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Sports In Dublin

The most popular team sports in Dublin are soccer, rugby and Gaelic football, a cross between the first two. Hurling, an Irish sport similar to Lacrosse is also played a bit, but does by far not have the same number of followers. Among the individual sports golf leads in the popularity stakes, followed by water sports like sailing and kite surfing that you are most likely to come across.

Gyms in Dublin

Soccer In Dublin
Dublin boasts no less than five of Ireland’s top football clubs: Shelbourne FC with their home ground Tolka Park, Bohemians FC (Dalymount Park), St Patricks Athletic FC (Richmond Park), Shamrock Rovers FC and Dublin City FC (Home Farm). The Irish national soccer team also trains in Dublin. If you fancy a go at soccer yourself, why not start with 5-A-Side football? Astropark rents out floodlit Astroturf soccer pitches by the hour at two venues in Dublin, Tallaght and Coolock. Astropark can get you in touch with a team or can help teams short of a head or two to find the right player(s). Some of the leisure centres operated by Dublin City Council, such as Finglas Leisure Centre, have 5-A-Side pitches for hire as well and can assist you in hooking up with a team or you can try the website leasureleagues.ie to find a team near you.

Gaelic Football And Hurling In Dublin
Gaelic football can be roughly described as a cross between rugby and soccer. The ball is round but the goals look like rugby posts and players may kick, throw or carry the ball. Football is the most popular Gaelic sport in Dublin, followed by Hurling which is a bit like playing field hockey in mid air. Both sports are particularly popular on the Northside of Dublin and are played by clubs regulated by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The Dublin GAA team play in Parnell Park for league matches and at the state of the art Croke Park Stadium in Drumcondra for Irish championship matches. If you would like to get an introduction to playing either Gaelic football or hurling, contact a local team like St. Vincent’s on Malahide Road in Marino, phone +353 (01) 833 5722. To find a GAA team near you, try the Dublin GAA sites hill16.ie or dublinladiesgaelic.ie for women’s teams.

Rugby In Dublin
Rugby is to the Southside of Dublin what Gaelic Football and Hurling are to the Northside. The majority of Dublin’s rugby clubs have their home pitches in Ballsbridge and Donnybrook . The most popular clubs are Dublin University (which lays claim to the title of the oldest Rugby club in the World), Wanderers, Old Belvedere, Lansdowne, Old Wesley, Leinster Rugby Club and the Bective Rangers. Rugby matches are held at the club’s local pitches. Big matches are currently played at Croke Park Stadium. Check out the club websites for details on fixtures. The traditional home of rugby, Lansdowne Road Stadium in Ballsbridge, closed down for a total rebuilt in 2007. A new 50,000-seater stadium is due to open at Lansdowne Road in early 2010 and will be called the Aviva Stadium. The Irish Rugby Football Union (irishrugby.ie) can help put you in touch with a local team if you would like to have a go at playing yourself.

Water Sports In Dublin
You can always rely on a good wind in Dublin, so sailing and kite surfing are quite popular. There’s also a bit of windsurfing going on near Seapoint, between Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire. The main beach for kite surfers is Dollymount on Bull Island, a narrow slip of an island off the coast of Clontarf on Dublin’s Northside. There are two bridges leading to Bull Island. Take the wooden bridge nearer to the city centre, drive past the Royal Dublin Golf Club and park. There is a small car park right on the beach, just beware of high tide and loose sands. The kite launching area is near the beach car park and marked by black and white chequered signs. Pop into the local shop Pure Magic on the coast road facing Bull Island for local advice or to arrange lessons.
Further up the coast, Sutton Dinghy Club (SDC) runs regular adult and kids sailing lessons. You can also do your National Powerboat Certificate here if you prefer horse powers to wind power. The SDC is located on the picturesque South shore of the Howth peninsula near Sutton Dart station. Closer to the city centre, the Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club (CYBC) also offers sailing lessons. If you have sailed before and are just looking to take out a dinghy or a small yacht and some like-minded individuals, try Sailing In Dublin in Dun Laoghaire.

Golf In Dublin
There are 29 major golf courses in County Dublin. Add to that a few dozen smaller pitch and putt courses and you are never more than a kilometer away from a golf green. Dublin can call some World class courses its own, such as the links in Protmarnock overlooking the Irish Sea. If you like playing links, then Dublin has a lot to offer. There are very good parkland courses as well, mind you. For an overview of the premier courses, their pars, location and contact the Leinster branch of the Golfing Union Of Ireland (gui.ie).
Golf in Ireland is probably more democratic than anywhere else. A wide selection of backgrounds and ages is into it and, depending on the course and the time of the week, green fees can work out reasonably cheap. For real bargains, try one of the very well maintained council courses. Dublin City Council manages the 18 holes, par 70 Sillogue Golf Course near Ballymun where the green fee at peak time is only €26.00 for a full 18 holes. You can book a tee time calling +353 (01) 842 9956. The well landscaped Grange Castle course near Clondalkin is managed by South Dublin County Council. Tee fees here at peak time are €32.00 for 18 holes and you can book a time by phoning +353 (01) 464 1043.

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