Ireland has entered athletes into dozens of different sports at the Olympic Games over the years – but it’s boxing that has been our best hope of winning a medal.

With 18 medals won in the various boxing weight categories over the years, our best three golds with grabbed by Michael Carruth (1992), Katie Taylor (2012) and Kellie Harrington (2020) bringing home the top prize.

At the 2024 Games, boxing will, once more, be a key sport for Ireland. But, other ‘big hitting’ sports are on the radar, too; Rory McIlroy will be going for gold in golf, while other Irish stars will be strutting their stuff in Paris in the badminton and taekwondo disciplines.

To mark your card, here’s a look at Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls in golf, boxing, badminton and taekwondo.

Rory McIlroy (Golf)

One of the greatest Irish sportsmen of all time will have another crack at the Olympics in 2024.

Rory McIlroy technically finished third in the 2020 Games in Tokyo, but a seven-man play-off saw him miss out on the bronze medal.

In his post-match interview, he admitted:

I’ve never tried so hard in my life to finish third… It’s not a position I’ve found myself in very often but I gave it my all out there and it wasn’t quite meant to be, but I’m looking forward to having a crack at it again… It’s not just another golf tournament – it’s something much bigger than that.

As the current world number two, McIlroy stands a great chance of winning the gold medal for Ireland – Le Golf National, the host course for the Olympics, also welcomed the Ryder Cup in 2018, where the Irishman played a full part in Europe’s demolition of the United States.

The 35-year-old has been winning big tournaments for well over a decade now, but shows no signs of slowing down. He won the Wells Fargo Championship in May and arguably should have clinched another major – the U.S. Open – in June, missing a putt inside three-feet to force a play-off with the winner, Bryson DeChambeau.

That disappointment aside, McIlroy is in tremendous shape ahead of the Olympics.

Golfing Team Run-down

Shane Lowry (Golf)

Shane Lowry won the PGA TOUR in 2024 – ironically, it came alongside McIlroy in the pairs event at the Zurich Classic.

The Olympic golf tournament is individual play, of course, but that’s not to say that off-course friends Lowry and Mcllroy won’t be playing tactically for their country, as well as their individual titles.

A former Open champion, Lowry has seven professional titles to his name and eight major top-ten finishes, proof that he can mix it with the best in the business.

And there’s form in the tank, too. At the PGA Championship in May, Lowry shot a third round of 62 – only the fifth time in major history such a low score had been carded.

Leona Maguire (Golf)

At the time of writing, Leona Maguire is the only Irish woman to have won on the LPGA Tour – doing so twice, in 2022 and 2023.

Although her form has tailed off somewhat in 2024, there’s no doubting the talent of the lady from County Cavan – Maguire has three top-ten finishes in majors and was ranked inside the world’s top ten players as recently as 2023. This will be her third crack at the Olympics.

Stephanie Meadow (Golf)

At the 2020 Olympics, Stephanie Meadow finished in seventh place – a below-par opening round of 72 hampering her medal chances: how she’d love to put that right in 2024.

The 32-year-old is certainly a woman for the big occasion. She made her professional debut at the 2014 U.S. Open, finishing third in her first tournament amongst the best in the world.

Meadow has also finished third at the Women’s PGA Championship and inside the top 20 at the Chevron Championship. It seems that, as soon as the stakes are upped, Meadow can certainly raise her game.

Kellie Harrington (Boxing)

Avoiding the chance to turn professional, Kellie Harrington has retained her amateur status and will look to defend her lightweight title in Paris.

She has beaten the likes of Caroline Dubois and Beatriz Ferreira – they’ve both gone on to win versions of the lightweight world title in the pro ranks, which offers a glimpse at just how good Harrington is.

The 34-year-old could become just the fourth dual-Olympic champion in Irish history, in what is likely to be her final Games appearance.

Boxing Team Run-down

Jude Gallagher (Boxing)

The omens are very good for Jude Gallagher, who has shown a real aptitude for big-occasion boxing.

He won the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, having won bronze at the World Youth Championships four years prior.

