The Irish Sports Monitor

Study Number (SN): 0050-05

Sport Ireland (2021). The Irish Sports Monitor, 2019 [dataset]. Version 1. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive SN: 0050-05


The Irish Sports Monitor (ISM) is a large population study undertaken biennially in order to provide trends in participation in sport and physical activity in Ireland. It sets a broad definition of sport and measures participation in both active and social contexts (i.e. includes club membership, volunteering and attendance at sports events). It also measures other forms of physical activity including recreational walking as well as walking and cycling for transport.

Sport plays a variety of important roles in Ireland today. Participation in sport not only provides considerable physical benefits, but also enhances mental wellbeing. This report finds that most sports– even those that can be participated alone– are played in group environments providing a social outlet and a support network for individuals.

Social participation in sport is a key community bond. Sports clubs are at the heart of communities throughout Ireland and play a key role in bringing individuals together and forging community spirit. Three out of every five people in Ireland regularly participate in sport– either actively or socially. Ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to participate in sport, and is encouraged to take this opportunity, is a key vision. Considerable investments are made by Sport Ireland and other stakeholders in order to achieve this.


  • Sport
  • Exercise
  • Physical activities
  • Sports clubs
  • Sports spectatorship
  • Voluntary work
  • Investment in sport
  • Coaching and structured training
  • Wearable technology and physical activity



Representative sample of the population (aged 16+) in the Republic of Ireland

Observation units


Time dimension

Repeated cross-sectional study

Geographical coverage

Country: Ireland

Sampling procedure

The design of this wave of the ISM includes a change to the survey methodology in order to enhance the coverage of the population. Previous surveys were conducted by telephone using a random selection of landline telephone numbers and interviewing quotas to ensure a nationally representative sample of the Irish population. Since 2015, the survey sample has been expanded to include mobile telephone numbers in order to ensure that those in mobile-only households were adequately represented within the survey results.

Methods of data collection

CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing)


Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file



Survey data – 2019





Documentation (available for download)

File name


Contents of file



Study report 2019



Questionnaire 2019






ISM 2019 | Sport Ireland


Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete a ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes, and follow the procedures, as above. This covers sharing of data with students in a classroom situation. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurances of the module/workshop require a new application. If students will subsequently using data for projects/assignments they must submit their own request form for Research Purposes. Please contact us if you have any queries.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.

Please note that any reference to signature and date in this document can be read as meaning the typed name and date where such an application is forwarded electronically. 



Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Irish Sports Monitor, 2017" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive -”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Sport Ireland (2019). The Irish Sports Monitor, 2017 [dataset]. Version 1. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive SN: 0050-04  


The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.

For a list of Sports related datasets click here.