Sports in Ireland (Liam McDonnell)

Popular sports are far different here than in the United States.  The only sport they have here that is similar to anything at home is Gaelic Football which is really nothing like American Football as they are not even allowed to hit.  Since arriving I have watched a cricket match, Gaelic Football match and a polo game.  None of these were too exciting but the most popular sports here are rugby and hurling.  I’m going to my first rugby game this weekend and I expect it will be far better than the rest.  Dublin won the whole thing this year in rugby beating County Kerry in the championship.  The cool thing about rugby here is the fact that players cannot be traded or sold and they play for nothing but pride.  Each county of Ireland supplies their own team made up of players from within the county.  If a player wants to play he must play for his own county and will receive no money for doing so.  The championship match was bigger than any game I had ever seen every bar and pub was packed.  They make a bigger deal out of this than we do out of the Super Bowl.  After Dublin won the people flooded the streets and cars drove around honking for hours after the victory.  I even found myself getting into the game even though I had no affiliation to either team.  I’ve grown accustomed to sports here and find them almost as interesting as our own sports.

Liam McDonnell is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, with the Foundation for International Education (FIE).

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