The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have confirmed that boxing will be part of the program for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Ireland first entered the Olympic Games independently at Paris 1924.

The IABA sent an eight-strong boxing team to 8th Olympiad where Paddy “Rocky” Dwyer reached the semi-finals, enough to secure at least bronze under today’s rules.

The Tipperary welter was beaten in the last-four by Argentina’s Hector Eugen Mendez after suffering a facial injury in the third round – most reports claim that injury was because of the illegal use of the head.

Dwyer had to withdraw from the box-off for bronze versus Canada because of the injury, described as a deep gash on his forehead.

A plaque was erected to the first Irish boxer to reach an Olympic semi-final on Limekill Lane, Tipperary in 2002. Dwyer finished in fourth spot in the 69kg class at the 1924 Games.

Helinsink 1952, where Belfast’s John McNally claimed Ireland’s first Olympic boxing medal (silver), marked the first occasion that both losing semi-finalists were awarded bronze, although the medals were not presented until years later.

Seven of the Irish squad for Paris 1924 represented the Army. Robert Hilliard, Ireland’s first Olympic bantam and the only non-army in the squad, died from wounds sustained battling General Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War in 1937Kerry-native Hilliard served as an Anglican priest in the Kingdom and who was known as the “boxing parson.” A Trinity Collge graduate, he’s cited in Christy Moore’s “Viva la Quinca Brigade.”“Bob Hilliard was a Church of Ireland pastor; From Killarney cross the Pyrenees he came.”

Cork feather Mossy Doyle lost to Jackie Fields of the USA in his first fight in Paris. Fields, real name Jacob Finkelstein, was advised – not because of anti-Semitism – by his coach to change his name to Jackie Fields because his real name didn’t sound tough enough for a boxer.

The Chicago feather was just 16 when he claimed gold at Paris 1924 and has been confirmed as the youngest Olympic champion of all time.

Scotland-born James ‘Tancy’ Lee, a former British champion, was Irish head coach at the Paris Olympics. An army instructor, Ireland’s chief seconds said his job was to “teach men to fight without bullets.”

All of Ireland’s athletes at the 1924 games received participation medals.

“At Paris 2024, boxing will celebrate 120 years since its first appearance on the Olympic Games programme in St Louis (1904). That in itself is a huge achievement for our sport and highlights boxing’s continuing popularity and relevance around the world,” said CK Wu, President of AIBA, following the recent announcement by the IOC.


Irish Boxing At Paris 1924

Flyweight: Michael “Myles” McDonagh (Army)
Lost to Ruperto Bieta (Spain) Pts

Bantamweight: Robert Hilliard (Trinity College BC)
Lost to Benjamin Pertuzzo (Argentina) Pts

Featherweight: Mossy Doyle (Army)
Lost to eventual gold medallist Jackie Fields (USA) Pts

Lightweight: PJ Kelleher (Army)
Lost to Ben Rothwell (USA) KO2

Welterweight: Paddy Dwyer (Army)
Beat Richard Basham (Britain) Pts
Beat Anton Cornelius (Holland) Pts
Beat Francois Stauffer (Switzerland) KO3
Lost to Hector Eugen Mendez (Argentina) TKOI3

Bronze medal Box-Off between losing semi-finalists
Lost to Douglas Lewis (Canada) W/O

Middleweight: Willie ‘Boy’ Murphy (Army)
Beat Jerzy Nowak (Poland) KO1
Lost to Leslie Black (Canada) Pts

Light-heavyweight: John Kidley (Army)
Lost to eventual bronze medallist Sverre Sorsdal (Norway) TKO1