What are the most popular sports in Ireland?

Irish people take sport seriously. Both to view as to practice, in them as Gaelic football and hurling arouse passion! This week we want to tell you a little more about Irish culture talking about the most popular sports in the country. Can you tell what they are yet?


Irish usually call it simply football, but it is different from what you are used to.
The main difference is that they carry the ball with their hands. Players can catch the ball in the air and and keep it whenever they take less than four steps, but they can’t throw it. They can only throw it with a kick or a punch.
The All-Ireland Football Championship is the most prestigious and oldest tournament (1887) of the sport. The championship final held in September in Dublin is one of the main events and it attracts a great number of fans. Traditionally teams from Cork, Kerry and Dublin are the ones who most often contest the coveted title.


Together with Gaelic football, hurling is the sport most important to Ireland and is a Gaelic sport as well. It is very similar to field hockey but you can play the ball through the air rather than just on the ground. In this extremely fast game, two teams of 15 players each utilizing a hurley (a long wooden stick) driving a ball of cork and leather called a sliotar. The field has two goals marked by tall posts just as in rugby. If the ball passes under the bar, the team scores three points, if passes over only one point. The ball can be touched with your hand and you can take it whenever you take less than four steps if it is caught on the fly or is raised off the ground with the hurley. The two halfs are 30 min, and 35 min forthe semi-finals. In order these are the most successful teams in the history of national All Ireland hurling championship:

  • Kilkenny – 34 titles
  • Cork – 30 titles
  • Tipperary – 26 titles
  • Limerick – 7 titles
  • Dublin – 6 titles

The tournament finals are held at Croke Park in Dublin in mid-August or early September.



It is the sport for which Ireland is known internationally. In fact, Ireland is a founding member of the tournament now known as the Six Nations Tournament winning on several occasions.

The magnificent Aviva Stadium in Dublin is the battlefield: Ireland’s Coliseum! Although it may seem violent or aggressive sport it is surprising to see the good atmosphere between fans! Any rivalry stays on the field.


Ireland has some of the best golf courses in the world. It has over 400 clubs, including a third of the natural links courses in the world, along with a selection of exceptional championship courses in spectacular locations. More than 240,000 golfers come from all over the world to play golf on the island.

In recent years Ireland has been named International Golf Destination of the Year by the International Association of tour operators specializing in golf, hosting the prestigious Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup. Most of the golf courses are open all year. However, the best time to play is from April to October when the courses are in better condition and the weather is better. Also because  in summer, daylight hours last until ten at night.


This popular and rural game is a mix between bocce and bowling and is practiced On rural roads. Involves throwing a metal ball of about 800 grams along a route established in advance to reach the goal with the least number of throws without leaving the road. The most difficult areas are the curves. Races can be up to 4 km long and people usually bet. Road bowling is played in the south of the country, especially in the counties of Limerick and Armagh.

As you can see, the sport in Ireland is unique and original, and any self-respecting Irishman practices one of them. If you are in Ireland or you are coming and you are a sports fan don’t hesitate to see somematch live. In Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Different matches are held throughout the year. You can see all the information in www.avivastadium.ie and www.crokepark.ie

See you next week! Greetings from the Team  Travelling Languages.