Tuesday 20 March 2018

I'm not apologising for tirade on Twitter, says boxer Paddy Barnes

John Mulgrew

OLYMPIC medallist Paddy Barnes has refused to apologise after insulting Ireland's top Olympic official on Twitter.

The Belfast boxer posted the comments after the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey appeared to offer Rory McIlroy the chance to fly the flag for Ireland during the Rio Games in 2016.

Twice-Olympic medallist Paddy vented his anger online and accused the Olympic boss of "crawling" to the world number one golfer.

But Barnes said he would not comment on his criticism of Ireland's top Olympic official nor apologise for his remarks, which were later removed from Twitter. He said: "I've more things to worry about than stupid things like that. I have training and things like that."

It wasn't clear whether the London 2012 light-flyweight bronze medallist would face any disciplinary action from the OCI, which has refused to comment on the matter.

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association also said it would not be speaking on the issue.

Barnes remained active on Twitter, but did not make any additional comments relating to his earlier criticism.

His criticism of Mr Hickey came after the Olympic boss offered McIlroy the chance to carry the Tricolour if he pledges his allegiance to the Ireland team over Team GB, for which he is also entitled to play for, when golf is reintroduced to the summer Games in 2016.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News