Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe and thus has a large area where a number of sports can be played. Traditionally, Ireland loved playing what is known as Irish hurling. It is a fast-paced game that is enjoyed by around 23% of the total population next only to Gaelic football at 34%. Hurling is traditionally Irish and is considered as the fastest field sport in the whole world. These sports are the two main sports of Gaelic games, traditional sports organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The other two Gaelic Games sports are Rounders and Gaelic Handball.
The Irish national football team has played in the FIFA World Cup three times (1990, 1994 and 2002) and the European Championships twice, with the most recent in 2012.
As with most European countries, Ireland loves football but they are also one of the very few countries that has an amateur rugby league competition. Rugby is played even in the school level in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Ireland has competed in the Summer Olympic Games since 1924 and the Winter Games since 1992. Their very first Olympic medal came in 1928 when Pat O'Callaghan took the gold for the Men's hammer throw after throwing the hammer at a distance of 168'7”, four feet beyond Ossian Skiold (Sweden) and Malcolm Nokes (Great Britain), the crowd favorites. O'Callaghan even used the Swede's hammer for this throw to tilt the psychological advantage to his favor.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Ireland.
Popular sports of Ireland (see more)
- Football (Soccer), Gaelic football, Golf, Rugby
Traditional or Regional Sports
- Hurling — a Gaelic outdoor team sport where players use a wooden stick to hit a ball between the opposing team’s goalposts.
- Gaelic Football — a contact sport which originated in Ireland.
- Gaelic Handball — a wall based sport, played in Ireland, similar to squash though the ball is hit with the hand.
- Rounders — played between two teams with a bat and ball, like softball.
- Camogie — the female version of hurling.
- Shinty-Hurling — a composite sport created to facilitate competitions between Shinty and Hurling players.
- Irish Road Bowling — competitors attempt to take the fewest throws to propel a metal ball along a predetermined course of country roads.
Ireland's Sporting Success
Great athletes from Ireland
- Sonia O'Sullivan - one of the world's leading female 5000m runners for most of the 1990s and early 2000.
- Eamonn Coghlan - 3-time Olympian and former World Champion in the 5000m
- Roy Keane (football)
Ireland Sports trivia
- Ireland became in 11th cricket Test playing nation. They lost to Pakistan in their debut match in 2018.
Ireland at major events
- Ireland at the Summer Olympics
- Ireland at the Winter Olympics
- Ireland at the Men's FIFA World Cup (also Northern Ireland at the FIFA World Cup)
- Ireland at the Women's FIFA World Cup
- Ireland at the Cricket T20 World Cup
- Ireland at the Rugby World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in Ireland
- 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin
- 2003 European Short Cource Swimming Championships in Dublin
- 2006 Ryder Cup, played at the Palmer Course of the K Club in Straffan, County Kildare, west of Dublin
Upcoming sporting events in Ireland
- 2030 T20 Cricket World Cup co-hosted with England and Scotland
Annual sporting events held in Ireland
- All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (Gaelic Football) - held annually in Croke Park, usually in September.
- Community Games.
Sporting Facilities in Ireland
- Croke Park in Dublin
- Irish Institute of Sport
Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let me know.
- List of the most popular sports in Ireland
- About Sport in Northern Ireland
- Countries list
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