independent

Sunday 21 September 2014

Billyisms abound as our pride and joy earns many plaudits

Published 15/08/2012 | 09:33

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WE WATCHED Annalise Murphy come so close to a medal despite not really understanding the nuances of sailing. We watched while Gráinne Murphy competed in her first Olympics.

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We watched Rob Heffernan walk like he longed for a toilet for hours as he smashed his own Irish record.

We saw it all, but nothing could match the pride-injecting effect of watching ' Billy's Bunch' for the last two weeks. Apart from Katie Taylor, Billy Walsh has been the Irish Olympian hero. This week Twitter paid homage to the Godfather of the Irish team, the 'Irish Don'.

The plaudits came from all corners of the country. 'Irish Times' feature writer Brian O'connell (@ oconnellbrian) tweeted: 'Billy Walsh deserves huge credit # Team Ireland #boxing', while Newstalk's Ken Early (@ kenearlys) followed with: 'Is Billy Walsh the irish mourinho' , while Munster Express journalist Dermot Keyes (@ Dermotkeyes ) said: ' This has already been a fantastic Olympics for Ireland. Take a bow, Billy Walsh, Sports Manager of the Year elect.'

For a change, media professionals and the public they serve are in unison over the Walsh factor. The fan-run Irish Olympians' twitter feed (@ Irisholympians) tweeted: 'Boxers & all our #irisholympians simply amazing but Billy Walsh is on another level.

As he said himself last week "I was just born to do this'', while Stephen O'reilly (@ steoreilly) said: ' Irish boxing team coaches Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia deserve huge credit for their amazing high performance boxing success over past years'.

Michael Corcoran (@ lemachine) opined: ' Billy Walsh has turned these men into heros. Credit to sport #teamireland', while the plaudits continued from Tommy Gallagher (@ coreprofitness) with: ' Billy Walsh has to be one of the best coaches in any sport!! Gentleman and such a pro'.

Wexford native Jay O'connor (@ Jayoconnor8) tweeted: 'Doing us proud Billy Walsh #Someman,' but Jenny Daly seemed to long for a new range of Billy clones, tweeting: ' Everyone should have a Billy Walsh in their corner. He's awesome. #Teamireland' which brings us to some even more attentive souls.

Some of Billy's adoring fans were on the lookout for some Billyisms from the corner between rounds. The tweeter known simply as Claireeeee (@ Claireybelles) shared: 'Gotta love Billy Walsh talking to Nevin between rounds "he's bet" such an irish sayin! #boxing #olympics'.

RTE'S Olympic twitter feed (@ Rtelondon2012) heard 'Keep doing what you're doing...don't switch off', while Susan Parkes (@ Thesuparkes) caught another Billyism. She tweeted: 'Billy Walsh "He's gonna come again like a roaring lion" well #johnjoenevin go for it!!!'.

Maybe someone has an idea to get the population what they want, Billyisms all year round...

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Modern Pentathlon is a peculiar sport and Ireland has a good competitor in Natalya Coyle (@ Natalyacoyle). The Meath lady was one of the first to join the Billy Bandwagon with the tweet, 'It's a shame we don't knight any1, #SirBillyWalsh even Billy Walsh MBE would be a start, something has to be done #Billy4President'.

Natalya can be forgiven for wishing the nation into the 'British Empire' just this once.

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