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Proud county to honour boxing champ Bernard

BOXING champion Bernard Dunne will be given the freedom of south Co Dublin in a ceremony later on this year.

The county council has paved the way for the Super-Bantamweight champion (30) to be conferred with civic honours as soon as possible.

The boxer, who recently announced his retirement from the industry, will be recognised by his home county on a date yet to be confirmed.

Cllr Derek Keating, who proposed the motion, said that the council had now agreed to proceed with the conferring ceremony as a matter of urgency.

Cllr Keating said Dunne's achievements had brought "great honour to Bernard, his family, Clondalkin, south Dublin County and Ireland".

Bernard won the WBA World Super-Bantamweight title in a victory over Ricardo Cordoba in front of a capacity crowd in Dublin's O2 Arena last March. He said the victory, which came on the same day as Ireland winning the Grand Slam in the Six Nations, was one of the highlights of his career.

He made the shock announcement of his retirement last month after he was defeated by Thai Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in just three rounds last September.

At the time, Bernard said that he was apprehensive about his life without boxing.

"It's exciting," he said. "Okay, we're going slightly into the unknown and if I face that the way I've faced boxing all my life I should be okay."

He said that he would now focus his thoughts on his wife Pamela and his young children, Caoimhe and Finnian.

"I've two young kids and they're at the age now where they're starting to remember daddy's going away [to training camp] and I just want different things from my life."