It’s been an interesting week for Irish sport. The focus has been firmly on the chief executive of the FAI, John Delaney, yet again causing a stir by singing a well-known Republican ballad in a song. It’s a shame because it has taken the focus away from yet another fantastic achievement by Katie Taylor who won a record-equalling 5th consecutive World Title in South Korea on Monday.
She expressed her desire to become the greatest of all time in the sport after her latest title. She may just be the only left who isn’t fully convinced that she is already the greatest. 17 major titles, including the gold medal she won at London 2012, and current holder of the World and European titles. She has come to dominate the sport with such ease that it would only be a surprise if she didn’t go on and smash the record she has now equalled. As Irish President Michael D Higgins remarked, “Katie has set the standard for Irish sports stars for years to come.”
On the same week we celebrated the life of one of Ireland’s greatest sportsmen, George Best who passed away 9 years ago this week, it seems remarkable that Katie Taylor is on the verge of surpassing them all. Paul McGrath, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Roy Keane, Alex Higgins… The list goes on and if Katie keeps up her current level it won’t be long before she’s on a pantheon of her very own when it comes to Irish sports.
It’s just unfortunate that on the week we saw one of our most treasured sports stars make history, our headlines on the sport’s pages were dominated by the latest in a long list of gaffs by the FAI chief executive. If she goes on to create more history with another world title, maybe she’ll then receive the recognition fitting for one of the true greats of any sport. A sports star to inspire all.
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