Showjumper Cian O'Connor won Ireland's first medal of London 2012 on Wednesday with bronze in the individual competition at Greenwich Park.
Switzerland's Steve Guerdat won gold as the only rider with two clear rounds in the individual final, while Holland's Gerco Schroder beat O'Connor in a jump-off for silver and bronze.
O'Connor, riding Blue Loyd 12, gave it everything, clocking a faster time than Schroder in the jump-off, but he had one fence down.
O'Connor won Olympic gold in Athens eight years ago, but he was stripped of the medal after his then horse Waterford Crystal failed a drugs test.
Ireland failed to qualify a team for the London Games, and were restricted to just two individual places that were taken by O'Connor and Billy Twomey.
Schroder's horse, aptly called London, almost helped Holland deny Britain team gold two days ago, but he will still leave for for home with two silvers.=
Junior sports minister Michael Ring, who was at the final for the jump-off, said O'Connor's medal was a superb achievement.
"Winning an Olympic medal is a proud day for Cian and his family and for Ireland and I warmly congratulate him," he said.
"The final stages and the jump-off were very exciting and in a brave attempt they missed out on silver by the narrowest of margins.
"I wish to congratulate Cian on a truly superlative display of horsemanship in this most demanding of Olympic events."