Olympiversaries: Irish Boxing Celebrates Olympic Milestones


August 8th is a red letter day in the annals of Irish Olympic boxing.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Michael Carruth’s Barcelona gold, the 30th anniversary of Wayne McCullough’s silver, the first anniversary of Kellie Harrington’s Tokyo gold and the 10th anniversary of Paddy Barnes London bronze.

Olympic games are traditionally staged at any point during the 6 week window from early July to late August, and finals are usually held across two days. Olympic results from all games since Athens, 1896, are available here

Ireland won two medals at the Barcelona Olympics, Gold on August 8th when welterweight Michael Carruth defeated Juan Hernandez Sierra:

The second medal of the day, a silver went to Wayne McCullough, who battled against Hernandez Sierra’s countryman, Joel Casamayor:

Today also marks the first anniversary of Kellie Harrington’s Tokyo gold, which she claimed following a battle against Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira.

Round of 16 – defeated Rebecca Nicoli (Italy)

Quarter Final – defeated Imane Khelif (Algeria)

Semi Final – defeated Sudaport Seesondee (Thailand)

Final-defeated Beatriz Ferreira (Brazil)

Paddy Barnes, on this day, became Ireland’s only boxing double Olympic medallist. He claimed his first bronze in Beijing in 2008, and his second at London 2012, contesting against Zou Shiming of China:

Earlier this month, on August 2nd, Irish Boxing celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first Olympic medal. It was claimed by Belfast’s John McNally. He came to the bantamweight silver medal on August 2nd, 1952 at the Helsinki Games, by split decision in his final against home boxer, Pentti Hamalainen of Finland. His route to the final included unanimous decision wins over a Filipino boxer, an Italian boxer and a South Korean boxer.

The ’56 Games in Melbourne (4 medals), the ’92 Games in Barcelona (2 medals), the ’08 Games in Beijing (3 medals) the ’12 Games in London (4 medals) and the Tokyo Games (2 medals) are all notable in that Ireland came home with multiple medals

Boxing remains Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport, winning 18 of Ireland’s 35 medals at the Games – half of Ireland’s boxing Olympic medals have been won since the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Courtesy of IABA

Ireland’s Olympic Medal Winners:

John McNally, Silver, men’s bantamweight, 1952, Helsinki

Fred Tiedt: Silver, men’s welterweight, 1956, Melbourne

Tony Byrne: Bronze, men’s lightweight, 1956, Melbourne

John Caldwell: Bronze, men’s flyweight, 1956, Melbourne

Freddie Gilroy: Bronze, men’s bantamweight, 1956, Melbourne

Jim McCourt: Bronze, men’s lightweight, 1964, Tokyo

Hugh Russell: Bronze, men’s flyweight, 1980, Moscow

Michael Carruth: Gold, men’s welterweight, 1992, Barcelona

Wayne McCullough: Silver, men’s bantamweight, 1992, Barcelona

Kenny Egan: Silver, men’s light heavyweight, 2008, Beijing

Darren Sutherland: Bronze, men’s middleweight, 2008, Beijing

Paddy Barnes: Bronze, men’s light flyweight, 2008, Beijing; Bronze, men’s light flyweight, 2012, London

Katie Taylor: Gold, women’s lightweight, 2012, London

John Joe Nevin: Silver, men’s bantamweight, 2012, London

Michael Conlan: Bronze, men’s flyweight, 2012, London

Aidan Walsh: Bronze, men’s middleweight, 2021, Tokyo

Kelly Harrington: Gold, women’s lightweight, 2021, Tokyo

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