The biggest hurling stadiums in Ireland

Croke Park, photo by Linda Jarvis

Many countries in the world have a more or less official national sport – in the case of the US, there’s American football, ice hockey in Canada or kabaddi in India. These sports are an integral part of the country’s culture, and if you really want to know a culture well, then you have to check up on its national sport too. In Ireland, the national sport is hurling, a game that has an ancient Gaelic origin, and whose popularity in Ireland can hardly be surpassed by any other sport. Hurling is played with sticks called hurleys, and a ball called sliotar, and it is similar to Gaelic football. So if you want to watch a game of hurling, here are the the biggest hurling stadiums in Ireland.

Croke Park, Dublin

Croke Park is located at the heart of Dublin, not far from O’Connell Street, and it started out as a sports ground in 1884. The stadium was opened in 1913. The stadium was the stage of one of the most tragic events in Irish history, the Bloody Sunday of 1920. However, the old stadium was completely renovated and enlarged in 1991, and work on it continued until 2003. It now has a capacity of 82,300 people, and it is the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Semple Stadium, Thurles

Semple Stadium is the home of Tipperary GAA, and the favorite place of Munster’s hurling enthusiasts., and the host of the Muster Hurling Final every year. The grounds for the stadium were purchased in 1910 by a Gaelic football fans, and by the 80s, it was already hosting the All-Ireland Hurling Final. The stadium has a capacity of about 50,000 places.

Gaelic Grounds, Limerick

Gaelic Grounds was established in the 1920’s, and today it is the third largest stadium in Ireland. Although the stadium was renovated several time, the biggest change occurred in 2004, when a 12,000 uncovered stand was added to the existing stands. In 2010, it hosted the International Rules Series between Australia and Ireland.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork

Páirc Uí Chaoimh is the pride and joy of hurling fans in Cork, and it was the stage of many a great hurling game throughout history. As it was opened in 1976, the stadium is newer than other large Irish stadiums. The stadium is going through redevelopment, and when finished, it will have a capacity of 50,00 (which will make it the second largest in Ireland).

Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney

Fitzgerald Stadium is the home of Kerry GAA, and it has a capacity of about 43,000 seats. Although it was named after a famous Gaelic football player, Dick Fitzgerald, it hosted many huge hurling games (often with way more people attending than the stadium could fit). Despite its size, the stadium is said to have the second best facilities in the country.

Leave a Reply