A year of consolidation after the Bishopstown nightmare ended with a surprise Intertoto Cup qualification. After a disastrous start a late run was rewarded when City finished fourth. Along the way the team claimed a League Cup final place, but unexpectedly lost on aggregate to First Division Galway United. Crowds began to increase, and the Munster Cup was recaptured, but most importantly a lot of vital repair work was undertaken and the club appeared a lot stronger than 12 months earlier.
Note 1: Shelbourne qualified for the 1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup after winning the 1996–97 FAI Cup final.
|1||Derry City (C)||33||19||10||4||58||27||31||67|
|5||St. Patrick's Athletic||33||13||14||6||45||33||12||53|
|11||Bray Wanderers (R)||33||5||8||20||30||59||-29||23|
|12||Home Farm Everton (R)||33||3||10||20||26||53||-27||19|