McCarthy was back at Wolves for the first time since being sacked by the club in February after almost six years in charge.
Goals from left-back Aaron Cresswell and striker DJ Campbell made it a happy return for McCarthy as Ipswich earned their seventh win in 12 games under his control.
The former Republic of Ireland manager said: "I would be lying if I said it was nothing special because it is.
"My last game here (a 5-1 defeat against West Brom) I had to go out of the back door and I will never forget that. It was a real horrible day for me.
"So to have won and to have had the applause and ovation I got I think shows what most Wolves fans really thought about me as opposed to the minority that would not let me leave by the front door.
"The ones who were singing to get me out are doing it to Stale Solbakken now. Be careful: you might get what you wish for.
"But that was a lasting memory for me now - being on the pitch and being applauded off.
"It was lovely and that is how I would like to remember my time here rather than anything else so thank you to all of them who did that for me."
- Sports & Recreation