11 of the greatest Irish sportswomen of all time

11 of the greatest Irish sportswomen of all time

IRELAND boasts some of the world's greatest sportswomen.

From boxing to camogie, there's an incredible number of leading Irish athletes paving the way for future generations of budding young female sports stars.

The Irish Post have picked out its top 11 (in no particular order), and we hope that you enjoy scrolling through the amazing achievements of these inspirational women.

Katie Taylor

Baku 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan 27/6/2015 Women's Light 57 - 60kg Final Ireland's Katie Taylor (Blue) is declared the winner against Estelle Mossely (Red) of France Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Bray native Katie Taylor is the reigning Irish, European, World and Olympic boxing Champion at 60 kilograms. She is widely regarded as one of the best female boxers in the World and it is believed that she was one of the main reasons behind the inclusion of women's boxing in the 2012 Olympics.

Fiona Coghlan

2014 Women's Rugby World Cup Pool B, FFR Headquarters, Marcoussis, Paris, France 5/8/2014 Ireland vs New Zealand Ireland's Fiona Coghlan celebrates after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

As one of Ireland's most successful rugby captains, Clontarf native Fiona Coghlan achieved a remarkable 85 international caps.

She stepped down from her role after 13 years in 2014, following a World Cup tournament, in which Ireland claimed a historic victory over New Zealand. Sadly, they fell short against England in the semi-final.

Ciara Grant

Women's World Cup Qualifier, Group 4, 26/8/2006 Republic of Ireland Ciara Grant Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Honan

A leading player at Arsenal for much of her trophy laden career, Waterford native Ciara Grant hung up her boots earlier this year. Capped 102 times by the Republic of Ireland, she left the world of soccer with a momentous career behind her.

Sonia O'Sullivan

Heroes: The Best Of Inpho Sports Photography 30/11/2013 These pictures are from the book and can be used free of charge when used in connection with articles about the book. The book is available at www.inpho.ie/book Sonia O'Sullivan wins a gold medal at the European Athletic Championships, Budapest, 1998 Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

Sonia O'Sullivan has been a household name in Ireland since she dominated the 5000m distance in the late 1990s. She was crowned 1995 World Champion and Olympic silver medallist in Sydney in 2000.

The 45-year-old still holds the world record over 2000m along with every Irish record in the books in distances ranging from 800m to half marathon. Most recently, she was honoured with a statue of herself in her native Cobh, Co. Cork.

Kelly Gallagher


Kelly Gallagher N

Kilburn-born Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher shot into public consciousness after she, alongside her guide Charlotte Evans, won gold at the visually impaired Super-G in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The athlete, whose parents hail from Co. Donegal, became the first on snow from Ireland or Britain to achieve the feat, and she was shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last year.

Stephanie Roche

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier 7/5/2014 Republic of Ireland Ireland's Stephanie Roche Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ireland international Stephanie Roche made international headlines at the end of last year when she was shortlisted alongside soccer stars James Rodriguez and Robin Van Persie for FIFA's Puskas Award for the goal of the year.

The former Peamount United player was in line to become the first female recipient of the award, which has previously been won by Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his outrageous bicycle kick against England and Neymar’s slaloming run for former club Santos.

Lena Rice

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Born in 1866 in Co. Tipperary, Lena Rice is renowned as Ireland’s most successful female tennis player. Rice’s lawn tennis career only spanned two seasons, but it ended with her being named Wimbledon Champion in 1890 and credited with inventing the forehand smash, used by the present day big-hitting female tennis stars.

Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley

2014 TG4 All Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 27/9/2015 Cork vs Dublin Cork's Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Having claimed a staggering 32 All-Ireland senior medals between them, dual stars Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley have made a significant mark on Irish sport. In addition to each featuring in all of Cork’s ten Ladies Football final victories over the past eleven years, they've also collected six senior camogie titles.

Derval O’Rourke

2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships, Scandinavium Arena, Gothenburg, Swedan 1/3/2013 60m Hurdles Semi-Final Derval O'Rourke on her way to finishing in 4th position in the Women's 60m Hurdles semi-final, qualifying for this evening's final Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

One of Ireland’s most successful athletes, Derval O'Rourke was the World Indoor 60m hurdles Champion in 2006, won silver in both the 2006 and 2010 European Championships in the 100m hurdles and won bronze in both the 2009 and 2013 European Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles.

Angela Downey

Kilkenny Camogie 1990 Angela Downey Mandatory credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Angela Downey, arguably the greatest camogie player in the game's history, was an integral part of the Kilkenny team between 1974 and 1994, helping the county to claim 12 All-Ireland senior camogie titles.