacker Graham Burke celebrates scoring against Stoke in August last year

They were players who had caught the eye at first-team level in the top division in Ireland.

Alan Browne who signed in 2014, had impressed at youth level, so too Adam O’Reilly and Jimmy Corcoran who are more recent arrivals.

Maguire has been the pick of the bunch from the five players recruited from the League of Ireland in 2017 and 2018, the striker a key player in Alex Neil's squad.

Horgan left for Hibernian last August and now Boyle is gone after three spells away on loan.

O’Connor is currently on loan with Cork, a club PNE will face in a friendly during their Fota Island training camp in July.

Burke’s future at Deepdale is uncertain after he spent the second-half of last season at Gillingham on loan.

At first-team level, North End seem to have veered away from the League of Ireland.

They last shopped there for Burke 12 months ago but in the January window and so far in this one, have kept on these shores.

A couple of names got linked in the media to Preston this summer but were without too much foundation.

As for Boyle, he is looking forward to being back with Dundalk who currently lead the League of Ireland.

He returns having made 12 appearances for PNE, plus more on loan at Doncaster, Dundee and Ross County.