Connacht recorded their first ever victory in the Heineken Cup with a 9-8 win over Harlequins, but still finished bottom of their group.
Ireland kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 21-23 defeat to Wales which was followed by a 42-10 victory over Italy.
Irish rugby fans were left stranded in Paris following late cancellation of France vs Ireland in the Six Nations.
Galway native Richard Donovan broke his own world record in Sydney, Australia as he ran seven marathons in the space of four days, 22 hours and four minutes.
The rescheduled Six Nations game against France ended in a 17-17 draw. The remaining fixtures were a 32-14 win over Scotland and finally a disastrous St. Patrick’s Day for the national side as they were beaten 30-9 by England.
Cork landed their third Allianz Football League Division One title in a row with a 2-10 0-11 victory over Mayo.
Irish-born Aussie Rules hall of famer Jim Stynes passed away at the age of 45 after losing his battle with cancer.
Kilkenny hammered Galway 3-26 to 0-10 to land National Hurling League Division One title.
Crusaders won the Setanta Sports Cup following a 5-4 victory on penalties against Derry City. The game was level at 2-2 after extra-time.
Katie Taylor won her fourth consecutive Amateur World Championship, beating Russian opponent Sofya Ochigava who she would later face in an historic sporting occasion.
Leinster landed the Heinken Cup after a 42-14 win over Ulster at Twickenham.
The Republic of Ireland crashed out of the Euro 2012 group stages as they failed to pick up a single point and scored just one goal. They were beaten 3-1 by Croatia, 4-0 by Spain and 2-0 by Italy.
The Airtricity League Premier Division lost another club as Monaghan United drop out due to financial reasons.
Cork, Dublin, Donegal and Mayo won their respective provincial Gaelic football titles
Tipperary, Galway and Antrim won their respective provincial Hurling titles.
Katie Taylor won gold for Ireland at the London Olympics. She recorded impressive victories over Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas and Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva before meeting Ochigava in a tightly contested Final which saw the Bray native triumph by a score of 10-8.John-Joe Nevin picked up silver while Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes won bronze in boxing at the London Olympics.
Cian O’Connor secured a bronze medal with his horse in the Individual Jumping event.
There was further success in London in the following weeks as the Irish Paralympic team returned home with a tally of 16 medals, their highest total since picking up 42 medals at the 1988 games in Seoul. They won 8 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 5 bronze medals.
Donegal outshone Mayo to win their first All-Ireland title in 20 years. Jim McGuinness’ incredible year as Donegal manager did not go unnoticed abroad and he was handed a role as a performance consultant at Celtic just weeks later.
Kilkenny beat Galway in a replay of the All-Ireland Hurling Final to secure yet another title.
The Republic of Ireland avoided an embarrassing opening to their World Cup Qualifiers Group as they score two late goals to take three points away from Kazakhstan.
Drogheda United won the EA Sports Cup following a 3-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.
Sligo Rovers won their first League of Ireland title since 1977 after beating fellow title contenders St. Patrick’s Athletic in a dramatic game as Mark Quigley’s 87th minute penalty proved to be the decisive goal.
Limerick were promoted to the top tier of Irish football for the first time in 19 years.
The Republic of Ireland suffered one of its heaviest ever defeats as Germany hammered them 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium. The Boys in Green respond with a 4-1 win away to the Faroe Islands days later.
Gaelic football loses one of its all-time greats as Kerry hero Paidi O’Se passes away aged 57.
By Alan Finn