Golden girl Katie inspires new generation to a 15-medal haul
NEXT stop, Rio. It was a special moment for women's boxing as the young crew following in the footsteps of five-time European champion Katie Taylor arrived home with a haul of 15 medals and a glimmer in their eyes.
The squad, who won five gold, three silver and seven bronze medals, soaked up the delight and excitement of the dozens of family, friends and neighbours gathered to see the silverware.
Arriving at Dublin Airport, Jacqui Lynch (15), from Belmullet, Co Mayo, described it as a special day for Irish women's boxing as the medal haul was the biggest in the 102-year history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.
"Katie Taylor has definitely inspired us a lot," she said after the European Women's Senior, Youth and Junior Championships in Keszthely, Hungary. "We hope that women's boxing will now get recognised a lot more. I'm dreaming of going to Rio now in 2016."
Gold-medal winner Amy Broadhurst, from Dundalk, Co Louth, confessed she had been confident ahead of the clash after winning at last year's Europeans.
World No 1 Taylor, who also scooped the Boxer of the Tournament award, confirmed she was now aiming for the 2014 World and European Championships.
"Five gold, three silver and seven bronze medals," Taylor exclaimed, "it's unbelievable to come away with so many medals from this tournament. The future of Irish women's boxing is bright with all these young girls coming through."