September Sports in Ireland

The biggest date of the GAA calendar arrives in September, with the All-Ireland Football and Hurling finals. The world’s oldest field sport reaches its conclusion in Croke Park on two electrifying days in the capital. You will do well to get a ticket though, you’d probably have to sell your granny in order to get one! Nonetheless, two of the biggest days on the Irish calendar can be enjoyed in pubs around the country.

If you’re a rugby fan, you’ll know Ireland is one of the best nations in the northern hemisphere. And club rugby is flourishing on the Emerald Isle, with Munster and Leinster in particular very attractive sides to watch. Both sides will open up their RaboDirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup campaigns with home fixtures in Thomond Park and the Aviva Stadium respectively.

Looking for some soccer on your travels? The League of Ireland runs right through the month of September, with games available all over the country. Watch the likes of Shamrock Rovers, Derry City, Galway United and Cork City battle it out for honours in a stadium near you.

As ever, Horse Racing is the provided of entertainment in Ireland, with two racing festivals taking place in county Kerry. Killarney and Listowel are the hosts in September for two race meets in one of the most picturesque counties in the country. Full of beer, banter and fashionable women, they are not to be missed.

The Great Pink Run is a 5k/10k challenge to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer in Ireland. Dublin’s quayside will be awash with pink as almost 1500 participants run, jog and walk the race beside the Liffey. The track is flat and manageable, so take part and raise some money for a very worthy cause.

Looking for another big physical challenge? Why not try the Wicklow Way Relay, which consists of walking the 132km mountain route in under 32 hours. All you need is a driver and at least 3 other participants, and bucketfuls of energy! The Relay raises money for UNICEF Ireland and helps getting you fit.

We’ve got plenty more where that came from. Think you have what it takes to complete an Ironman challenge? Then head over to Galway for the race which takes you around the scenic city and stunning countryside. What about a triathlon in Blacksod, Mayo or a marathon in Dingle, both massive events. Then you have the Achill Roar Adventure Race. The challenging event includes a swim or kayak, a beach and mountain run and then a cycle on the Atlantic Coastal route.

Fancy a walk? Then head on over to the Burren Peaks Festival. Three family friendly walks of various difficulties are on offer where walkers can enjoy the amazing views from the Burren peaks. For the more adventurous types, tackle the Trailtekker challenge for teams of four. The 100km event starts in Co. Down and finishes in Co. Louth.

Need to relax after all that walking? Drop by the Cork Harbour for the Cork Small Boats Festival. The angling takes place in the sheltered waters behind the harbour and new competitors are welcome. Then head across the county to Kinsale for the Dragon Gold Cup, where professionals will compete in the event before socialising on the shore. If it’s more fishing you’re after, check out the International Coarse Fishing Competition in Cavan. Finally, chill out by the sea at Tramore and enjoy the Oceanic Sea and Surf Festival.

Looking for a bit of craic with your sport? Have a night at the dogs. Greyhound racing is popular as ever in Ireland, and you can catch some at Shelbourne, Youghal, Mullingar or Limerick Greyhound Stadiums. For a night with award winning restaurants, plenty of drink, a bet or two and some relentless craic, be sure to attend one of Ireland’s many greyhound tracks.

And if that whets your appetite, take a shot at some gridiron. American Football that is. Aviva Stadium hosts an exciting game between college sides Navy and Notre Dame, which is the longest running rivalry in college football. For an experience like no other, don’t miss out.