If you’re not into Gaelic games, soccer or rugby, there are plenty of other popular sports to play across the city and county of Dublin. The Federation of Irish Sport represents national and local sports bodies in Ireland. Its membership consists of over 100 different organisations from every corner of the country. So this just shows the diversity of activities available. Below is a list of just some of the sporting activit
While Gaelic games are the most watched sports in Ireland, more people play soccer than any other sport.
Soccer, which is commonly referred to as football in Dublin, is governed by the FAI. It oversees Ireland’s domestic leagues, as well as its national teams.
The different levels of soccer in Dublin
Football is especially popular in Dublin’s urban areas. The Leinster Senior Football League, which operates the city’s amateur leagues, has 20 different divisions to suit players of every calibre.
The Dublin and District Schoolboys League, which has been around since 1943, is also affiliated with more than 200 clubs. It operates divisions to cater for boys and girls under 7, up to under 18s.
The top tiers of football in Ireland are known as the SSE Airtricity League. It features the Premier Division and the First Division for men, as well as the Women’s National League.
There are three Dublin teams in the Premier Division: Bohemian F.C., Shamrock Rovers F.C. and St Patrick’s Athletic. There are also three Dublin teams in the First Division: Cabinteely, Shelbourne F.C. and UCD.
In the Women’s National League, four teams hail from Dublin, including Bohemian F.C., Shelbourne F.C., Peamount United and DLR Waves.
At an international level, the Republic of Ireland field twenty teams with the Irish senior men’s and women’s being the most well known. Back in 1990, Ireland reached the quarterfinals of the men’s World Cup – an event which is still remembered fondly by football fans throughout the country today.
Dublin’s Premier Division Teams
Bohs are the oldest club in the League, having been established since 1890. They’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the past hundred years. They dominated the League of Ireland in its early years before spending decades out in the wilderness.
After long being an amateur team, they gave into professionalism in 1969 and saw their fortunes revive. They were dogged by poor performances in the 1980s and 1990s, but have returned to form since the 2000s. Their home ground is Dalymount Park in Phibsborough, which is just a 20 minute walk from Dublin city centre.
Bohs’ long-standing rivals, Shamrock Rovers, are Ireland’s most successful club. That’s a long held distinction – back in 1923, they won the first League competition they took part in. They were also the first Irish team to compete in Europe, taking part in the 1957 European Cup. Their large following of devoted fans saved the club from financial ruin in the late 2000s. Today, their home ground is in Tallaght Stadium in West Dublin.
St Pat’s was founded back in 1929 and its motto ‘Ní neart go cur le cheile’ – meaning ‘No strength without unity’ – nicely sums up the devotion of its fans. They are some of the most vocal in Irish football, meeting periods of turmoil in the club’s history with protests.
In 2005, the FAI tried to force St Pat’s to share a ground with Shamrock Rovers. This brought fans out onto the streets. Today, their home ground is still in Richmond Park in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore.
Getting involved in Dublin football
If you’d like to train with a local team, you’ll find a comprehensive list of all the soccer clubs in Dublin here.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to get involved in another sport, you can check out the other games that make up Dublin’s sporting landscape here.
By the banks of the River Dodder, the mighty Aviva Stadium rises up from the surrounding red brick terraces of Beggars Bush. This is the home of Irish rugby. Rugby has been played here at Lansdowne Road since 1872 when Henry Dunlop and the Irish Champion Athletics Club first laid out sports grounds. Ireland’s first international fixture against England took place here in 1878, making it the world’s oldest rugby union test venue. Today, the Aviva Stadium is home to the Irish Rugby Football Union – the body that manages rugby union in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
As the name suggests, Gaelic games are Ireland’s national sports. They are unique to Ireland and officially include Gaelic Football, Ladies Gaelic Football, Hurling, Camogie, Handball and Rounders. The two primary men’s Gaelic games are football and hurling, which fall under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Women also play Gaelic football under the Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association and camogie, which is almost identical to hurling, under The Camogie Associati