Athletes Famous Athletes from Ireland

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List of famous athletes from Ireland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Ireland has seen some very talented athletes over the years, many of who have gone on to represent their country in the Olympics. These are some of the best Irish athletes of all time, so if you're a native of Ireland and are aspiring to compete in sports professionally then these are people you should look up to. If you're searching for a particular popular athlete from Ireland then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

Items include everything from Stephen Dawson to James J. Braddock.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Irish athletes?" and "Which athletes are from Ireland?"

You can click on the names of these legendary athletes of Ireland in order to get more information about each one.
1
Sonia O'Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Sonia O'Sullivan is an Irish former athlete. She began her running career in Ballymore Running Club which is located in the eastern side of Cobh Town. She was one of the world's leading female ...more
2
Carey May is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Carey May is a former long-distance runner from Ireland, who won the Osaka Ladies Marathon in 1983 and 1985.
3
Charlie Nash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Charlie Nash, born in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1951, is a retired boxer. As an amateur he held an Irish national title and represented Ireland in the 1972 Olympic Games. As a professional he ...more
4
Joanne Cuddihy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Joanne Cuddihy is an Irish sprint athlete, competing for the Kilkenny City Harriers. She is the Irish 400 metres outdoor women's record holder with a time of 50.73 seconds.
5
Derval O'Rourke is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Derval O'Rourke is an Irish former sprint hurdles athlete. She competed internationally in the 60 and 100 metres hurdles, and is the Irish national record holder in both events. She participated ...more
6
Paddy Barnes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Patrick Gerard Barnes MBE is an Irish amateur boxer from Belfast. Representing Ireland, he has won two Olympic bronze medals. The first at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the second at the 2012 ...more
7
Olive Loughnane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Olive Loughnane is a retired Irish race walker. She has competed in four Olympic Games. Loughnane has represented Ireland at five consecutive editions of the World Championships in Athletics and ...more
8
Niall O'Higgins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
9
Maeve Kyle is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Maeve Esther Enid Kyle, OBE, née Shankey, is an Irish Olympic athlete and hockey player. She competed in the 100m and 200m in the Melbourne Olympics and subsequently in the Rome Olympics ...more
10
Catherina McKiernan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Catherina McKiernan is a former long-distance runner from Ireland, who competed in the marathon, 10,000 metres and cross country running.
11
Gillian O'Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Gillian O'Sullivan is an Irish race walker. She has held the world record in the 5000m walk since 2002 and won a silver medal at the world championship in 2003 over 20km. It was the first time ...more
12
Ron Delany is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Ronald Michael Delany, better known as Ron or Ronnie Delany, is an Irish former athlete, who specialised in middle distance running. He earned a gold medal by finishing in first place in the ...more
13
Francie Barrett is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Francis Barrett is a professional boxer.
14
Andy Lee is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Andy Lee is an Irish professional boxer from Limerick, Ireland. He is the current WBO Middleweight world champion, trained by Adam Booth. He was formerly trained by Boxing Hall Of Fame inductee, ...more
15
Matthew Macklin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Matthew Macklin, known as "The Tipperary Tornado", is a British-Irish professional boxer, who represents Britain and Ireland in the ring. He fights at middleweight or the divisions ...more
16
Ed Joyce is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Edmund Christopher Joyce is an Irish cricketer who has played for both the Irish and English national cricket teams. After beginning his career with Middlesex, he moved to Sussex in 2009. A ...more
17
Johnny Carey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
John James "Johnny" Carey, also known as Jackie Carey, was an Irish professional footballer and manager. As a player Carey spent most of his career at Manchester United, where he was ...more
18
James J. Braddock is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
James Walter "Cinderella Man" Braddock was an American boxer who was the world heavyweight champion from 1935 to 1937. Fighting under the name James J. Braddock, he was known for his ...more
19
Elisha Scott is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Elisha Scott was an Irish football goalkeeper who most notably played for Liverpool from 1912 to 1934.
20
Peter Doherty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Peter Dermot Doherty was a Northern Ireland international footballer and manager who played for several clubs, including Manchester City and Doncaster Rovers. An inside left, he was one of the ...more
21
Derek Roche is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Derek Roche is an Irish former professional boxer. He fought at mainly within the Light Middleweight division but could compete at Welterweight and Super Middleweight. Roche turned professional ...more
22
Damaen Kelly is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Damaen Kelly is a former professional boxer from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who represented the Ireland at the Olympics. Kelly fought his final professional fights in the Bantamweight division ...more
23
Eamonn Loughran is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Eamonn Loughran born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland is a former professional boxer who fought in the light welterweight divisions.
24
Steve Collins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Stephen Collins, more commonly known as Steve Collins, is an Irish professional boxer. Known as "The Celtic Warrior", Collins is the former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight ...more
25
Jamie Moore is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Athletes from Ireland
Jamie Moore is a retired professional boxer from Walkden, Salford and is the former European light middleweight champion. Moore fights at Light Middleweight but has competed in the divisions ...more