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Dublin loves sport. As a city of just over a million, the number of high-end sports teams and individuals who reside in (or regularly play in) the city is astonishing in its variety. From regular European-level rugby competitors Leinster to the vast swathes of action taking place every weekend in the GAA. From Conor McGregor to Robbie Keane, there’s a conveyor belt of stardom on offer in the fair city. You might not be able to see everything in a visit, but you can certainly check in on the key spots. Here they are…
Leinster is the rugby team that represents Ireland’s easternmost province, a force in the game which has taken home no less than three European titles in recent years. While they occasionally relocate to the Aviva (above) for big matches, like the massive local derby with Munster, most of the contests are here in the RDS. The not-so-local ‘Pro-14’ league is an enticing mix, featuring sides from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and two new additions from South Africa, and you could hardly ask for a better introduction to the game. Tickets can be hard to come by by the way.
The RDS Arena, Simmonscourt Road, Dublin 4, Ireland. +353 16680866
Cricket is not traditionally a strong sport in Ireland. In fact, to many it represents the absolute epitome of Englishness and only really gathered any momentum when Ireland swatted aside its far more illustrious English opponents at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. In 2017, however, Ireland finally won the exalted ‘test status’, beginning what many anticipate will be a rapid growth in the sport since more and more world-class sides drop in to compete. Malahide Cricket Club has previously hosted the visits of world-class sides England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the shorter form of the game and is establishing itself as one of the main homes of the national side as they develop. Games are weather dependent and take place in the summer.
Arguably Dublin’s definitive sports bar (loved by some and loathed for its lack of local tradition by others), The Living Room, is home to massive, wall-t0-wall screens showing everything from the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga soccer to the Indian sport of Kabbadi. Invariably packed to the rim, it’s also right in the heart of the action just off historic O’Connell Street. We had to include a pub, it’s Dublin!
Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin 1, Ireland. +353 18727169