Thursday 27 October 2016

Conor McGregor 'unlikely' to accept Dublin civic reception offer as agent hints at political motivations

Published 24/01/2016 | 10:11

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor’s press agent believes that the decision to offer the UFC star a civic reception was politically motivated and criticised Dublin lord mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh for putting the fighter in an "awkward position".

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The 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter is yet to respond to the invitation following his victory over Jose Aldo in Las Vegas last month and The Sunday Times reports that it is “unlikely” that he will take up the offer following correspondence between his press agent Lynn Hunter and Brendan Kenny, an assistant chief executive with Dublin city council.

Following McGregor’s stunning 13-second victory to claim the featherweight title, an offer was made for a public reception, but Hunter believes it was wrong to make the public announcement before McGregor had been informed, adding that it put him in “an awkward position”.

Further correspondence between Hunter and the council, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, highlights the council’s rejection of Hunter’s suggestion during a telephone call that the decision was politically motivated.

“I would like to repeat that the lord mayor is not a candidate in the upcoming general election and in no way was she extending the invitation for any political reason,” wrote Fanchea Gibson on behalf of Ni Dhalaigh’s office.

“She means it as a means of recognising Conor’s achievements, particularly his [UFC featherweight title] victory.”

Earlier this week ‘The Notorious’ confirmed that his dream of fighting in Croke Park will not be fulfilled in 2016. 

The featherweight kingpin claimed that he still fully intends to ply his trade in front of 80,000 fans in the Irish capital, but the planning required to pull off an event of such scale dictates a long-term stategy.

“I don’t know; I do crave my stadium fight in Dublin but I have to roll with the punches here,” he said. “I will get back to Dublin, we will do the show, but it takes time. This is a marathon not a sprint so I look forward to one day having my home country lit up with a stadium show.”

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