Irish Real Tennis Association

The Irish Real Tennis Association exists to promote the sport of Real Tennis in Ireland. We are working vigorously towards the return of the Earlsfort Terrace court to play, and we also also make frequent trips to the UK to introduce newcomers to the sport, and to allow existing enthusiasts to play.

Upcoming IRTA Events

Please see our upcoming fixtures page for details of upcoming events.

How you can help

The more members we have, the stronger the case for restoring the Dublin court to play will be. If you would like one day to play on Dublin's historic court, please consider joining the IRTA to support our campaign. A membership form is available on the contact details page, which also includes details on how to make a donation to cover our costs in campaigning for the restoration of the Dublin court to play. Thank you.

Exterior of Dublin Court

Exterior of the Dublin Court

The Dublin Real Tennis Court

The Irish Real Tennis Association's main focus is the restoration of the Dublin real tennis court. The court was built in 1885 by Sir Edward Guinness, and hosted the 1890 world championship. It was played on until 1939, when it was bequeathed to the Irish State, to be used as a real tennis court. Sadly, this wish was not followed, and the court is not currently playable.

April, 2024: An Bord Pleanála has granted permission for a planning application of September 2022 by the Commissioners for Public Works to create a Children’s Science Centre. This proposal is largely a re-submission of an application from 2016. The new application states that “The Real Tennis Court building will be refurbished including the restoration of the tennis court (to a playable condition), and to facilitate space for temporary displays and exhibitions.

The IRTA made an observation on this application, and appealed, via Cunnane Stratton Reynolds, Dublin City Council’s November 2022 grant of permission. An Bord Pleanála imposed a condition requiring the developer to “engage the input of a Real Tennis specialist in the Design Team to ensure that all of the key features are designed in accordance with all relevant Real Tennis Guidelines, and that no improvement works, including the design of the penthouses, wall and floor surfaces, services and additional or widened openings, will interfere with the use of the Real Tennis Court for Real Tennis”. We have written to the Office of Public Works and to the National Children’s Science Centre to offer our help in meeting this condition.

Details available here.

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