At club level he spent the majority of his career with Munster, with whom he won two Heineken Cups, and made more than 200 appearances for the province.
Mick Galwey, the former Ireland skipper and O'Driscoll's second row partner in his Munster debut back in 1998, said: "Micko has always been a great bit of stuff. He was just what we needed when he came on the scene because he was a terrific lineout jumper at number four whereas I wasn't really cut out for that job.
"He was only 20 or so at the time and so was very young but John Langford arrived from Australia and he learned an awful lot from him, as we all did.
"Micko's contribution to Munster has been absolutely huge. With Donncha O'Callaghan and Paul O'Connell also coming along, he wasn't always first choice but he was there when he was needed and never let the side down.
"He was frequently made captain when the rest of us might have been away with Ireland and always did a tremendous job. He had everyone's respect as he had been there and done it all through the good days and not so good. Needless to say, he'll be badly missed."