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Sunday 18 August 2019

'I think it is appropriate that I’m there' – Sports Minister Shane Ross is on his way to Portrush

Transport Minister Shane Ross (Brian Lawless/PA)
Transport Minister Shane Ross (Brian Lawless/PA)
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Sports Minister Shane Ross is on his way to Portrush to cheer on golfer Shane Lowry in the British Open today.

Mr Ross, who was previously criticised for hijacking Katie Taylor’s homecoming, told RTE News that he believes it is "appropriate" that he was there to support Shane Lowry.

And he said that he would love to speak to Lowry if he does manage to lift the Claret Jug.

"Yeah, I’m going to Portrush to cheer on Shane Lowry today," he said.

"I think it would just be incredible for the whole island of Ireland if he won, and I know he is four strokes ahead, so we are very, very optimistic at this stage that we will have something to celebrate tonight.

"God I’d love to (speak to him),  I’d be really privileged if I could get a chat with him. I know if he wins, he’ll be mobbed, I probably won’t get a look in but I’ll do my best. Because I think it is appropriate that I’m there, on behalf of everybody on the whole island of Ireland I should say well done.

"It just would be an absolutely fantastic achievement. But let’s not count our chickens in any way, let’s just hope."

In June, when Katie Taylor returned home to a hero’s reception in Dublin Airport after being crowned the undisputed lightweight champion, the Minister for Sport was criticised for stepping into almost all of the photos of Katie parading her five belts.

Some compared Ross' actions to Taoiseach Charlie Haughey sharing the podium with Stephen Roche after he won the Tour de France in 1987.

The Independent Alliance TD was previously known for other sporting gaffes during his time as sports minister  -including confusing brother Rob Kearney and Dave Kearney in a tweet and for sending out a press release congratulating 'Dominant Purspure' after rower Sanita Puspure won world championship gold.

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