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A fine accomplishment for Darren Clarke but not his cigar

Darren Clarke's victory in the British Open Golf Championship was acclaimed in this country and also across the Irish Sea. Another triumph by a sportsman from this small island was suitably celebrated.

However, I feel that Clarke's big win was a bit different to some in the past. In the past, Irish stars who gained international success in sports like athletics, boxing, cycling and cricket rose to the top because of a natural talent and reaching a high standard of physical fitness. The same can be said of GAA athletes.

In contrast it did seem a bit odd to see Darren Clarke smoking during competition. It does not send out the right message to young people with high hopes of rising to the top in the sport.

Noel Coogan
Navan, Co Meath

Irish Independent