Top 7 Most Popular Sports in Ireland

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The most popular Irish sports are the Gaelic Games, which make up six unique sports, and anyone that has been in Ireland knows how loyal the Irish are to these. Being in Europe and bordering countries where regular football is beloved, Ireland’s choices feel unique and set it apart from its neighbors.  

Hurling, a much-loved national sport of Ireland, shares some characteristics with Gaelic Football. It is one of the most played sports in Ireland by participants of all levels, and it has a sister sport played by women. As one of the most popular Irish sports activities, it would do you some good to learn a few rules if you intend to visit Ireland, the country also known as the Emerald Isle, for its evergreen landscape. 

Here are Ireland’s sports in order of popularity. 

Rugby 

The Irish national team for rugby is a fierce force, especially since it has defeated the All Blacks twice to win the 2015 and 2016 Six Nations titles and the clincher, the Grand Slam, in 2018. These wins made it one of the most popular sports in Ireland. Ireland has over 95,000 players that participate in events for over 200 squats throughout Ireland. The rugby football union governs the Irish Rugby team and others, and players start in their early years to get ready for pro-gaming as they grow.

Interestingly, rugby is considered one of the most dangerous globally since lots of contacts is made, and players do not use as much protective gear as in some popular sports. Still, this does not dim its shine, as more young players keep signing up to play.  

Gaelic Games 

Handball, Camogie, Gaelic football, and Hurling make up 4 of the nation’s indigenous popular sports played for thousands of years now. The Gaelic athletic association is the governing body in charge of these, and those who want to compete at professional levels get to advance as they grow. 

There are over 2,200 GAA clubs in Ireland, a true indication of the sporting nature of the Irish. Football and Hurling are the top two with the largest numbers of players, while the other two follow closely.

Gaelic Football  

 

Over 3 billion people in the world watch this football or soccer, so it makes sense that the Irish would love it too. As one of the oldest popular sports, the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship is the biggest sporting event in the Irish sporting calendar. Since not everyone is fond of betting, some prefer to enjoy time at the best Ireland online casino, that’s why Irish online casinos are a popular way to have fun. 

There are two soccer leagues on the island: the Irish League for teams in the north and the League of Ireland for professionals and players in the south. The Football Association of Ireland is the body that governs the popular sport in Ireland, while the Irish Football Association is in charge of the Northern Ireland national squad. As per international rankings, the men’s team is 30 while the women’s squad is at 33. 

Golf 

The weather in Ireland isn’t all favorable for golf sports, but that doesn’t stop players from getting on the greenest golf courses to get their sport. You want to try May to September for the better weather that makes it possible to play. Players gather for the Irish Open to compete, and you would be surprised that the country has over 182,000 licensed players. As is the case in most parts of the world, golf is reserved for the upper class, but that doesn’t mean anyone with an interest cannot participate. 

Boxing 

While it has been around for a long time, this is relatively new in Ireland. In the last decade alone, several youths have joined and popularized it as an Ireland Sport that will soon be on the rank of the bigger ones. Quite a number of clubs are coming up, with several amateurs training at the National Boxing Centre at St. Since it is well-known globally, you will find it on sports betting sites locally, which could be a good thing if you are interested in knowing the rules better for personal gains. It is governed by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) and divided into these three categories: Boys, Girls, and Ladies. 

Athletics

If you are into track, road running, cross-country running, race walking, mountain running, and ultra-distance running, you are in good company in a country of residents who love outdoor activities. The Athletics Association of Ireland (AAI) governs this popular sports grouping and starts with kids from lower school levels to elite sportspeople. 

There are usually several marathons – Connemarathon in Galway and the Wild Atlantic Ultra in Mayo – that bring participants together to get them ready to compete regionally with other European countries or internationally. Lately, Ireland has been shining internationally, with some athletes doing great in the Olympics. 

Hurling 

Here’s how this national game goes: two groups of 15 aside with sticks (hurleys) chase a small ball in a field the size of a regular stadium. A player can push the ball towards the goal, carry it on the hurley, or smack it with the same stick as we see on baseball. Some say the game resembles hockey. There is a team for this trendy sporting event in the country, and it is safe to say almost every person here plays Hurling, even at the amateur level.  

Cricket

Ireland is a member of the International Cricket Council and has been participating in World Cup qualifiers against some bigger groups in the sport for a while now. Even though it is not the most popular, more and more players are joining and making cricket bigger each year. These are the three versions of the game you will find in the country: ODIs, Test Matches, and T20s

Summary 

Most of these sports are quite popular in other parts of the world, but the Irish take pride in knowing they have had them for decades since they are native to their country. Even with the rains that make some of them challenging to play in open fields, players still show up, proving that the Irish are one passionate group when it comes to things they love. 

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