Bartra Wealth Advisors have a limited number of final Irish Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) approved investment slots available, with a restricted quota and timeframe. These slots are open to clients who have an immediate intention to apply for the IIP. Contact us now to secure your opportunity.

Ireland’s Eclectic Sporting Scene

Ireland’s neighbours might be best known for football and cricket – sports that dominate in Britain, but Ireland is home to a wide range of outdoor activities that aren’t commonly seen in the rest of the world. While Ireland’s prowess in rugby is renowned, lesser-known sports, such as Gaelic football, hurling and camogie make the country’s sporting scene stand out.

Ireland’s largest sporting organisation is the Gaelic Athletic Association, which promotes Gaelic games that include most of the nation’s distinctive sports, including Gaelic football, hurling, handball, rounders and camogie. As of 2018, GAA was Ireland’s most popular sport, followed by soccer, then rugby, with athletics, tennis, golf and swimming coming in joint fourth place.

We’ve rounded up some of Ireland’s most popular sports below, to reveal a little more about these intriguing games and what spectators can expect if they see the sport in action.

Gaelic Football

Gaelic football appears to have first been played in Ireland in 1802. With origins in the traditional football that was played across Europe, the distinctive Gaelic version was codified by the GAA in 1887, and while also based on the ancient Irish game of caid, it has similarities to rugby.

Gaelic football is played between two teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch – not so different to rugby in both respects. However, the Gaelic football pitch is slightly larger and the ball in play is round like a football, instead of oval as in rugby. This ball may be kicked or ‘hand passed’, which means that it is struck with a closed fist using the knuckle and thumb. Tackling is limited relative to rugby, though shoulder to shoulder contact is permitted, as is slapping the ball out of an opponent’s hand. The aim is to get the ball over or into the goal, which consists of two posts with a crossbar (narrower and lower than in rugby), but also with a net, effectively combining rugby posts with a football net. A ‘point’ is scored by kicking the ball or fisting – when a closed hand strikes the ball – it over the crossbar. Below the crossbar a ‘goal’ is scored, which is worth three points, but a ‘goal’ only counts if the ball is kicked into the net.

An amateur sport, Gaelic football is mainly domestic with no national Gaelic football teams, so it’s rare that you’ll be able to watch a game outside of Ireland.


Played by men, hurling is a team sport that has some elements in common with Gaelic football, including the field and the goals, though its roots lie in shinty, a game predominantly played in Scotland. There are also similarities to both hockey and lacrosse, particularly given that hurling is a stick and ball game. It is, however, played using a ‘hurley’ (a stick made of ash) and a ‘sliotar’, a small ball that is slightly bigger than a tennis ball and is comprised of a cork core encased in leather, similar in appearance to a baseball. For the teams to score, this ball is hit over the crossbar for one point or into the net (past a goalkeeper) for three points.

In terms of rules, the ball can be caught in the hand and carried, though not for more than four steps, and it can be struck in the air, or hit on the ground using the hurley. It can also be kicked or slapped with an open hand. To carry the ball further than four steps, the ball must be bounced or balanced on the end of the hurley and may only be handled twice while in the possession of one player. Helmets and faceguards are compulsory for all players, particularly given that hurling is considered one of the fastest field sports in the world.

Greatly loved, hurley plays a big role in popular culture, often featuring in film, music, and literature. It has also been listed by UNESCO as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage. While it is played by the Irish diaspora around the world, spectators will most likely catch a game in Ireland – and should look forward to the experience. Financial Times journalist Simon Kuper wrote after watching the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final that hurling is “the best sport ever and if the Irish had colonised the world, nobody would ever have heard of football.”



Similar to hurling and with the game of shinty also at its roots, camogie is essentially hurling by adapted to suit women. It is less physical than its counterpart for men with a slightly smaller ball and shorter games – 60-minutes instead of hurling’s 70-minute games. Yet just as fast and exciting as hurling, camogie is a similarly popular spectator sport that is much loved both within Ireland and by Irish communities overseas. It has also been listed as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.



