29 May 2023
By Tom Collins
Sports fans in Ireland are set for a treat this summer, with the upcoming schedule packed with a host of top-class events.
Football features heavily over the next few weeks, before horse racing takes centre stage with several major meetings due to be staged.
Read on as we look at what is on the agenda, starting with a tournament that is already generating plenty of action on sports betting sites.
GAA Football Championship
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) football championship will undoubtedly attract plenty of interest across the Emerald Isle this summer.
The prestigious tournament is one of the biggest betting events of the year in Ireland, particularly when it reaches the latter stages.
There are already plenty of odds available via the Boylesports GAA betting site, with the outright market unsurprisingly attracting a ton of attention.
Kerry won their 38th title by defeating Galway in last year’s final and both teams are fancied by bettors again. Dublin and Mayo are also expected to be competitive.
European Championship Qualifying
The Republic of Ireland face a crucial couple of games in June as they strive to get themselves into contention to qualify for the 2024 European Championship in Germany.
Ireland were unfortunate not to take something from their opening group game against France, slipping to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Their second outing is a tough trip to Greece on June 16 and they desperately need to pick up at least one point from that game.
Stephen Kenny’s side are also in action on home turf three days as later as they take on group whipping boys Gibraltar.
There is always plenty of Irish interest in Royal Ascot, with top trainer Aidan O’Brien generally worth following at the five-day meeting.
O’Brien is guaranteed to send a strong team to the Berkshire track in a bid to add to his career tally of 81 victories at Royal Ascot.
The 53-year-old is just one behind Sir Michael Stoute in the all-time list and will likely overhaul him this time around.
O’Brien has won the top trainer title at the meeting on 11 previous occasions and is strongly fancied to make it a round dozen this year.
Irish Derby Festival
The three-day Irish Derby Festival at the Curragh Racecourse features a host of top-class equine action, live music and other entertainment for all the family.
The highlight of the event is the headline race, which often attracts horses who have competed in the Epsom Derby earlier in the month.
O’Brien has won the race 14 times – a record that includes victories for Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014).
His last success in the Irish Derby was with Santiago three years ago and he will be eager to end his mini-drought in this year’s race.
The week-long Galway Summer Festival requires plenty of stamina if you are planning attending each day, but it is well worth the effort.
Staged in late July and early August, the Festival features a unique mix of flat and jump racing, which makes for an extremely exciting week.
The Galway Plate is the standout race, with a big field of chasers providing punters with one of the trickiest betting puzzles of the year to unravel.
This family friendly event has something to suit all ages and is a great way to spend a few days in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.