Olympic Council of Ireland

Olympic Council of Ireland
Olympic Council of Ireland
Olympic Council of Ireland logo
Olympic Council of Ireland logo
National Olympic Committee
Country  Ireland
Code IRL
Created 1922
Recognized 1922
Headquarters Howth, Dublin, Ireland
President Pat Hickey
Website http://www.olympicsport.ie
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The Olympic Council of Ireland or OCI (Irish: Comhairle Oilimpeach na hÉireann) is the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Ireland. Its mission is "to develop and protect the Olympic Movement in Ireland, in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s guiding document — the Olympic Charter."



After the First World War, John J. Keane attempted to unite various sports associations under an Irish Olympic Committee.[1] Many sports had rival bodies, one Unionist and affiliated to a United Kingdom parent, the other Republican and opposed to any link with Great Britain.[citation needed] Keane proposed that a separate Irish delegation, marching under the Union Flag, should participate at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp.[1] At the time the Irish War of Independence was under way, and the International Olympic Committee rejected Keane's proposal pending the settlement of the underlying political situation.[1]

The Irish Olympic Council was affiliated to the IOC on 3 June 1922,[1] during the provisional administration that prepared for the formal establishment of the Irish Free State in December 1922. The name was changed to "Olympic Council of Ireland" in the 1950s by its fourth President, Lord Killanin,[2] who was also its second IOC delegate after Keane.[3]

The OCI team has competed at all but one of the Summer Olympic Games since 1924. The 1936 Games were boycotted; this was the first Games after the IAAF's 1934 ruling on borders which restricted the OCI's jurisdiction to what was then the Irish Free State.[4] The OCI has sent teams to most Winter Olympic Games since 1992.

Name Dispute

The Irish Olympic Council was party to a protracted dispute with the British Olympic Council during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s concerning how its team should be designated. The Irish Olympic Council had been informed by the IOC in 1939 that in light of the wording of the Irish Constitution, the official designation at future Olympics would be 'Éire' (despite the fact that the English form of the name 'Ireland' is also used in the same document). This provided yet another bone of contention. Irish officials made an official protest but eventually accepted the ruling.[5] Nevertheless at the 1948 London Olympic Games the Irish team formed ranks behind that of Iraq, only to be informed by the British officials that their place lay behind Egypt, despite the instruction to participants to assemble in alphabetical order according to the English version of their country's name.[5] Lord Killanin (the Olympics Council of Ireland chief) subsequently persuaded Avery Bundage, the IOC president, to accept 'Ireland' as the country's designation for the 1956 Melbourne Games, and the IOC followed suit, in spite of the opposition of Burghey, head of the British Olympics Association. Killanin was later forced to protest over the continued use of 'Éire' by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, presided over by Burghley, the only association which did not quickly accept the IOC's decision.[5]


Presidents of the OCI:[2][3]

Name Dates
John J. Keane 1922–29
Eoin O'Duffy 1929–33
Eamon Broy 1933–50
Lord Killanin 1950–73
Patrick J. Carroll 1973–76
Desmond O'Sullivan 1976–89
Pat Hickey 1989–

Delegates at the IOC:[2][3]

Name Dates
John J. Keane 1922–51
Lord Killanin 1952–72 (delegate) 1972–80 (President) 1980–99 (Honorary Life Member)
Kevin O'Flanagan 1977–95
Pat Hickey 1996–

Affiliated Organisations

While the Olympic Charter defines that the area of jurisdiction must coincide with the limits of the country in which it is established and has its headquarters,[6] many athletes from Northern Ireland also compete for the team, since sports organised on an all-Ireland basis are affiliated to the OCI.

The following organisations are affiliated, some of which are very small and share an address at the OCI headquarters:[7]

