The 2nd qualifying round included 2 all Irish ties, as Linfild beat Ulster 7-1 and Cliftonville beat Belfast YMCA 5-0.
In the 3rd qualifying round Cliftonville benefited from a walkover at the expense of Liverpool Stanley, whilst Linfield recorded a 4-0 home win over Bolton Wanderers in what was considered the biggest FA Cup upset to date.
In the 4th qualifying round the 2 surviving Irish teams were drawn together, and it took 3 matches to separate them. Following successive 3-3 draws Linfield won the Christmas Day game 7-0.
This is the only time that an FA Cup tie has been played on Christmas Day .
The Belfast News - Letter 26.12.88