Despite the popularity of Gaelic sports in Ireland, the nation is probably most proud of its rugby team, which competes successfully on the world stage. In 2019, Ireland ranked number 1 in the Men’s World Rugby Rankings and currently sits in sixth place as of February 2021, behind South Africa, New Zealand, England, France and Australia.

Rugby is a sport that is only gaining in popularity globally, particularly in Asia following the hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan last year, where Ireland reached the quarter-finals. A number of international rugby tournaments take place, including the popular World Rugby Sevens Series, a variant of the game where teams of seven play seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 playing 40 minute halves. The Hong Kong Sevens, which was founded in 1976, is the premier event of this competition.

Barta has an exclusive partnership with Connacht Rugby, one of four professional provincial rugby teams in Ireland. Bartra supports the funding of the redevelopment of a new stadium and indoor training centre at Connacht’s existing home, The Sportsground in Galway. Investors willing to make an IIP application via the Endowment route can choose to fund Connacht Rugby.

Investors interested in the IIP often choose the Enterprise route, where through Bartra investors can enjoy 100% capital return and, when investing in nursing home projects, also reap a 20% return over a five-year investment period. However, investing in Connacht Rugby through the Endowment route is an alternative, where a minimum of €400,000 is invested benevolently in an appropriate public project that benefits arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland. Connacht Rugby is one such project – and it’s an Endowment option particularly suited to rugby or sports fanatics.

Bartra Wealth Advisors’ Survey Finds Over 80% of Respondents Consider Emigrating Overseas

To understand the intent and views of the people of Hong Kong on emigrating overseas, Bartra Wealth Advisors (‘Bartra’), a subsidiary of Ireland’s market leading real estate developer and the first Irish immigration investment advisory in Hong Kong, conducted an online survey on emigration. From 1,200 responses, the survey found that 84% of respondents are currently considering or will consider emigrating overseas, among which the majority are high-income individuals including office workers, business people and professionals.

Survey immigration

According to the survey, among the respondents who intend to emigrate about 85% of respondents claim that they will not leave Hong Kong within a year of obtaining an approval of their application to emigrate. The survey also found that over 50% of respondents’ decision to emigrate is in order to improve their living environment, while approximately 30% want their children to obtain a better education. To obtain a foreign residency/citizenship and political factors each account for 20%. As the people of Hong Kong gain a better understanding of Ireland, the country has increased in popularity as a destination for relocation, more so than other European countries and Malaysia. Currently, the top three destinations are the UK, Taiwan and the US. Meanwhile, the top three areas of concern for Hongkongers deciding to emigrate are the associated costs, the ease of application and language. Over 40% of respondents have considered obtaining residency by immigration investment, for which they care most about the security, return, and duration of the investment project, according to the findings of the survey.

Survey Countries

Jeffrey Ling, Bartra Wealth Advisors Regional Manager, said, “Although the UK is still the top pick for relocation for the people of Hong Kong, uncertainty increased after Brexit which may affect the politico-economic environment in the UK. As a member of the European Union and part of the Common Travel Area with the UK, Ireland, an English-speaking country, is a gateway to both the UK and EU countries with promising business prospects; it is the first choice for many companies looking to relocate their headquarters. Moreover, this survey reveals that Hong Kong people require a great deal of flexibility around application and residency requirements via investment immigration, and they show a high degree of concern about the robustness and security of the investment projects. Both of these requirements are met by the Immigrant Investor Programme (‘IIP’) qualified projects that Bartra offers.”

