On Sunday morning at 6am Irish time, Kellie Harrington becomes the eighth Irish boxer to compete in an Olympic final. Here's how her illustrious predecessors fared.

1952: John McNally v Pentti Hamalainen (Helsinki)

The first of 17 Irish boxers to win a medal at the Olympic Games, the West Belfast fighter was convinced he'd taken home gold but was edged out in a controversial split decision by home-town competitor Pentti Hamalainen in Helsinki in 1952.

McNally qualified for the eight-strong Irish boxing team after winning the National title in the bantamweight division in '52.

At the Olympics proper, McNally was the unanimous victor over Alejandro Ortuosto in his opening bout before upsetting highly fancied Italian Vincenzo Dall'Osso in the quarter-finals to guarantee at least a bronze.

In the semi, McNally knocked his Korean opponent Joon-Ho Kang to the canvas in the second round, essentially securing himself the win and a shot at a gold medal.

Ireland's first boxing Olympic medalist John McNally speaking in 2010

The final was a sore point for a long time afterwards, the Finn Hamalainen being awarded the victory in front of a highly partisan home crowd, despite being cautioned eight times during the fight for hitting with the inside of his glove and butting his head on McNally's eye.

The British judge gave the fight to McNally but the American and Austrian judge gave it to the home fighter, to the dismay of the tearful Irish boxer.

While still cursing the verdict for a long time, he grew philosophical later on: "I just thank God that I had the chance to go there and represent my country," he told Barry Flynn, author of 'Legends of Irish Boxing'. "Ireland in the early 1950s was a relative newcomer on the world sporting scene and this was a real breakthrough for the country."

McNally was the third Irish athlete to win an Olympic medal when competing under the Irish flag, after Pat O'Callaghan and Bob Tisdall.

1956: Fred Tiedt v Nicolae Linca (Melbourne)

The Melbourne Olympics was a hugely successful Games by Irish standards and the boxers had by now emerged as the most reliable source of medals.

John Caldwell, Freddie Gilroy and Anthony Byrne all scooped bronze to add to Ronnie Delany's famous gold in the 1500m.

Dubliner Fred Tiedt, a descendant of Austrian immigrants, fared one better than his boxing team-mates.

After defeating Poland's Tadeusz Walasek (a silver medallist four years later) in the first round and the USA's Pearce Lane in the quarter-finals, Tiedt delivered a cool and composed performance to beat Australia's Kevin Hogarth in the silver medal bout.

Again, the final was reported to be contentious, Tiedt losing three to two on a split decision against his Romanian opponent Nicolae Linca. The verdict was received with some consternation in the arena. Tiedt had won more points overall than the Romanian but lost on a majority decision.

1992: Wayne McCullough v Joel Casamayor (Barcelona)

Wayne McCullough with his wife Cheryl and manager Matt Tinley after signing professional in 1993

After a lengthy gap between Olympic finals, Ireland had two competitors going for gold on a single day in August 1992.

In the intervening 36 years, Ireland's boxers had delivered two bronze medals, both again from Belfast, Jim McCourt in Tokyo in 1964 and Hugh Russell in Moscow in 1980.

Wayne McCullough, gold medallist for Northern Ireland at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, was regarded as Ireland's surest medal chance at Barcelona in '92.

Computer scoring had been introduced as a result of the Roy Jones Jr-Park si-Hun farce in Seoul and McCullough breezed through his opening three bouts to assure himself of at least a bronze.

The semi-final was a tighter affair but McCullough overcame North Korean Li Gwang-Sik on a 21-16, becoming the third Irishman into an Olympic final in boxing.

Fighting the illustrious Cuban Casamayor, later a professional world champion in two weight classes, McCullough was rocked by a ferocious right hand in the second round. Despite a rousing comeback in the third, McCullough was on the wrong side of a 16-8 score and had to content himself with silver.

Three years later, McCullough would become a professional world champion, winning the WBC title after defeating the previously undefeated Yasuei Yakushiji in Japan.

1992: Michael Carruth v Juan Hernandez (Barcelona)

Michael Carruth on his Olympics homecoming on 11 August 1992

Ireland's first boxing Olympic gold medallist was given little prospect of victory against intimidating Cuban opponent Juan Hernandez in the welterweight division.

Carruth, a corporal in the Irish army, had competed in the Seoul Olympics, falling short against Sweden's George Cramne in the quarter-final.

