Sporting success - Lifting spirit of the nation

Katie Taylor’s feat in winning her fourth straight World Championship title in Qinhuangdao, China, over the weekend was a magnificent achievement that helps to lift the spirit of the whole island. Boxing has always been an all-Ireland sport, and our boxers have traditionally punched well above their weight.

We should not forget that there are more than 7bn people in the world, with the result that the population of this island is essentially infinitesimal. There are, in fact, more than 140m people around the world for every man, woman and child on this island. The significance of any Irish person winning a world championship should be seen in that perspective. Katie Taylor has done so on four occasions now.

People should not underestimate the power of sport to lift the spirit of the people and generate national confidence. Many people will remember the lift the nation got from the phenomenal cycling exploits of Stephen Roche and Seán Kelly, and the Irish soccer team during the recession of the 1980s.

Graeme McDowell’s achievement in reaching the final of the World Match Play Championship yesterday was a further reminder of the extraordinary exploits of Irish golfers in recent years. They have put Irish golf on the international map in a way that could even help to stimulate our flagging economy.


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