The popularity of Gaelic games, Katie Taylor's enduring appeal and the achievements of Dublin in winning six in-a-row are all reflected in the findings of the Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index (TSSI) 2020, which were released today.

Gaelic games held on to top spot as Ireland's favourite sport(s) for the third year in a row on 24%, ahead of soccer on 14%, with rugby rounding out the top three on 13%.

Soccer had been the nation’s number one for eight years in succession from 2010, when the TSSI research was first carried out.

When it comes to a sport that people "like", but that isn't necessarily their favourite sport, tennis (18%) golf (15%), athletics (13%), horse racing (13%) and boxing (12%) all poll strongly.

Katie Taylor

World lightweight champion Katie Taylor is Ireland’s Most Admired Sport Star for the sixth time in eight years.

Taylor gained 30% of the public vote - fully 24% ahead of her nearest challenger, Ireland rugby captain Jonathan Sexton.

The 2012 Olympic champion has a special place in the nation’s hearts, with her epic win over Delfine Persoon voted both Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Achievement and Most Memorable Irish Sporting Moment of 2020.

The Dublin senior footballers' incredible achievement of winning Sam Maguire six years on the bounce sees them top the Team of the Year ballot, the first time they have done so on their history-making run.

Following a disrupted year in 2020, the Irish sporting public is hoping for a packed sporting calendar in 2021, with the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games the event the nation is most looking forward to, with 20% of the votes.

Second in the running is the forthcoming and ever popular Six Nations, which gets underway next month and polled at 17%.

Next on the list are the All-Ireland Senior Hurling (14%) and All-Ireland Senior Football Championships (11%). However, combined, all four Gaelic games' All-Ireland championships (including camogie on 3% and ladies football on 2%) gather 30% of the vote.

Rounding out the top five is Euro 2020, another major competition carried over from last year, on 10%, a significant drop from the 17% it got in the same category last year, before Ireland missed out on qualification.

The TSSI is a comprehensive 1,000-person nationally representative survey with quotas imposed across gender, region, age and social class. 

The research was carried out by Teneo’s Sports and Sponsorship team and iReach and examines the Irish general public’s attitudes towards sport and their sporting heroes. 

This is the view of the general public and not a survey of sports fans.  It is the eleventh year of the TSSI and the research was carried out between 14 January and 19 January.

Ireland's Favourite Sport (top six only)
Gaelic Games – 24%
Soccer – 14%
Rugby – 13%
= Cycling / Tennis – 5%
= Athletics / Golf – 3%

Team of the Year (top five only)
Dublin Senior Football Team – 24%
Limerick Senior Hurling Team – 23%
Leinster Rugby – 20%
Dublin Ladies Football Team – 12%
Dundalk FC 10%

Most Admired Athlete (top five only)
Katie Taylor – 30%
Jonathan Sexton – 6%
Shane Lowry – 5%
= Joe Canning / Padraig Harrington / Conor Murray / Sam Bennett – 4%

Greatest Sporting Achievement (top five only)
Katie Taylor out-points Delfine Persoon for the second time to retain her unified world lightweight belts – 27%
Sam Bennett wins the Tour de France green jersey – 16%
Dublin Senior footballers win All-Ireland six in-a-row – 9%
Tipperary win Munster Senior Football Championship – 8%
Limerick win the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship – 7%

Event Most Looking Forward to in 2020 (top five only)
Tokyo Olympic Games – 20 %
Six Nations – 17%
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship – 14%
All-Ireland Senior Football Championship – 11%
Euro 2020 – 10%