On St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate Irish culture in Canada.

To mark this day, we are excited to give a nod to the Canadian Olympians who were born in Ireland or Northern Ireland but came to this country to live, train, compete and, most importantly, wear the maple leaf over their hearts with pride.

Irish-born Canadian Olympic Medallists

Paddy Brennan – Lacrosse

Brennan was the captain of the squad that won Canada’s second straight Olympic gold medal in lacrosse at London 1908. The captain was the only member of the Montreal Shamrocks to have been born in Ireland.

Canada’s Geraldine Heaney (91) competes in women hockey action against China at Nagano 1998. (CP PHOTO/COC/Mike Ridewood)

Geraldine Heaney – Ice Hockey

Born in Lurgan, County Armagh in Northern Ireland, Heaney won silver at Nagano 1998 and gold at Salt Lake City 2002, the first two Olympic Winter Games to feature women’s hockey. The seven-time world champion was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.

Bobby Kerr – Athletics

Born in Enniskillen, Norther Ireland, Kerr was Canada’s first star sprinter at the Olympic Games. He won gold in the 200m and bronze in the 100m at London 1908 and is noted by the Olympic Council of Ireland as Irish-born winner of Olympic gold while representing another country.

Bobby Kerr, who won 200m gold and 100m bronze at the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

Owen Nolan – Ice Hockey

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Nolan was a member of the first Canadian men’s hockey team to win Olympic gold in 50 years at Salt Lake City 2002.

Derek Porter – Rowing

Another Belfast boy, Porter won gold at Barcelona 1992 as a member of the men’s eight and then struck solo silver four years later in the single sculls at Atlanta 1996.

Canada’s Derek Porter competing in the men’s singles sculls at the Atlanta 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. (CP PHOTO/COC/Mike Ridewood)

Con Walsh – Athletics

Born in Carriganima, County Cork in Ireland, Walsh was Canada’s first Olympic medallist in the hammer throw, winning bronze at London 1908.

Other Irish-born Canadian Olympians

Peter Byrne – Sailing

Born in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, Byrne competed in the Flying Dutchman event at Munich 1972. He’d won bronze in the event at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg.

Canada’s Richard Dalton paddles his way to sixth place during the C-1 500m final of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Saturday, August 28, 2004. (CP PHOTO/COC-Andre Forget)

Richard Dalton – Canoe/Kayak Sprint

Born in Cork, Ireland, Dalton competed in the C-1 500m and C-2 1000m events at Athens 2004. A three-time world bronze medallist, he won gold at the 2011 Pan Am Games in the C-1 200m.

Bryan Donnelly – Rowing

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Donnelly was a member of the men’s eight at Sydney 2000.

Jimmy Duffy – Athletics

Born in Lisacoghil, County Sligo, Ireland, Duffy placed fifth in the marathon at Stockholm 1912, which is still Canada’s best ever Olympic result in the event. He went on to win the 1914 Boston Marathon before serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I. He was fatally wounded near Ypres, Belgium in April 1915.

 

In this photo taken on June 14, 2014, illustrations of World War I soldiers and Boston Marathon winners James Duffy, 1914, and Tom Longboat, 1907, are framed behind glass on exhibit at the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium. Duffy died on the battlefield of Belgium in 1915 while Longboat survived the war and was able to return home. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Pat Farrell – Fencing

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Farrell competed in both épée and sabre events at Los Angeles 1932.

Patrick Farrelly – Athletics

Born in Mullingar, Ireland, Farrelly competed in the 20km race walk at Montreal 1976.

Gillian Hamilton – Biathlon

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, made her lone Olympic appearance in the 7.5km sprint at Lillehammer 1994.

Tom McKay – Athletics

Born in Lucan, Ireland, McKay competed in the 800m at Paris 1924.

Patrick Ruttle – Field Hockey

Born in Bray, Ireland, Ruttle was a member of the first Canadian Olympic field hockey team at Tokyo 1964.