Irish Sporting Interests

In October 2009 in Dublin, Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen suggested, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), that “Ireland without the Gaelic Athletic Association is unimaginable”. With an all-Ireland infrastructure, organised through parish, inter-county and county teams, Gaelic football and hurling continue to thrive in Ireland, and in the modern era, its players’ amateur status and the fact that the GAA relies on voluntary and community effort makes its success, endurance and ability to adapt to the challenges of globalisation all the more remarkable. It is a unique, complex and successful mass movement with a world-class stadium, Croke Park in Dublin. While Irish soccer has been in the doldrums in recent times, rugby has grown stronger with considerable success for Munster and Leinster in European competitions and the national team secured the first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009.


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