Gaelic games overtakes soccer as Ireland’s favourite sport

Ireland rugby team take team award and Katie Taylor is most admired sports star again

Gaelic games has taken over from soccer as Ireland’s favourite sport according to the Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index 2018, a 1,000-strong survey of the nations’s sporting loves.

It is the first time since the survey started in 2010 that soccer has slipped from top spot, with Gaelic games coming out on top, with 21 per cent, with soccer on 19 per cent and rugby third on 14 per cent.

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland side are hands down the most popular sports team in the survey for the fifth year running. They claimed 43 per cent of the vote, ahead of the Ireland women’s hockey team, whose run to the World Cup final in London during the summer saw them take 17 per cent share. The Limerick hurlers were third on 8 per cent.

The Irish men’s rugby team take the first two spots in the greatest sporting achievement in 2018, with the first home victory over the All Blacks in November receiving 40 per cent, ahead of the Grand Slam win (15 per cent) and the silver medal-winning hockey side (7 per cent).


Johnny Sexton's match-winning drop goal against France in Paris during the Six Nations won the the most memorable Irish sporting moment with 31 per cent ahead of the penalty shootout win over Spain at the Hockey World Cup.

Katie Taylor’s brilliant rise through professional ranks sees her yet again win Ireland’s most admired sports star on 19 per cent, her fourth win in six years. Sexton (19 per cent) and rowing stars Paul and Gary O’Donovan (10 per cent) filled the second and third slots.

Conor McGregor, who was winner in the most admired category in 2016 and second in 2017, drops out of the top 10 after picking up just 2 per cent of the vote.

The TSSI survey is in its ninth year and consists of 1,000 people nationally with quotas imposed across gender, region, age and social class. The research was carried out between Friday, November 30th and Friday, December 7th.