In 1908, teams styled 'Ireland' competed in hockey, polo and bicycle polo at the first London Olympic Games, but it was not until 1922 that a separate NOC for Ireland was recognised by the IOC.
Ireland's best performances have come in athletics, boxing and swimming. At the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games hammer thrower Patrick O'CALLAGHAN won the first gold medal attributed to Ireland. He retained his title in 1932 at the Los Angeles Games, where Bob Tisdall won the men's 400m hurdles.
In 1956 Ronnie DELANY won the 1500m at the Melbourne Olympic Games. John TRACY took the silver in the men's marathon in Los Angeles in 1984.
Ireland's most recent track medal was won by Sonia O'SULLIVAN, who took the 5,000m silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Ireland's proud tradition in boxing was upheld by Michael CARRUTH, who won lightweight gold at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
At the same Games, future world champion Wayne McCULLOUGH took silver in the light flyweight division.
All Ireland's medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games came in the boxing ring. Kenny EGAN claimed the light heavyweight silver, Paddy BARNES took the light flyweight bronze and the late Darren SUTHERLAND was a middleweight bronze medallist.
Sailor David WILKINS competed in five Olympic Games over 20 years. He took silver with Jamie WILKINSON at Moscow 1980 in the flying Dutchman.
The Irish peer, Lord KILLANIN, born Michael MORRIS, was president of the International Olympic Commitee from 1972 to 1980.