Wednesday 11 December 2019

True grit

• So . . . if you have talent, work hard, employ the best expertise, dedicate yourself to best practice and constant improvement you can conquer Ireland, Europe, even the world.

Just ask Kilkenny hurlers, Leinster rugby or Katie Taylor.

Perhaps the Government, civil service, HSE etc might care to take note . . .

Gerry Kelly
Rathgar, Dublin 6

• Ireland has had some incredible sportspeople in its history, but the list of the finest almost always misplaces the finest.

We get the same suggestions for the best every time; Padraig Harrington, Brian O'Driscoll, Rory McIlroy, Robbie Keane, Christy Ring among others. These have all made incredible contributions to Irish sport, but a modern day star has arguably made a greater one than them all.

Katie Taylor has recently become a world champion for the fourth time and looks set to win gold at the London Olympics and yet is still under-appreciated in her own country.

If a male boxer had achieved a fraction of what Katie has already achieved by her mid-20s he would be hailed as the greatest Irish sportsperson ever.

I think her unassuming modest nature allows her to operate under the radar of most people, but we know she's there and why not celebrate her?

It maddens me to see such a dedicated woman fall foul to a sexist sporting tradition in this country, and that is coming from a man.

We worship the male sports icon, and I challenge you to name one woman celebrated as much as a man in Irish sporting history, excluding Sonia O'Sullivan.

There have been many, but they have been cast into the jagged corners of history books, while the men of Irish sport sit proudly on the centre of the page.

Katie Taylor should be on the front page of that book, and every book recounting Irish sporting legends.

Justin Kelly
Edenderry, Co Offaly

Irish Independent

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