Best time to visit Ireland

Gaelic Football in Ireland 2024

Play football in Gaelic way—try the same game but with far different system of rules

Best time: February–September

Gaelic Football
Gaelic Football

Gaelic football is a traditional Irish ball sport that has developed a whole new system of rules that tolerate carrying, bouncing, kicking and hand-passing a ball. The most spectacular​ events take place in Dublin Croke Park attracting avid watchers and participants from all over the country.

The options don't end with just watching as you may also test your sports skills, learn a lot about the history of the sport and have a glimpse of the game from the inside, visiting team changing rooms.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Ireland to watch or play Gaelic football?

From February to September, visitors to Ireland can enjoy the main playing season for Gaelic football. Throughout this time, various national and regional Gaelic football competitions, including the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, take place. You can also find opportunities to watch Gaelic football in other parts of the world, especially in cities having large Irish communities. So, it will be interesting for sports lovers to plan their visit around the Gaelic football season. Show more

Where can I watch a game of Gaelic football in Dublin?

Croke Park is the best destination to watch a game of Gaelic football in Dublin. It is the largest stadium in Ireland and hosts many national and international Gaelic football events in Dublin throughout the year. Additionally, you can also visit other popular destinations to watch Gaelic football, such as Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Fitzgerald Stadium, and Semple Stadium. Various local newspapers, online resources, or tourist offices provide information about games and tournaments held by the regional and local Gaelic athletic clubs. Show more

What are the unique rules of Gaelic football compared to other ball sports?

Gaelic football rules are solely unique compared to other ball sports like rugby and soccer. The game is played with a spherical ball, and players are allowed to carry, bounce, kick, or hand-pass it between team members. Players can catch the ball as long as it has not touched the ground, and there are specific regulations regarding the limited number of steps that a player can take without bouncing or passing the ball between teammates. Players are permitted to make physical contact but have to tackle below the waist. Points are scored either by kicking or punching the ball into designated goals or popping it over the crossbar. Show more

Can visitors play Gaelic football when visiting Dublin?

Visitors can indeed take part in playing Gaelic football when visiting Dublin by joining various Gaelic athletic clubs that welcome visitors and include them in their teams. Additionally, professional trainers and coaches offer Gaelic football lessons to tourists. The city also offers various tourist packages that include training sessions, games, and visits to multiple Gaelic football-related sites in Dublin and other locations in Ireland. These packages often include accommodation, meals, and other sightseeing opportunities in Dublin. Show more

What is the history of Gaelic football in Ireland and how does it relate to Irish culture?

In 1887, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) embraced the official rules of Gaelic football with the aim of promoting conventional Irish sports. Gaelic football played a significant role in the cultural and political history of Ireland, and it is regarded as a stronghold of national identity and pride. Since then, it has remained one of the most loved amateur and professional sports activities in Ireland, and it has produced many great players and teams throughout its history. Today, Gaelic football remains an important and unifying aspect of Irish society and has an enormous fan following. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Gaelic Football (Map)

Last updated: