Pints and Craic

10 of the best pubs to watch a match in Ireland

Ahead of a busy weekend of sport, we tell you where to go to take in the action.

WE ALL HAVE our favourite local watering holes for a quiet pint, but going down for a few during a big match requires a strict selection process with certain bar criteria to be met if one is to enjoy the match(es).

It is of course a huge weekend of sport with key Premier League and Rugby World Cup games the highlights. Here are just some of the bars across the nation that make watching a match that bit more enjoyable.

1. The Boars Head, Dublin


The Boars Head is located on Capel Street in Dublin’s market area. It is an ideal place to watch big games as it has two big screens and an excellent busy atmosphere on match days.

The traditional, Celtic feel give it a relaxed feeling and the stew alone is an excellent reason to visit.

2. Reardens Bar, Cork


Reardens Bar is widely regarded as the Republic of Cork’s best bar for live music and of course, watching sport.

Situated on Washington Street in the city, Reardens show all big GAA, soccer and rugby games and a traditional feel that helps the pints go down smoother.

3. O’Connells, Galway

o connells

O’Connells’ can be found on the east side of Eyre Square, and it is extremely popular for watching sport in Galway.

Connacht rugby fans tend to flock here during provincial games, and expect the same during the World Cup.

4. The Squealing Pig, Monaghan

squealing pig

If you happen to find yourself in the Farney County this weekend, there is no better place to watch a big game than the Squealing Pig, found in the Diamond area in the centre of Monaghan Town.

You’ll find all your usual pints on tap, as well as Orchard Thieves cider, and there’s always Porky’s Restaurant upstairs if you fancy a feed before or after the game.

5. D2 Bar, Garden and Nightclub, Dublin


Harcourt Street is perhaps most famous for Coppers, but if you’re there to watch a game you’re more than likely in D2.

The monster 20ft screen in the huge (and heated) beer garden, as well as the 20 or so other screens peppered throughout the place, make watching the rugby there a priority if you’re in the Big Smoke.

6. Jerry Flannery’s Bar, Limerick

jerry flannerys

Flannery’s is located on Catherine Street in the Treaty city, and is a family-run pub (think Jerry Flannery, think rugby).

The place boasts the largest whiskey menu in Limerick and ‘Flas’ is the perfect place to watch a game of rugby, and it’s not all that far from Thomond Park either.

7. The Cavern, Letterkenny


This could be Donegal’s top sporting bar, located in the heart of Letterkenny – recently named Ireland’s tidiest town for the first time.

Three bars, two floors and a rooftop garden with a heated smoking area make this place a shoe-in for those in the north-west on big sporting weekends. The 13 large screens certainly help.

8. The Castle Glanmire, Cork

castle glanmire

This is one of Cork’s top live music and sporting venues and they currently have a special area set up for the Rugby World Cup.

12 screens, a stadium atmosphere, Irish stew, drinks promotions and prizes to be won. What more can you want?

9. Porterhouse Central, Dublin


This place is always bound to gather a crowd for the big games given its prime location – on Nassau Street at the bottom of Grafton Street (with access off Adam Court).

This is a very historic pub and was the drinking spot for the infamous Cairo squad who were wiped out by Michael Collins.

Stays open to the wee hours and plenty of craft beers to choose from to make celebrating or drowning sorrows easier once the matches are over.

10. The 19th Bar, Lahinch, County Clare


You’ll find this one on the main street in Lahinch, and you would do well to find a more beautiful town for a bar in the country.

Great live music and the beer garden are highlights of this place. It’s a very cosy pub and the pint of Guinness is up there with the best you’ll have in the country. They’d go down very well during an Irish Rugby World Cup win.

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