Club football and hurling is the heartbeat of the GAA, but exactly how many GAA clubs are there in Ireland in 2023?
They come in all shapes and sizes, with each playing their part in the cultural fabric that is the GAA.
Clubs were formed around the traditional parishes and counties of Ireland and they have played a monumental role at local community level over the past 100 years and more.
Currently there are over 2200 GAA clubs in the 32 counties of Ireland.
Before you read on, you might be interest in reading about some of the Best GAA Grounds in Ireland?
How many GAA clubs are there in Ireland
So now we know how many GAA clubs are there in Ireland, but how is that broken down county-by-county.
Well, by far and away, Cork have the most amount of GAA clubs.
How many GAA clubs are in Cork you ask?
Incredibly, there is approximately 259 clubs in Cork which is a traditional dual code county, meaning they play both football and hurling.
Add in the size of the county itself, then it’s understandable.
Dublin has the second highest number of clubs with approximately 134, or if you consider that there are a lot of clubs with a hurling club, that number will rise toward the 200 mark.
Third is a close battle of Antrim and Limerick which are just over the 100 mark; with Leitrim and Longford, two of the smaller counties in Ireland, having the smallest representation, both with under 30 clubs.
How many GAA clubs are there in the world?
The GAA has also developed itself abroad amongst the Irish Diaspora and it’s popularity is growing more and more all the time.
Clubs are now established in the USA, Great Britain, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, mainland Europe and more.
Amazingly, over 400 clubs are registered in all corners of the world.
In the USA alone there are well over 120 clubs, with the majority in New York, but also Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
There are been many changes in the organisation throughout the years too.
The elimination of “the Ban” in 1971, which had banned Association members from participating in or visiting a number of other sports like soccer and rugby, was one of the first significant reforms to occur.
The restriction prohibiting members of the Security Forces in the north of Ireland from joining the Association and the regulation limiting the playing of games at Croke Park and all other Association venues to only those controlled by the Association were changed more recently.
What is the biggest GAA club in Ireland?
In terms of GAA club size, the Dublin clubs, or ‘superclubs’ as they are becoming known, are gigantic in size.
Reigning Leinster club champions Kilmacud Crokes are amongst the biggest, if not the biggest, with a staggering number of 5000 members, fielding approximately 160 teams.
Ballyboden St Enda’s aren’t too far behind with circa 3500 members, fielding over 170 teams across both genders, four codes and all age groups.
The divide between the big and small clubs is growing by the year and becoming a concern for the GAA.
When you compare the likes of Crokes against Down’s Kilcoo, who defeated their Dublin counterparts in the All-Ireland Club Final last year, have only 250 members.
If you are not sure what the GAA means, this blog explaining just that will tell you why.
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