Expats celebrate despite the time differences

Support for Katie Taylor on Thursday ran a little further afield than Irish and British shores.

Irish expats in Vienna, Melbourne, and Toronto also flocked to bars to watch the gold medal bout.

PJ O’Brien’s Irish pub in Toronto, owned by the wife and sons of former Superquinn owner Pat Quinn, was one place that reported a large crowd, despite the time difference.

“The fight was on about 11.45am, before the lunch rush to the restaurant. We had about 50 people in for the fight and the atmosphere was amazing. Every one of us here in Canada are delighted for Katie. It is a great day for all the Irish at home and abroad,” manager Colm McCarthy said.

In Vienna, the Austrians celebrated in Charlie P’s Irish pub alongside the Irish, despite not having any medals yet themselves.

Manager Ronan Smith said the evening Olympic matches are always the most popular in the bar. “We had plenty in watching the fight. Lots of Irish and many Austrians, too. They have no medals at all, so they were delighted to cheer on the Irish here in the pub,” he said.

“In general with the boxing it’s been good for us, the evening bouts the best of course. Here’s hoping we can get another gold. It may be difficult, but we will see.”

In Melbourne, however, Michael Gillis of the Quiet Man pub said the nine-hour time difference was a barrier to Irish who wanted to watch the fight.

“Most venues do not have a licence to stay open late into the night to cover the live activities. There is great pride with every expat when they see their fellow country person representing their country of origin,” he said. “This is one of the downsides for me that, unfortunately, I cannot view my Irish representatives unless they are competing against Australians.

“The mood is not as exciting here as it would be back home but nevertheless a few pints will be downed in her honour as the news slips into the mainstream, and by the weekend Katie will be central to a few drunken Irish songs.”

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