In 1948 Ireland found glory, winning their only Grand Slam in the Five Nations with a win against Wales at Ravenhill in Belfast, inspired by their tactician and fly-half Jack Kyle they went on to be champions and Triple Crown winners again in 1949. In 1951 were unbeaten going into their final game but failed to win the Grand Slam following a draw with Wales in Cardiff, they were, however, outright winners.
In February 1954, Ireland played their last full international at Ravenhill, beating Scotland 6-0.
In 1969 they were again unbeaten going into their final game in Cardiff but Wales denied them a Grand Slam for the third time.
The 1972 Five Nations Championship was not completed when Scotland and then Wales refused to play in Ireland following threatening letters to players, purportedly from the IRA. The championship remained unresolved with Wales and Ireland unbeaten. In 1973, despite similar threats, England fulfilled their fixture and, after losing 18-9 at Lansdowne Road, the England captain, John Pullin famously remarked “We might not be very good but at least we turn up”.
In 1982 they came close to winning a Grand Slam but were beaten by France in Paris.
At the inaugural World Cup in 1987 Ireland went out to Australia at the quarter final stage. The team has never reached the semi-finals.
During the ten tournaments played in the 90s Ireland never finished outside the bottom two. Three years running they finished bottom (1996, 1997 and 1998).
In the 1991 World Cup Ireland had appeared to be on the verge of a shock victory over Australia in the quarter final, when Michael Lynagh scored the winning try to clinch a 19-18 win for Australia. At the next world cup in 1995 Ireland again went out at the quarter final stage losing to France.