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Sports play an integral role in Irish society. Nearly 50% of Ireland natives participate in a sport at least once a week. This percentage does not include the additional number of residents who consider themselves avid sports fans. With the largest population in Ireland, you are bound to find a surplus of sports fans walking the streets of Dublin or at the local bar. Some popular sports in the Dublin area include; boxing, equestrian, cricket, and golf, to name a few.
Top 4 Most Popular Sports in Dublin
Sports have an enchantment about them in that they can bring communities and the most unlikely of friends together. However, they can also create rivalries and stir hatred towards someone you have never met. However, there is just something about them that keeps people coming back time and again, and Dublin is a hotspot for sports fans.
Although there are many sports for locals and visitors to choose to experience or even participate in, here are four sports that top the popularity charts in Dublin:
Dublin boasts its ability to produce some of Ireland’s finest rugby players. This is partially due to Dublin’s ability to meet the needs of determined, young, talented players and shape them into the skilled and seasoned players the community has come to know and love. Dublin is home to four provincial rugby teams; Leinster, Munster, Ulster, and Connacht.
Rugby began to take off in popularity around the 1860s and continued to grow into the early 1900s in Ireland. Although it is popular among the general Dublin population, Rugby’s popularity has struggled on the professional stage as other professional sports have taken the interests of the local consumers.
Although soccer is considered “the world’s sport” and Europe is the most prominent soccer market in the world, it does not hold the title of overall most popular sport in Dublin. However, soccer does rank highest in participation among male participants vs. other sports.
Dublin is home to three Premier Division soccer teams and three First Division teams. There are also four teams in the Women’s National League that call Dublin home. Dublin is the home of the Football (soccer) Association of Ireland and has produced several talented players who have played at the international level.
Soccer is a sport that has continued to gain momentum throughout the world as its popularity increases. Some believe the sport has continued to grow because of its simple concept or because it is relatively inexpensive to play as it does not require much equipment. Either way, it remains one of the top sports in Dublin and doesn’t seem to be losing that title any time soon.
Hurling is yet another sport in Dublin that has continued to gain momentum over the years. Hurling is considered to be one of the most skilled sports in the world and is admired for the fast pace at which it is played. Having been around for over 3,000 years, Hurling is noted as Ireland’s oldest sport.
This sport combines the skills of lacrosse, baseball, and field hockey to create a very high-paced, entertaining competition to observe. The female version of Hurling, called Camogie, was invented in 1903, with the first official competition taking place in 1904. Approximately 100,000 women across Ireland now play Camogie.
Considered the most popular sport in Dublin, Gaelic Football has roots dating back to the 1800s. Not to be confused with Rugby, Gaelic Football is played by advancing to one end of the field by kicking, bouncing, and running with the ball while the opposing team attempts to stop the advance. The objective of the sport is to advance to one end of the field and kick or hit the ball (similar to a volleyball) into the opposing team’s goal.
Gaelic Football has a scoring system similar to that of American Football or basketball in that a different number of points are awarded based on the type of goal scored. Three points are awarded when the ball is kicked into a netted goal (as in soccer), and one point is awarded when a goal is scored by kicking the ball over the crossbar between two upright posts (like a field goal in American Football).
It’s no wonder Gaelic Football is the top-ranked sport in Dublin; you get a little taste of all other sports mixed in one.
Each sport Dubliners have embraced brings a different style and skill set to the playing field. Rugby, Soccer, Hurling, and Gaelic Football have been around for centuries yet remain top choices for locals to follow. Sports are woven into Dublin’s society that it shouldn’t be a surprise for you to spot someone wearing their team’s jersey around every corner.