The Irish are mad about sports and Dubliners are no different. The three most popular sports in Ireland, by attendance at senior games, are Gaelic games (Gaelic football and hurling), soccer (commonly referred to as ‘football’) and rugby. But a huge variety of other sports are also played across the county and country.
Sports clubs tend to be very community-orientated and are a great way of meeting like-minded people, either as an individual or as a family. Whether your children participate in sport, you take part yourself or you volunteer to help out, getting involved with your local club will really help you settle-in to Dublin.
We’ve listed the most popular sports and the best sources of information below.
Gaelic games, as the name suggests, are games unique to Ireland. The two primary men’s Gaelic games are football and hurling under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Women play ladies’ Gaelic football under the Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and camogie (almost identical to hurling) under The Camogie Association. The GAA, the largest sporting organisation in the country, was established in 1884. Croke Park on Dublin’s north side is its headquarte
Mighty Aviva Stadium, the home of Irish rugby, rises from the red brick terrace houses of Beggar’s Bush on the banks of the River Dodder. Rugby has been played here since 1872 when Henry Dunlop and the Irish Champion Athletics Club laid out sports grounds here. The first representative match was played between Leinster and Ulster in 1876 and Ireland’s first international fixture against England in 1878 – making it the world’s oldest rugby union test venue. It is now home to the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the body that manages rugby union in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Whilst Gaelic games might be the most watched sports in the country, more Irish people play soccer (commonly referred to as football) than any other sport. The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) are the governing body and oversee domestic leagues and national teams. Football is especially popular in urban areas and in 2020/2021 the Leinster Senior League (LSL) for adults operated 21 divisions. The Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL), founded in 1943, is affiliated with more than 200 clubs and operates divisions from boys and girls under 7 right up to under 18s.
Of course, if you’re not into GAA, soccer or rugby, there are plenty of other sports played across the city and county of Dublin.
The Federation of Irish Sport is the representative organisation for the National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) and Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) in Ireland and its membership consists of over 100 NGBs and LSPs from every corner of the country.
Below is a list of selected sports and sporting bodies around the region. For a more complete list visit IrishSport.ie.
Its plentiful supply of natural resources – coastline, rocky mountains,