With the Ireland vs Wales Six Nations Rugby 2008 game taking place at Croke Park, Dublin on 8th March you can expect the Welsh army of rugby fans to arrive en masse onto the streets of Dublin! Hotels, match tickets and transport to Dublin will be in high demand for this top rugby game so check out our guide to making the most of yet another Dublin rugby weekend – details on the big match, Croke Park (including directions) and much more.
The very impressive Croke Park is currently the 4th largest sports stadium in Europe and the biggest venue for the Six Nations matches. It has been the home of GAA since 1884. In the past it was solely used for GAA fixtures, although it did host a concert or too as well as the Special Olympics in 2003. Recently, however, Croke Park opened its gates to both rugby and soccer. This was due to the closing of Lansdowne Road for renovations. The revamped Lansdowne Road isn’t expected to be ready until 2009 so until then all home rugby games will be decided at ‘Croker’.
Croke Park is located along Jones Road on the northside of Dublin, between Drumcondra and Ballybough. If you’re staying in the city centre the venue is easy enough to get to on foot. From the top of O’Connell Street head north along Parnell Square East and take a right onto Great Denmark Street. Continue along and the street becomes Gardiner Place, Fitzgibbon Street, Russell Street and eventually Jones Road. You’ll see Croke Park straight ahead and the walk shouldn’t take any longer than 25 minutes.
If you’re depending on public transport you have a number of options. Bus routes 11, 11A, 16, 16A and 41 all go to Drumcondra from O’Connell Street (near the GPO). Both the DART and the Red Line Luas stop at Connelly Station, which is only about a 15-20 minute walk from Croke Park. On leaving Connelly Station head north along Amiens Street and turn left onto Portland Row. This road becomes the North Circular Road but you can turn right on Russell Street, which becomes Jones Road.
If you are driving to Dublin for the big game just remember that the venue doesn’t have private parking. Your best bet, if you’re staying around for the night, is to find a Dublin hotel with parking facilities.
Ireland Vs Wales will be the second last game for both of these teams and hopefully both will still be in with a shout for the big prize. Wales is the only Celtic team to have earned Grand Slam in the history of the Six Nation in 2005, but in the last couple of years they have struggled to perform, only just managing to avoid the Wooden Spoon in 2007 by points difference from Scotland. Ireland has come close for a number of years but fate never seems to smile on Eddie O’Sullivan’s boys in green.
Both of these teams went into the World Cup expecting to at least qualify for the Quarter Finals but they simply didn’t perform. Ireland went out to Argentina and France; and Wales were handed a defeat by Fiji in a 34-38 shocker. Both teams had to head home early and in the case of the Welsh, they said goodbye to their manager. Hopefully their new manager Warren Gatland will have better luck.
This game will be held on the 8th of March at 1:15pm and is the first game of that weekend. The other games of that weekend include Scotland Vs England and on the Sunday, France Vs Italy. Both teams will have huge games to end their 6 Nations campaigns, England Vs Ireland and Wales Vs France, so they’ll need to keep their heads if they are to get in the right mindset for the end of the Six Nations 2008.
Even though Dublin hotels will be in high demand for the big match, if you book early you’re in with a good chance. We hope this list helps.
Right on the doorstep of Croke Park, just across the road in fact, is the 4-Star Jurys Croke Park Hotel. Other Dublin hotels in the Drumcondra area include the 3-Star Dublin Skylon Hotel on Upper Drumcondra Road and the 3-Star Regency Hotel & Leisure Centre on the Swords Road in Whitehall.
Situated between Croke Park and the city centre you’ll find the Comfort Inn Dublin Parnell Square and Castle Hotel. Both of these Dublin hotels offer a 3-Star standard of accommodation and are located on Great Denmark Street. An excellent choice if you’re on a budget is the 2-Star Dergvale Hotel in Gardiner Place.
Located on Amiens Street, close to Connelly Station, you’ll find the 3-Star North Star Hotel, while there are also a number of hotels on O’Connell Street. Parnell Square is located at the top of O’Connell Street and here you’ll find the Hotel Saint George. A hugely popular hotel, and a famous landmark on O’Connell Street, is the 4-Star Gresham Hotel.
All that’s left to say is enjoy the match! And remember if you need any help when booking any of our Dublin hotels just let us know.