Sports are a common factor in the unification of people in any country around the world. Some of the purest feelings in the world are a sense of pride in your country when they’re performing well at a sport, and that emotional tie is wrapped in the minds of the people very strongly.

It’s no wonder then, when we see Ireland, an old country with a long history of sports performance, being so emotionally connected and invested in its national athletes and teams. Even though at first the love of sport may be seen as a triviality, in reality, sport creates a connection between people that is hardly breakable.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper and comparatively look at Ireland’s history and love for sports. Is it just entertainment, a pastime of physical activity, or is it so much more for one of the countries of Europe?


Like most European countries, Ireland has a deep and long history. Incidentally or not, a lot of it is tied directly to sports and events that have occurred during some important sports competitions. Even though not all events in Irish history are bright and happy, they are tightly connected to the Irish people’s collective thoughts.

Croke Park and Bloody Sunday – 21st November 1920

During a match between Dublin and Tipperary in a Gaelicfootball face-off, held in front of an audience of more than 5,000 people at Croke Park stadium a very unfortunate event unfolded. Preceded by political killings earlier in the day, they spilt over to the stadium.

The occupying British army at the time believed that Irish nationalists were hiding at the football game and opened fire into the peaceful crowd that was watching the football match which resulted in the death of 16 Irish citizens, and the injury of dozens more.

It’s an unfortunate but key event, that further down the line led to Irish independence. It’s no wonder this is such an important event to Irish people, which brings them a little closer to football.

Even though Irish people have a long history with the United Kingdom and Britain, they love to partake in the Cheltenham Festival, which will be held from March 14th through March 17thin the historic spa town of Cheltenham. It’s a wonderful festival where jockeys face off with their well-trained horses and attracts people from all over the area, and Europe as well.

Conor McGregor

One of the biggest UFC stars of all time, albeit a little controversial is Conor McGregor. He is an Irish UFC fighter, who at one point in sports history was at the top of the game and had a fan base all around the world, although he is not currently competing at the highest level.

Having a top athlete compete at a high-level international sport, is surely something that instils a feeling of national pride. Ireland has always had athletes and teams playing at a higher level, but Conor McGregor gave Ireland a reason to believe in its athletes even more.

Pub Culture And Sports

These two subjects are very closely related. There is hardly a better combination than a developed pub culture and a love for sports. It’s probably one of the most fascinating things about Irish Culture, and what creates a stronger bond between Irish people.

Apart from being in love with MMA, rugby and football, what Irish people love more than all of those is watching them with people they are close with, and cherishing the thrill of the game together. Pubs are the keystone of Irish social life, and many events happen there.

What Are The Most Popular Sports In Ireland?

Ireland does have some sports that aren’t found in any other place in the world, and they are unique only to this small North Atlantic Island. Let’s see what Ireland has to offer in terms of sports, and what Irish people enjoy the most.

Gaelic Football

This is the most important and famous sport in Ireland. It’s the sport Ireland is known for around the globe, and a sport that has been played for centuries. The sport is an interesting mix of football and rugby, where players play the sport using both hands as well as feet and compete to score a goal. To many people’s surprise, there are many variations of football, and Ireland is no exception.


Hurling along with Gaelic Football is part of the Gaelic Athletic Association, and is also very old same as Gaelic Football. Overall, it’s a game similar to hockey but the ball isn’t passed along the ground so often, rather it’s passed along in the air.They even have a World Cup.


No surprise here, as football is one of the most famous sports around the world. Irish people also enjoy a sense of football pride, and as a European country, the love of football is ever-present. It’s the most famous sport after the traditional Gaelic Sports.

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