Sport in Ireland, especially the South, is heavily localised thanks to the popularity of Gaelic Sports which as they are only played in a small area of a relatively small country, mean that there is little to no national representation in those sports and therefore no national team.
Amongst the most popular sports to have individual representative teams is Football, the most popular and domain sport in the country, whilst both Rugby League and Rugby Union are popular sports which operate on an all-Ireland basis at the international level.
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When it comes to the sporting landscape in Ireland, it is heavily influence by Football across the Irish Sea in both England and Scotland as the majority of the best supported teams are ones actually based in the English Premier League and the Scottish Premiership, especially the giants of Celtic, Rangers, Leeds, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.
In terms of the local domestic scene, it is often Gaelic Sorts that are the most widely supported in person but when it comes to international representative teams, it is the countries Football team that dominates with Rugby Union a distant second- although the national Cricket sides is starting to gain a bigger following as they continue to impress and play more major tournaments on the global level.
Arguably the most widely supported sport in terms of domestic matches is Gaelic Football where a number of the biggest sporting rivalries in the country are found.
Another popular Gaelic sport is Hurling, which again has a huge following for domestic matches that also feature big rivalries between the different countries of Ireland.
On a lesser level, the sport of Camogie has a decent following and big matches prove popular.
Although Association Football, most commonly known simply as Football across Ireland, is the country’s most popular sport, its domestic leagues fail to grab the attention of fans due to the lack of infrastructure and finances that are needed for a high quality product.
That all goes out of the window for international competitions when the major events, such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championships bring both the north and the south to a standstill for big matches.
With both countries having their own individual representative sides, there are full hoses in both Dublin and Belfast when the home sides are in action and it is Irish players that are the most well-known sports people in the countries.
Rugby Union is the second biggest sport in terms of the International stage, where an all-Ireland team represented the north and the south although with the matches played in the Republic capital of Dublin and little focus on thing south of the border, it is more a Republic of Ireland focused side.
Rugby League is a fast growing sport in Ireland and has a burgeoning domestic scene but it has been on the international stage that the attention of fans has gained thanks to success such as a World Cup quarter-final appearance in the 2017 World Cup.
Ireland has a long history of success in combat sports, with both the north and south been historic giants of Boxing and now there is a growing number of participants and interest in MMA.
Horse Racing has long been a major success story for Ireland at all levels with many horses bred and trained in the country winning major races across the globe and with Irish jockeys, trainers and owners also enjoying success on the global stage.
Golf has really enjoyed a resurgence in terms of both playing and watching popularity in both the north and the south, with both constantly developing a number of players for the European Tour, with some going onto global stardom.
Cricket has long been played on the island of Ireland but with little interest on a professional level but is something that has changed over the past couple of decades, with Ireland now been represented at major tournaments across the global in most forms of the sport.
The sport of Ice Hockey has a small but loyal band of followers, especially in the north where Belfast hosts the islands only professional team.
Field Hockey, known locally as simply Hockey, has a small but loyal following and that has seen them produce the required standard of player to reach major tournaments at the international level although with little title and trophy success.
There are a number of other sports with some support and a little amount of participation in the country including Chess, Croquet, Cycling, Darts, Gymnastics, motorsport, Handball, Rowing, Snooker, Pool, Shooting and a number of US sports such as Basketball, Lacrosse, Softball and Baseball.
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Watching the Irish national side live in sporting action has never been easier as no matter if you want to watch Northern Ireland live, the Republic of Ireland live or a combined Ireland live, you can do via the great streaming services that can be found on this site.
If you do decide to watch Ireland live via one of the streaming services offered by the online bookmakers that we feature, you will need to be aged 18 or over and have a funded account but you can then watch Ireland live in many sports all year around.