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. Adventure Its plentiful supply of natural resources – coastline, rocky mountains,
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.
The top tiers of football in Ireland are known as the SSE Airtricity League with two divisions: The Premier Division and the First Division. There are three Dublin teams in the Premier Division: Bohemian F.C., Shamrock Rovers F.C. and St Patrick’s Athletic. There are three Dublin teams in the First Division: Cabinteely, Shelbourne and UCD. At international level, the Republic of Ireland field twenty teams with the Irish senior men’s and women’s being the most well known. The Ireland’s men’s national team reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1990.
Dublin’s Premier Division Teams
Bohs are the oldest club in the League, having been established in 1890. They’ve seen a lot of ups and downs since. They dominated the League of Ireland in its early years before spending decades in the wilderness. Long 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 Phibsboro.
Bohs longstanding rivals, Shamrock Rovers, are Ireland’s most successful club. That’s a long-held distinction – they won the first League in 1922-1923. They were the first Irish team to compete in European competition, taking part in the 1957 European Cup. Their large following of devoted fans saved the club from financial ruin in the late 2000s. Their home ground is Tallaght Stadium.
Their motto Ní neart go cu le cheile (No strength without unity) sums up their fans’ devotion. 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, bringing fans out onto the streets. Their home ground was – and remains – Richmond Park, Inchicore.
Local club football
To find a local team to join, see this comprehensive listing of soccer clubs in Dublin.
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.
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