The 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 24 and 31 August 2008 in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his 21st ranking tournament by taking the title, beating surprise finalist Dave Harold 9–3 in the final.
- Notable comebacks in the qualifiers included: Li Hang coming from 0–4 down to beat Irish prodigy David Morris 5–4, and both Jimmy White and Ian Preece came from 2–4 behind to win their matches 5–4, against Jamie Jones and Paul Davies respectively.
- Jimmy White qualified for the final stage of an event for the first time in over a year, stretching back to the 2007 China Open.
- Long standing top-16 players, Mark Williams, Ken Doherty and Stephen Lee were playing in the qualifiers for the first time in over a decade.
- Last year's runner-up, Fergal O'Brien fell at the first hurdle, losing 3–5 to Michael Holt.
- In his match against Mark Selby, Andrew Higginson was playing in front of the TV cameras for the first time since his run to the final of the 2007 Welsh Open.
- Dominic Dale came from 1–4 down against Mark Allen to level at 4–4, before Allen played superbly to take the decider.
- In beating Ding Junhui 5–4, Mark Davis secured one of the best wins of his career.
- Ronnie O'Sullivan won three quick consecutive frames to oust former world champion Ken Doherty 5–4 in the last 32.
- Stephen Maguire won the last three frames to beat Alan McManus 5–4, a player who hadn't reached the last 16 of an event the previous season.
- Dave Harold beat Stephen Lee 5–4, a player who had been considered one of the tournaments in-form players, having knocked in three centuries, including a high break of 145.
- Harold increased his head-to-head record to 3–0 over Stephen Maguire by beating him 5–2 in the quarter-finals, afterwards Maguire stated that he never seems to perform against Harold.
- Barry Hawkins produced a brave fightback to recover from 1–4 to level at 4–4 against Ronnie O'Sullivan in their quarter-final match, before the world champion took the decider.
- Dave Harold led John Higgins 5–1, but won only 6–4, to reach his first ranking final since 1994, the gap between those two ranking finals is the longest in snooker history.
The breakdown of prize money for this year is shown below:
- Winner: £30,000
- Runner-up: £15,000
- Semi-final: £7,500
- Quarter-final: £5,600
- Last 16: £4,000
- Last 32: £2,500
- Last 48: £1,625
- Last 64: £1,100
- Stage one highest break: £500
- Stage two highest break: £2,000
- Stage one maximum break: £1,000
- Stage two maximum break: £20,000
Qualifying for the tournament took place at Pontins in Prestatyn, Wales between 15 and 17 August 2008.
Qualifying stage centuries
Televised stage centuries
- 145, 116, 111 Stephen Lee
- 139, 110 Ian McCulloch
- 134 Michael Judge
- 134 Ryan Day
- 134, 126, 115, 111 Barry Hawkins
- 132, 122, 110, 110, 108, 103 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- 127 Stephen Maguire