Four years later, the Drimnagh boxer got amongst the medals thanks to a stunning victory over Germany's Andreas Otto, against whom he had lost to in the semi-finals of the World Championships in 1989. He comfortably accounted for Thailand's Arkon Chenglai in the semi-final to deliver Ireland's second final appearance of the Games.

The 23-year-old Hernandez was near unbackable favourite in the decider but Carruth, with Dad Austin in his corner, adopted a shrewd tactical strategy and led 4-3 after the first round. After the second, the scores were tied at 8-8.

The Cuban corner were animated at this point and Hernandez came out aggressively in the third but Carruth scored well on the counter.

In the finish, the rumour buzzed around that the Irish boxer had won by three. For a moment, they stood poised for the verdict, Carruth's arm was raised in the air, he leapt about the ring and Jimmy Magee proclaimed "Michael Carruth is the champion of the Olympic Games!", repeating "Michael Carruth is the champion, the champion, the champion!"

Thirty-six years after Ronnie Delany had coursed to victory on the track, Ireland had another Olympic gold medallist. At his homecoming, some pubs in the capital were reported to have dropped the price of a pint to 1956 levels - very cheap indeed - while Lord Mayor Gay Mitchell, in a fit of excitement, spoke about Dublin bidding for the Olympics.

2008: Kenneth Egan v Xiaoping Zhang (Beijing)

Egan celebrating his semi-final win over Britain's Tony Jeffries

Ireland's fine boxing tradition had been let lapse by the turn of the century, culminating in the nadir of the Athens Olympics, when Andy Lee was the only Irish boxer to qualify.

Spurred on by the efforts of the High Performance Unit, under the direction of Gary Keegan, Irish boxing came roaring back in Beijing, with three boxers ending the Games draped in medals.

Paddy Barnes and the late Darren Sutherland took bronze and Kenneth Egan, Ireland's big prospect at light-heavyweight went one step further, claiming silver and giving himself a shot at gold.

The Clondalkin boxer was utterly dominant on his road to the final, making light work of Julius Jackson, Bahram Muzaffer and Washington Silva to guarantee a medal.

In the semi-final, he demolished Britain's Tony Jeffries on a score of 10-3 to become the first Irish boxer into a final for 16 years.

The aftermath of the final was once more marred of talk of hometown decisions in favour of China's Zhang.

There was some confusion over the scoring, with Egan not getting the credit for a couple of hits in the third. The Dubliner was of the view he won by three but the score read 11-7 to the home boxer at the end and Egan took home silver.

2012: Katie Taylor v Sofya Ochigava (London)

Katie Taylor at the moment of victory

Taylor was already regarded as a phenomenon prior to 2012 and her prominence was identified as one of the chief factors in women's boxing being finally admitted to the Olympics for the London Games.

In a hugely successful Games for Ireland's boxers - Barnes, Michael Conlan and John Joe Nevin also collecting medals - Taylor was long earmarked as the chief medal prospect.

The no. 1 in the world in the women's lightweight category, Taylor overcame Britain's Natasha Jonas and Tajikistan's Mavzuna Chorieva to reach the final.

In front of a virtual home crowd in the ExCel Exhibition Centre, Taylor faced an extremely dangerous opponent in Russia's Sofya Ochigava. There was a near suffocating air of pressure and expectancy on the Irish boxer but after a wobbly opening, she came strong in the third to take a 7-5 lead into the fourth and final round.

The fourth was a nerve jangling scrap in which the Russian heaped the pressure on. It was a tension wracked wait for the verdict but after 40 seconds, Taylor's arm was raised aloft. She promptly fell to her knees and the roar near lifted the ceiling off the East London venue.

2012: John Joe Nevin v Luke Campbell (London)

John Joe Nevin and Luke Campbell at the medal ceremony

Having first competed as an 18-year-old in Beijing - where he exited at the last-16 phase - Nevin lit up the London Games with his flair and style en route to the bantamweight final in London.

The Mullingar man had won a couple of bronze medals at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011 and got his 2012 campaign off to a flying start with wins over Denmark's Dennis Ceylan and Kazhakstan's Kanat Abutalipov.

The medal was secured with a win over Oscar Valdez and then he delivered a stunning display to see off reigning world champion, Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez, to become the seventh Irish boxer into an Olympic final.

Nevin had little complaints after his final defeat against the brilliant British boxer Luke Campbell, who subsequently contended in several world title bouts in the professional ranks. 14-11 was the final score in the end, with Nevin afterwards acknowledging "You always want more but Luke is a brilliant boxer and the best man won on the day."