Bright lights of Bundoran beckon for boxers

Olympic boxing heroes Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan have scrapped the idea of a holiday on party island Ibiza for a well- earned break in Bundoran, Co Donegal.

Bronze medallist Paddy Barnes said he was looking forward to spending a week in the holiday town from today.

“It will be good fun — it has plenty of amusements and I am looking forward to a spin on the bumper cars. A lot to do,” he said.

His teammate, Conlan, who also came home from the Olympic Games with a bronze medal, said he was also looking forward to jumping off the pier in Bundoran. “I can’t wait,” he said.

The Belfast boxers had been joking with Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor about her coming with them to Bundoran instead of Ibiza when thousands of people got the chance to celebrate with the Olympians in Dublin on a wet and windy Wednesday afternoon.

While Taylor could easily go a few rounds in the boxing ring with the lads, she was not so sure of keeping up with them at night in the Donegal resort and graciously declined.

“I’d probably come back a raging alcoholic if I went on holidays with them,” she said.

Bundoran Town Council tourism officer Tracy Ferguson, said the two boxers could be assured of a warm welcome to the seaside town.

“I have had offers from the accommodation providers that they would be more than happy for the boxers and their families to stay as their guests,” Ms Ferguson said.

She said arrangements could be made for the lads to participate in many of the outdoor activities that were available.

She said Bundoran had been established as a holiday destination for more than 300 years and had a proud history of welcoming visitors.

“We have managed to weather the economic storm better than some other destinations because of our long established reputation,” she said.

Conlan is also hoping his red-covered iPhone 4S turns up so he will be able to talk, text and tweet while on holiday.

He told Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline yesterday that the device went missing when he was in Copperface Jacks in Dublin after attending a Government reception hosted by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Farmleigh.

“I was being mobbed at the time,” said Conlan, who pointed out that it was the first time he had a mobile phone taken from him.

“There is a picture of a girl on the front of it — but it’s not Katie,” he told Duffy.

As well as phone numbers, the iPhone has photos from his time at the Olympic Games — some of which have been posted on his Twitter page.

While he may have dropped the device, Conlan believes it was taken from his pocket when he was in the nightclub on Harcourt St.

He reckons it went missing just after he used it last at about 2.30am on Thursday.

“The last photo you will see on the phone is me on the Olympic podium in London getting a medal,” he said.

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