Hourihane finally got his wish and was a regular for Argyle throughout the 2011-12 season, making 38 appearances scoring two goals.
Once again, the bustling midfielder failed to make a first team appearance before Paul Jewell allowed the youngster to join the Pilgrim’s ranks.
Hourihane at this time was building a reputation on the international scene, representing Ireland at both U19 and U21 level. He spent two years in the academy at the Stadium of Light before following Roy Keane to Ipswich in search of first team football.
Soon after, he attracted the attention of several clubs, including Liverpool, Chelsea and Celtic, but in 2007 chose to join Sunderland, partly due to the presence of manager Roy Keane.
Hourihane began his career with hometown club Bandon before joining Douglas Hall AFC in Cork.