Survey Timeline

Since the desire of high-net-worth clients to immigrate is strong and their top choice remains the UK, Bartra recommends they ensure a full understanding of the local investment market performance before immigrating. Wealth and investment management firm Harris Fraser was specially invited to conduct market analysis and share views on investment opportunities and wealth management trends. Cyrus Chan, Harris Fraser Investment Strategist, said, “With widespread vaccination programmes underway, the global economy is expected to recover faster than expected. However, although the UK and the EU came to an agreement for Brexit last year, relevant implementation details still need to be clarified. The troubled British economy may rebound, and the Irish economy will benefit from it. In addition, with the structural changes in the global economic environment, the wealth management needs of high-net-worth clients increase accordingly. Currently, more popular investment strategies include yield enhancement strategy, financial leverage, Euro asset allocation and focus on the healthcare sector.”

Airport lobby

The pandemic has disrupted the relocation plans of many people in Hong Kong. According to the survey, Hongkongers require more time as well as a high degree of flexibility when planning for emigration. Jay Cheung, Bartra Wealth Advisors Marketing Director, said, “In the current climate, investment immigration services and products need to have three advantages: 1) high flexibility and fast-track process; 2) product safety and strong demand; 3) ability to add value and integrate with wealth management services.

By investing in Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Programme (‘IIP’), application will be approved within 4-6 months, and applicants are only required to reside one day per year in Ireland to maintain their residency; in other words, they can obtain a foreign residency without relocating. Many of Bartra’s clients have already been granted permanent residency of Ireland, but have remained living and working in Hong Kong. In addition, Bartra commands unrivalled creditability in Irish immigration consultancy services. The Social Housing and Nursing Home projects Bartra offers to Hong Kong clients planning to obtain permanent residency in Ireland can be achieved in three or five years, and both guarantee 100% investment capital protection. They each have an approval and renewal rate of 100%. In addition, the Nursing Home project has an annual return of 4% paid on maturity, which is fitting of a high demand healthcare sector. As for the ability to integrate wealth management services, apart from cash, IIP applicants can use stocks, funds, cash value of insurance policies, properties, or even parking spaces and valuable paintings and collectibles etc., for asset requirement approval. Some clients will seek advice from financial services to pledge/refinance their assets to fund investment immigration in the current low interest environment so as to obtain residency without exiting from existing investments.

Press Conference Feb 2021

Pictures are Bartra’s press conference in early February.

Hong Kong’s Most Outstanding Enterprise Awards 2020 – Bartra Wins Most Trusted Immigration Investment Services Award

Bartra is delighted to have once again been recognised by the industry at CORPHUB’s Most Outstanding Enterprise Awards in Hong Kong. Following our success at last year’s ceremony where we took home four awards, this year we were named Most Trusted Immigration Investment Services by the prestigious professional platform, which seeks to highlight enterprises on the rise and celebrate their achievements in various sectors.

At Bartra, we strongly believe that what makes us successful is our business model. As the only Irish developer with a physical office in Hong Kong that offers investors direct investments into our safe, transparent, fixed asset projects, along with the opportunity to gain Irish residency, we are the leading IIP provider and the strongest player in the market.

We pride ourselves on our 100% success and renewal rate, our robust projects in qualifying Social Housing and Nursing Homes projects, and our unmatched expertise in the IIP. Compared to other European immigration programmes, our Social Housing project offers a 100% repayment guarantee and the exit strategy is simple and straightforward without any of the hassle related to liquidation or concerns around market performance. Investors in our Nursing Homes projects enjoy the same simple and straightforward exit strategy, and receive a 20% return (4% interest each year) upon exit of the  Euro1 million, five-year investment on top of obtaining Irish residency. This ensures that our IIP is not only cost-free but includes an excellent return which investors can put towards a property purchase or their children’s education. The safety of the investment coupled with the excellent return makes the IIP one of the most attractive investment migration programmes in the world.

To find out what makes Bartra’s business successful, watch the exclusive interview with our Regional Manager, Jeffrey Ling, below (in Cantonese).

Or read the interview here.

Keen to learn more about beginning your immigration journey to one of the world’s most enticing destinations – Ireland with the expertise of a best-in-class Irish developer? Contact us today!