Dunne, James (‘Jimmy’) (1905–49), soccer player, was born 3 September 1905 in Ringsend, Dublin, son of Thomas Dunne, bottle blower of 18 Cambridge Street, Ringsend, and Catherine Dunne (née Shea). He began his soccer career with local Ringsend teams Parkview and Riverside Athletic. His family was strongly republican and in 1922 Jimmy was arrested by Free State forces. However, this turned out to be a case of mistaken identity and he was soon released; his brother Christopher had been the intended target. His first senior club – also originally a Ringsend team who had by 1923 moved to Milltown – was Shamrock Rovers. Having failed to establish himself with Rovers, he was transferred to English third division team New Brighton in 1925 and quickly came to the notice of scouts from higher divisions. In 1926 he was bought by first division team Sheffield United for a fee of £700 and formed a strong partnership with Billy Gillespie (1891–1981) of Northern Ireland. Though equally good as an inside-right, he was a prolific centre-forward and was the club's leading goal-scorer in the 1929/30 season with 36 goals in 39 games. He bettered this tally the following season, scoring 41 goals in as many games, and finished top scorer in the English first division. This total remains a club record. He also set a club record for goals scored in consecutive matches: 12 in the 1931/2 season.
On 11 May 1930 he played his first game for Ireland in a match against Belgium. He went on to play a total of 15 games for Ireland and scored 12 goals. While at Sheffield United he was capped by the Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland) seven times (1928–32) scoring a total of four goals. In 1933 he moved to Arsenal for a fee of £10,000 and during his first season with the club (1933/34) won a league championship. A leader on the pitch, he was very powerful in the air and scored most of his goals with his head. After three seasons with Arsenal he moved to Southampton for one season before returning to Ireland in 1937 to become player/coach at Shamrock Rovers. During his career in England he scored a total of 170 league goals. He brought to Rovers a wealth of experience that proved of great benefit to its young players. The team won the League of Ireland championship in Dunne's first season (1937/38) as well as the Leinster Senior Cup and the Shield. They successfully defended the league championship in 1938/39 when he operated mostly at outside-left. He led the team to an FAI cup final in 1940, scoring in a 3–0 victory over Sligo Rovers.
On 31 August 1942 Belfast Celtic provided the opposition in Dunne's testimonial match. He scored 52 goals in the League of Ireland and represented the league six times between 1939 and 1942 scoring twice. After a disagreement with the Shamrock Rovers’ owner, Dunne moved to Bohemians in 1942 and managed them for four seasons. Bohemians lost the 1945 FAI cup final to Shamrock Rovers by a single goal. His only other notable achievement with Bohemians was a victory in the Inter-City cup in 1945. Returning to Rovers in 1946, with players such as Paddy Coad (qv) he revitalised the team which had been going through a lean period since his departure. Rovers finished fourth in the league in 1948 and 1949, and won the FAI cup in 1948 beating Drumcondra 2–1. Dunne was instrumental in laying the foundations of the club's continued success throughout the 1950s. Often known as ‘Snowy’ – because of his blonde hair – or ‘Jemmer’, he was a popular figure with supporters of all clubs. On 14 November 1949 he died suddenly at his home in Tritonville Road, Sandymount, Dublin. Two of his sons played in the League of Ireland: Tommy for Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic and Jimmy jnr for St Patrick's Athletic. Tommy also played three times for Ireland making the Dunnes only one of six sets of fathers and sons to play soccer for Ireland.