Published Friday, 23 March 2012
On Sunday it's the turn of the women who meet Belgium in the Olympic qualifying tournament final in Antwerp.
Only the winners will progress but there's no doubt this is Ireland's best ever chance of booking their dream ticket.
I've been to a few such tournaments and any time I was there, there were tears for souvenirs.
I have particularly vivid and painful memories of 2000 in Milton Keynes - yes I get all the glamorous trips - when an extra time goal scored by China ended the Irish dream.
No sooner had I interviewed Caitriona Carey - sister of Kilkenny hurling legend DJ - that she broke down and wept.
It was the same four years later in Auckland. I remember Nikki Symmons, who became Ireland's most capped player in the history of the sport during the week, being consoled by her mother as she broke down in tears after a defeat by the United States.
Now though the girls in green have a chance to erase those painful memories as they prepare to take on hosts Belgium on Sunday (330pm BST) with a place at London 2012 at stake for the winners.
The world rankings would suggest Belgium are now the tournament favourites and playing in front of their home crowd could give them the edge.
But if Ireland can reproduce the form they showed in scoring a 3-1 win over former Olympic champions Spain on Thursday then they can live the dream.
It was the first time since 1988 that Spain had failed to qualify for the biggest sporting show on earth.
Sadly I won't be there on Sunday due to work commitments. Maybe that's a good omen though when I look back on the tearful experiences of the past. Or maybe it's just the effect I have on women!