Ignace was born on May 10, 1981 in Lulkidihi near Sundergarh. He plays for National Hockey team of India as a field defender. He is a product of Panposh Sports Hostel, Rourkela where he was spotted by Indian Army to help him pursue his career. He is also a member of Indian Armed Forces (Corps of Engineers) as Junior Commissioned Officer. Tirkey made his debut for the national side in February 2001, at the Akbar el Yom Tournament in Cairo against Belgium.
He is most remembered for his incredible goal which he hit between Pakistan’s ace striker Sohail Abbas’s legs in the final minutes of 2003 Asia Cup to give India the winning lead after both teams were locked at 2-2 (India eventually added a 4th goal in the last minute). Another highlight of his was in the Muruguppa Gold Cup in Aug 2001, where he scored a golden goal to win final, and there after in Dec 2002 during the National Games in Hydrabad.
The golden era of his career was 2003, he as skipper won four tournaments out of six that year. Tirkey is a recipient of the Arjuna Award, which he received in 2009, and the Padma Shree, India’s fourth highest civilian honour.