Confirmed and Counting: The athletes who will fly the Irish flag in this year's Olympics

After a spate of qualifications we look at who has been confirmed so far to represent Ireland in Rio

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Picture by: Felipe Dana / AP/Press Association Images

Ireland are beginning to claim and fill up their spots for the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, so here is how our contingent shaping up now across the various disciplines. 


Ireland have had their most success in the Olympics in the boxing ring and it looks to be a tradition that will be continued in Rio.

As of today, these are the boxers who have qualified for the Olympics: 

  • Paddy Barnes (Light flyweight)
  • Katie Taylor (Women's lightweight)
  • Brendan Irvine (Flyweight)
  • Michael Conlan (Bantamweight)
  • David Oliver Joyce (Lightweight)
  • Steven Donnelly (Welterweight)
  • Joe Ward (Light heavyweight)
  • Michael O'Reilly (Middleweight)

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 


Ireland will look to the experience of Rob Heffernan and Mark English during the Games, while in total 17 athletes have qualified for track and field events.

  • Men's 800m – Mark English
  • Men's 400m hurdles – Thomas Barr
  • Men's 20km walk – Alex Wright, Robert Heffernan
  • Men's 50 km walk – Brendan Boyce, Robert Heffernan, Alex Wright
  • Women's 800m – Ciara Everard
  • Women's 1500m – Ciara Mageean
  • Women's 10000m – Fionnuala McCormack
  • Women's 3000m Steeplechase – Kerry O’Flaherty, Sara Treacy, Michelle Finn
  • Women's pole vault – Tori Pena

Among these then are qualifiers who are eligible to compete in the men's and women's marathon.

  • Men's marathon – 3 quota places (Currently 7 athletes with the qualifying time
  1. Segiu Ciobanu
  2. Kevin Seaward
  3. Paul Pollock
  4. Mick Clohisey
  5. Gary Thornton
  6. Sean Hehir
  7. Thomas Frazier
  • Men's Modern Penthatlon
  1. Arthur Lanigan O’Keefe
  • Women's marathon – 3 quota places (Currently 5 athletes with the qualifying time)
  1. Lizzie Lee
  2. Fionnuala McCormack
  3. Breege Connolly
  4. Gladys Ganiel
  5. Barbara Sanchez

Athletes will have until July 11 to make the grade. Ireland has seven athletes currently qualified for the men's marathon and five for the women's equivalent but only a quota of three will run in each.

You can see Athletic Ireland's policy on selection here.

Rob Heffernan will compete in both the Men's 20km walk and the Men's 50km walk. Image: ©INPHO/Ian MacNicol 



Ireland currently has three athletes competing in the Olympics in swimming events.

  • Shane Ryan (100m Backstroke)
  • Nicholas Quinn (200m Breaststroke)
  • Fiona Doyle (100m Breaststroke)

Nicholas Quinn becomes the latest Irish swimmer to qualify for the Olympics, alongside Shane Ryan and Fiona Doyle.

Ireland brought four swimmers to London in 2012, so the squad is likely to be bigger again when a number of athletes compete in the European Championships at the beginning of May.

Fiona Doyle celebrates after winning two gold medals at the World University Games, granting her qualification for the Olympics. Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan 



The Irish men's hockey team become the first in 100 years to qualify for the Olympics.

  • Men's Team (16)

It followed Ireland finishing in 5th place at the World League in Antwerp in July, and a bronze medal at the Eurohockey Championships in August.

The qualification came after Australia's 3-2 victory against New Zealand in the Oceania Cup. Since Australia had already qualified for the Olympics, the Irish team were next in line to secure their place.

The Irish Team in a huddle before a game in March. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan



An event Ireland have done well in in recent years, six riders will travel to Rio competing in three different disciplines.

  • Dressage
  • Show Jumping
  • Team [4] (Eventing)

Selection for the team will take place closer to the time to fill the four allocated spots, while in the other events, a number of names are pushing for inclusion. In show jumping, Bertram Allen and Cian O'Connor are among the contenders to make the cut, with Judy Reynolds making a strong case to be the representative in dressage.

Bertram Allen aboard Barnike at the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show in August. Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan 



Ireland will have a representative in diving at the Olympics for the first time in nearly seven decades.

Oliver Dingley finished in 11th place a World Cup event earlier this year, with the top 18 securing places for their country at the Games.

  • Oliver Dingley (Men's 3m Spring-Board)

He becomes the first diver since 1948 to represent Ireland in a diving event at the Olympics

Oliver Dingley competing at the Shamrock Diving Club last year. Image: Julian Herbert / PA Archive/Press Association Images



Annalise Murphy is the household name among the sailing contingent who will represent Ireland this summer.

  • Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial)
  • James Espey (Laser)
  • Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern (49er)
  • Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey (49er FX)

The 49erFX crew claimed an Olympic place on the Irish sailing team by picking up the unused berth freed by the African continental selection based on the results at the 2015 World Championships.

Annalise Murphy will look to add to the gold medal she won at the 2013 European Championship. Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan 



In April, a number of Irish gymnasts qualified for the Olympic Games, with Ellis O'Reilly making history by becoming the first female gymnast to qualify for Ireland.

  • Kieran Behan (Men's individual)
  • Ellis O'Reilly (Women's individual)

Both qualified through their results at the Rio test event.

Ellis O'Reilly makes history with her qualification. Image:



Both pairs qualified one boat in each of the classes through the 2015 FISA World Championships.

  • Sinead Jennings & Claire Lambe (Lightweight double sculls women)
  • Paul & Gary O'Donovan (Lightweight double sculls men)

Lambe and Jennings are still looking for support to fund a new boat in time for the Olympics.

Sinead Jennings and Claire Lambe will represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in the Lightweight double sculls women event. Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan



  • Men's road race - two quota places
  • Shannon McCurly (Track cycling - women's Kierin)

Dan Martin, Nicolas Roche and Sam Bennett are all in contention for the two quota places for the men's road race, two of which were earned through the UCI Europe tour.

Shannon McCurley qualified to race the Kierin through her Olympic ranking position.

Nicholas Roche represented Ireland at the 2008 Olympics. Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan


Modern Pentathlon  

  • Arthur Lannigan-O'Keeffe
  • Natayla Coyle

European Champion Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe was in Eygpt last month as his preparations continued for his second Olympic Games.

The 24-year-old finished in tenth place in the event and was the seventh best European in an event that was won by the home favourite Amro El Geziry.

You can find his latest vlog for Newstalk Sport here.

Both Coyle and O'Keeffe claimed gold at the Pentathlon World Cup in Florida in May, beating Katsiaryna Arol and Mikalai Hayanouski of Belarus to the top honour with a strong finish in the combined event.



  • Scott Evans – Men’s Singles
  • Chloe Magee – Women’s Singles

The pair were announced on May 20 that they would represent Ireland at this summer's Games.

Evans claimed one of the 36 places in the men’s singles and will compete at his third Olympics this summer, while Magee qualified for the women’s singles draw in 34th during the recent European Championships.



  • Sanita Puspure

The London 2012 participant qualified for Rio by finishing second in the women's single sculls at a regatta in Switzerland.