The Moate light heavyweight had entered the tournament but has had to pull out due to a minor elbow injury.
It was hoped that triple European gold medallist Ward would be able to compete but an MRI scan has ruled him out.
The Sparticus 25-year-old is hoping to be back fighting next month and to be fit and ready for the European Games in Belarus this summer – and the World Championships in Russia in the Autumn.
It is the second year in a row that Olympian Ward has been unable to compete in the National Championships. The Westmeath man has won five Irish senior titles since exploding onto the scene way back in 2011 – with this number being restricted by injuries and APB/WSB commitments.
The three-time World Championships medallist last competed in 2017 when he edged Tony Browne in the final.
Ward’s withdrawal blows the competition wide open.
Five fighters remain at the weight – Ulster champion Paul McCullagh, Intermediate champion Tommy Hyde, Galway’s Thomas O’Toole, and Dubliners Robbie Burke and David Biscevas.
Boxing begins tonight at the National Stadium, with the draw due to take place very soon, leading up to a big finals night on Friday February 22nd.