At the tailend of 2023, Gallagher won the Irish National Championships – an event that has spawned many great fighters over the years.

Dean Clancy (Boxing)

Although this will be his Olympic debut, Dean Clancy has plenty of experience.

The 22-year-old earned his spot at the Games by winning bronze at the European Games last year, losing out to former Olympic silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha in the semi-finals.

The Sligo man has also won gold medals at different age categories throughout his amateur career, so he has the pedigree of a potential Olympic medallist for Ireland.

Aidan Walsh (Boxing)

Aidan and Michaela Walsh made history when they became the first brother and sister duo to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in boxing – Aidan going on to secure a bronze medal.

He’d love to go one – or two – better in Paris, following in the footsteps of Carruth as Olympic welterweight champion.

Michaela Walsh (Boxing)

Michaela joined her brother in a remarkable achievement at the 2022 Commonwealth Games; the siblings both winning the gold medals in their respective disciplines.

Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington have both struck gold for Irish women at the Olympics – can Walsh make it a hat-trick this summer?

Jack Marley (Boxing)

Jack Marley will tread new ground in more ways than one when he makes his Olympic debut this summer.

He will be the first Irish heavyweight to compete at the Games since Cathal O’Grady. O’Grady, who competed almost three decades ago, earned his spot in Paris courtesy of his performances at the European Games.

Marley came through several tough rounds in Poland to reach the final, where he lost to Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine, but did enough to secure his place in the Ireland squad.

Aoife O’Rourke (Boxing)

Gold seems to be Aoife O’Rourke’s favourite colour!

She’s struck gold three times in the middleweight division at the European Championships – the latter of those coming as recently as April, ensuring she heads to Paris full of confidence.

The 26-year-old also led the way at the European Games in 2023, so it’s clear that she’s the continent’s premier middleweight – can she take that form onto the Olympic stage and claim more gold for Ireland?

Grainne Walsh (Boxing)

To describe the World Olympic Qualification Tournament as high pressured would be an understatement – this is literally the last chance saloon for those wanting to compete at the Games.

So, it’s a huge feather in the cap for Grainne Walsh (and the next two pugilists on our list) to have qualified for the 2024 Olympics via this tough old competition. Walsh won her quota bout by a comfortable 5-0 margin.

Jennifer Lehane (Boxing)

Jenny Lehane will be the first female bantamweight to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games after battling her way through the World Qualification Tournament.

Competing in European taekwondo champion in her youth, Lehane’s combat sports career could have taken an alternative direction – but her decision to focus on boxing is certainly paying dividends!

Daina Moorehouse (Boxing)

Standing 4ft 11in, it would be fair to describe Daina Moorehouse as Irish boxing’s pocket rocket.

But there’s no shortage of power or skill in her armoury, as she proved by winning her quota bout at the World Qualification Tournament – confirming her place in Ireland’s ultra-talented squad for the Paris Olympics.

Badminton Team Run-down

Nhat Nguyen (Badminton)

A highly promising youngster, Nhat Nguyen won the gold medal at the European Under-17s Championships back in 2016.

He’s since transitioned to senior badminton, where his exploits on the BWF International Challenge circuit have included an emotional win on home soil in the Irish Open in 2023.

Can Nguyen use that victory as a springboard to a medal push in Paris?

Rachel Darragh (Badminton)

Another BWF series regular to represent Ireland at the Olympics will be Rachel Darragh, who will be making her debut at the Games.

She’s a three-time BWF Challenger event runner-up, with a current world ranking of 59.

Taekwondo Team Run-down

Jack Woolley (Taekwondo)

He may be Ireland’s only representative in taekwondo at the Olympic Games, but Jack Woolley has the temperament to cope with the weight of expectation.

He was just 21 when making his Olympic debut in Tokyo, reaching the last 16, but now – older and more experienced – Woolley will be looking to advance further in the 58kg category.

From Albania to Mexico, he’s won gold medals in many international events – how he’d love to take that form onto the Olympic stage.

After choosing your favourites to win and hit the podium representing Ireland, place your bets with TonyBet and follow along for some big-hitting action!