Darts is surging in popularity right now and there is a lot of professional Irish darts players beginning to make their mark on the oche.
There’s no doubt about it, Sky Sports coverage of the PDC World Darts Championships is a huge contributing factor.
The standard is incredibly high right now too.
In this blog we’re going to go through some Irish darts players currently making their mark and those who might make their mark in the future.
You don’t want to miss this darts fans.
Irish Darts Players: Background to the PDC
Before we get into the players, it’s no harm to familiarise yourself with the background of what is now the biggest darts organisation in the world.
From humble beginnings, it’s now attracting a massive global audience.
The PDC was established in 1992 and it hosts what we all know as the PDC World Championships that takes place around Christmas each year.
The recent final of Michael Smith and Michael Van Gerwen, which had THAT nine-dart finish from Smith that went viral, is the Holy Grail of professional darts.
According to the PDC’s ranking system, players are given points based on how well they perform in different competitions throughout the year.
The ranking system establishes the players who advance to big competitions like the World Matchplay and the World Darts Championship as well as the seeding for these events.
Players must first obtain a tour pass by excelling in qualifying competitions or on the PDC Development Tour in order to be eligible for PDC tournaments.
Once they have a tour card, they are eligible to participate in Pro Tour competitions, which are held frequently all year long and give ranking points and cash prizes.
The best athletes are then asked to participate in the major televised competitions, such as the Premier League of Darts and the World Darts Championship.
The PDC is renowned for the quality of the production and unbeatable atmospheres from a boisterous and raucous crowd.
Best Known Irish Darts Players: Past and Present
Here’s a list of the best known Irish and Northern Irish darts players currently on the circuit.
The Derry native, who represents Northern Ireland, is one of the top players in the world right now.
He began his career in the BDO before moving to the PDC in 2013.
Currently ranked in the World top 30, Gurney had a disappointing Championship in 2023, losing to Alan Soutar in Round 2, however he reached the quarter-finals in 2021 and 2017.
Gurney’s biggest accomplishment to date was winning the 2018 Players Championship Finals, defeating Michael van Gerwen in the final.
Who can forget the Fermanagh man’s 9-Dart Finish in 2011? The first ever in a televised major tournament in a double-to-start game in the Grand Prix of Darts?
Dolan has been a consistent figure at the top of the game over the past decade and more when he earned his PDC card in 2011.
He lost his first seven major finals before eventually winning a ranking title in 2013.
Since then, he has won numerous Pro Tour competitions and also advanced to the PDC World Darts Championship semi-finals in 2012 and 2020.
O’Connor, another rising Irish player in the PDC, is renowned for his consistent scoring and capacity to make critical doubles under pressure.
Before receiving a card for the PDC tour in 2011, the Limerick man began his journey on the BDO circuit.
Since then, he has won several Pro Tour competitions.
In the PDC, O’Connor’s greatest achievement was his victory over Michael van Gerwen in the second round of the World Matchplay in 2020.
Steve Lennon is a young Irish player making a name for himself on the PDC tour, known for his smooth throwing action and ability to hit big scores.
The Carlow native earned his tour card in 2017 and has since won a Pro Tour event and reached the third round of the PDC World Darts Championship in 2022.
Lennon has also represented Ireland in the World Cup of Darts, helping the team reach the quarterfinals in 2019.
Barry is another young Irish player that could have a big future in the sport.
The fast throwing sensation from Meath is a former World Masters Youth Champion and BDO World Youth Champion.
His most impressive victory to date was a 10-4 win over defending UK Open champion, James Wade, in 2022, before losing to current World Champion, Michael Smith in the semi-final.
At only 20 years old, the future is bright if he can keep progressing.
The Cork man, born in 1999, is another youngster who could potentially make a breakthrough in the years to come.
Teehan earned his tour card in 2020 and has already shown his potential, reaching the third round of the World Championship in his debut year.
He has also won titles on the PDC Development Tour and represented Ireland in the World Cup of Darts.As the sport continues to grow in popularity in Ireland, remember some of these names as they are sure to take some big scalps over the years.
While you’re here, if you’re considering buying a new dart board, this Guide will help you.
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