Organisation Sport(s) or discipline(s) Founded Affiliated First
at Olympics
Irish Amateur Archery Association archery >1973[8] 1976[9]
Athletics Association of Ireland athletics (track and field) 1969[8][t 1] 1924[10]
Badminton Union of Ireland badminton 2000[9]
Baseball Ireland baseball 1989[t 2][11]
Basketball Ireland basketball 1947[8] 1948[10]
Irish Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association bobsleigh, skeleton 1992 (bobsleigh[12]);
2002 (skeleton[12])
Irish Amateur Boxing Association boxing (amateur) 1924[8] 1924[10]
Irish Canoe Union canoeing
(kayaking, Canadian canoe)
1964[8] 1972[10] (kayak[9]);
1992 (Canadian[13])
Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting Association shooting
1966[8] 1968[10]
Irish Curling Association curling
Cycling Ireland cycle racing
(road, track, MTB)
1966[8][t 3] 1928[10] (road,[14] track[14]);
1996 (MTB[14])
Horse Sport Ireland equestrianism
(showjumping, dressage, eventing)
1950[8] 1948[10] (show jumping[15]);
1952 (eventing[15]);
1988 (dressage[15])
Irish Amateur Fencing Federation fencing 1946[8] 1948[10]
Football Association of Ireland football (soccer) 1970[8] 1924[10]
Irish Gymnastics Ltd. gymnastics >1973[8] 1996[9]
Olympic Handball Association team handball >1973[8]
Irish Hockey Association field hockey 1949[8]
Irish Ice Hockey Association ice hockey
Irish Judo Association judo 1963[8] 1964[10]
Modern Pentathlon Association of Ireland modern pentathlon 1980[9]
Paralympics Ireland Paralympic Games 1987[16] 1988[t 4][16]
Irish Amateur Rowing Union rowing 1948[8] 1948[10]
Irish Sailing Association sailing 1947[8] 1948[10]
Snowsports Association of Ireland snowboarding, skiing
(alpine skiing, nordic skiing)
1998 (alpine[12]);
2002 (nordic[12])
National Target Shooting Association of Ireland shooting
(rifle, pistol)
1980 (pistol[17]);
1996 (rifle[17])
Swim Ireland aquatics
(swimming, water polo, diving)
1924[8] 1924[10] (water polo[9]);
1928 (swimming[9])
Irish Table-Tennis Association table tennis
Irish Taekwondo Union taekwondo
Tennis Ireland tennis 1924[9]
Irish Triathlon Association triathlon 2000[9]
Volleyball Association of Ireland volleyball >1973[8]
Irish Amateur Weightlifting Association weightlifting 1960[8] 1960[10]
Irish Amateur Wrestling Association wrestling (freestyle) 1948[8] 1952[9]


  1. ^ Bord Luthchleas Éireann affiliation date.
  2. ^ Irish Baseball & Softball Federation
  3. ^ Irish Cycling Federation affiliation date.
  4. ^ 1988 Summer Paralympics


The OCI has a small staff and is based at Olympic House in the village of Howth in County Dublin.

2012 Olympic Games

In 2007, The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) officially appointed the THG Sports Tours[18], as its official ticketing agency for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.[19]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Ireland and Olympism, p.432
  2. ^ a b c "History". Olympic Council of Ireland. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080822151348/http://www.olympicsport.ie/Content.aspx?pageid=33. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b c Ireland and Olympism, p.433
  4. ^ Krüger, Arnd; William J. Murray (2003). The Nazi Olympics: sport, politics and appeasement in the 1930s. University of Illinois Press. p. 230. ISBN 0252028155. http://books.google.com/books?id=s5ntIQv0W5IC&lpg=PA230&dq=1936%20olympics%20%22irish%20free%20state%22&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=100&as_brr=0&pg=PA230#v=onepage&q=1936%20olympics%20%22irish%20free%20state%22&f=false. 
  5. ^ a b c History Ireland, Spring 1998 edition
  6. ^ "Olympic Charter articles 29(5)" (PDF). http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_122.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  7. ^ National Federations OCI
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Ireland and Olympism, p.440
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Ireland Summer Sports". SportsReference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/IRL/summer/. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Ireland and Olympism, pp.434–5
  11. ^ "A brief history of baseball and softball in Ireland". Baseball Ireland. http://www.baseballireland.com/history.htm. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Ireland Winter Sports". SportsReference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/IRL/winter/. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  13. ^ "Ireland Canoeing: Men's Canadian Singles, Slalom Results". SportsReference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/IRL/summer/CAN/mens-canadian-singles-slalom.html. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c "Ireland Cycling". SportsReference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/IRL/summer/CYC/. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c "Ireland Equestrianism". SportsReference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/IRL/summer/EQU/. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "History of the Paralympic Council of Ireland". Paralympic Council of Ireland. http://www.pcireland.ie/organisation.history.php. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Ireland Shooting". SportsReference.com. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/IRL/summer/SHO/. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  18. ^ London 2012 News
  19. ^ Olympic Council of Ireland website

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