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.

May, 2023: The court is currently included in a (second) planning application by the Commissioners for Public Works to create a Children's Science Centre. This application is largely a re-submission of the 2016 application, updated (among other differences) to incorporate the condition imposed by An Bord Pleanála in 2016 that “The developer shall submit a detailed proposal to the planning authority for the temporary reinstatement of the penthouse galleries and any other essential features required for playing Real Tennis matches.” Indeed, the new application states “The An Bord Pleanála conditions of the 2016 grant of permission relating to the Real Tennis Court have been fully incorporated into this new application”, and “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.

On 23 November 2022, Dublin City Council issued a decision granting permission, subject to a number of conditions including in relation to the Real Tennis Court. The IRTA, via Cunnane Stratton Reynolds, has appealed the decision. A decision on that appeal was originally expected by 28th April, but we were informed by An Bord Pleanála that, “due to a backlog of cases”, this will not be achieved. The new date for a decision is 20th July 2023.

Details available here.

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