The Back Page sits in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Phibsborough, north of the old city centre. Named Ireland’s Best Sporting Pub at the 2016 National Hospitality Awards, this multi-purpose venue has a dedicated sports area with four screens, a large projector, and a so-called ‘FIFA 17 room’. Not your typical sports bar, it’s an ideal place to go with a gang with varying levels of interest – if anyone tires of the game, they can get something to eat from the café menu, play board games in The Games Room or go outside and swing in a hammock.
The Back Page, 199 Phibsborough Rd, Phibsborough, Dublin 7, Ireland, +353 1 535 5941
Winner of the award for the Best Bar to Watch a Match at the 2016 Sky Bar Awards, The Living Room on Cathal Brugha Street has Europe’s biggest outdoor screen in Dublin’s largest beer garden – ideal for watching your favourite sporting events live. It’s also home to Pizza Shack, where you can get a tasty wood-fired pizza to go with your pint while you watch. Later, The Living Room turns into a late bar with a DJ and runs some of the best drinks deals in the city.
The Living Room, Cathal Brugha St, Rotunda, Dublin 1, Ireland, +353 1 872 7169
Before being pipped to the post by The Back Page last year, Sinnotts Bar at Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre had taken home the award for Ireland’s Best Sporting Pub in both 2014 and 2015. It’s still a city-centre favourite, with 14 large screens showing everything from the Grand National horse race to the German Cup football knockouts and everything in between.
Sinnotts, South King Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, +353 1 478 4698
Another Northside haunt, this one draws its inspiration from the Southern Hemisphere. Showing fixtures on three oversized screens and 19 plasmas, The Woolshed aims to connect people through what it calls ‘the one true universal language – sport.’ An inclusive joint, they don’t discriminate – from soccer to rugby, GAA to NBA, they show it all. The bar serves three-pint jugs of lager from €10, while their grill menu offers tasty dishes like chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches and Aussie-inspired burgers.
Dating back at least as far as the 17th century, The Bleeding Horse on Upper Camden Street has both historical and literary significance – appearing in James Joyce’s Ulysses and Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1845 novel, The Cock and Anchor. It’s now a particular favourite with sports fans, who can watch anything from the National Hurling & Football Leagues to Formula One racing to Guinness Pro 12 rugby on its big screens.
Located in the upscale area of Dublin 4, The 51 sports bar has seven HDTV screens spread throughout and can boast one of the largest collections of whiskey in all of Dublin. Their excellent value meal deal, which consists of any dish from their food menu plus a pint, long neck, glass of wine or soft drink for just €12, is available on Monday to Friday evenings and on Saturday from 1 pm to 9 pm – meaning you won’t go hungry either.
Situated smack in the city centre on Dame Street, and known for being the workplace of the protagonist in Ulysses, The Mercantile Hotel has what is considered one of Dublin’s leading sports bars. As well as having nine screens and being the home of the Arsenal and Everton football team supporters clubs, they often run burger and pint specials on match days.
The Mercantile, 28 Dame St, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 670 7100
Almost directly opposite The Mercantile, Dame Street competitors Trinity Bar & Venue also go big on sports, displaying fixtures of all kinds on screens as large as a mega 150-inch Ultra HD. With an Irish gastropub food menu and live music every night, it comes thoroughly recommended by the Dublin pub guide Publin.ie.