Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

Despite his off-field spats with Irish players, Roy Keane has risen in a poll of Ireland's most admired sports personalities.

The assistant manager would appear to have public backing as he rose to second in the representative survey of 1,000 Irish adults by sponsorship advisors ONSIDE.

Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

He is the most admired among Irish males, with particularly strong support in Munster.

Katie Taylor extended her lead as Ireland’s Most Admired Sports Personality, after a year in which she won a second world title belt. Her popularity is highest among the female public.

Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

Conor McGregor may be preparing for a big-money Vegas fight on Sunday morning (Irish time), but he has dropped to third in the rankings after a year spent outside the octagon and in the courts. He remains the number one superstar among 18-to-24-year-olds, however.

Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

Johnny Sexton jumped into the top-ten, joining some rugby stars of the past.

"While legends Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara all still score in the ONSIDE Top 10 Most Admired Sports stars of 2018, Johnny Sexton has shot up the leaderboard to join the past players in our latest Top 10," said John Trainor, founder and CEO of ONSIDE.

Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

"Sexton is poised to cement his positon alongside his fellow rugby legends and other stars like Sonia O’Sullivan and Padraig Harrington as Ireland’s most admired sports heroes for years to come".

Stephen Cluxton is the most admired footballer, with Joe Canning the top hurler. Managers Jim Gavin and Brian Cody also had positive sentiment among the public.

Ireland's most admired sports personalities: Roy Keane rises, Conor McGregor falls and Katie Taylor remains number one

"Two in three of the Irish public could name a sports person they admired most this year, with an increase in the number and variety of different sports-related stars winning the Irish public’s hearts and minds rising to 58 – with two in three of these being GAA, soccer or rugby stars."

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