Taylor and O’Driscoll are Ireland’s most admired athletes


Boxer Katie Taylor – who last week turned professional – is Ireland’s most admired athlete according to a new survey.

Taylor and retired rugby star Brian O’Driscoll were tied in the top spot in a survey by sports research consultancy firm ONSIDE, with one in every 5 Irish adults choosing them as their most admired sports figure.

Last week, Taylor ended months of speculation over her future when she signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing team.  She is being managed by Brian Peters, who previously managed world champion Bernard Dunne.

The Bray boxer will make her debut at Wembley next month, and will fight again in December on the under card of a world championship fight by IBF title holder Anthony Joshua.

Taylor has had a difficult year in the ring, losing her world championship title and Olympic title in 2016.  However, despite these disappointments she clearly has the support of Irish sports fans.

Elsewhere in the ONSIDE ranking, MMA fighter Conor McGregor has broken in to the Top 5, retired rugby international Paul O’Connell rose to third place, and footballer Shane Long has broken into the top 10 for the first time.

Retired track and field star Sonia O’Sullivan, who appeared as a panellist on RTE’s coverage of the Rio Olympics, rose from tenth place to seventh in the ranking. Golfer Rory McIlroy dropped from fifth to eighth.

Author: Barry J White, Sunday Business Post