Thursday 14 November 2019

President leads the tributes on behalf of nation

Colm Kelpie

Katie Taylor lifted the spirits of the nation, President Michael D Higgins said last night as he led glowing tributes to the boxer.

Within minutes of her spectacular victory at London's ExCel Arena, both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Higgins heaped praise on the 26-year-old Bray woman.

The President said it was a wonderful day for Katie, her family and all Irish people.

"I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Katie, who has represented this country with such courage, skill and pride over many years," Mr Higgins said.

"She truly deserves this historic and hard-earned victory; it is a just reward for her dedication and commitment over the years."

Mr Kenny described Taylor as "a force of nature whose pioneering spirit and boxing brilliance have seen her realise her personal dream of winning Olympic gold."

Warmth

"In doing so she has set an exceptional standard and there is no doubt that she is a role model that many will follow," Mr Kenny said.

"She has won the hearts and minds of the Irish people, who admire her greatly and love her to bits.

"Amidst it all, Katie's warmth and humility shine through. Her parents have been her guiding light but the exceptional relationship between Peter and Katie, her coach and father, has had a powerful impact on her career."

The Taoiseach also paid tribute to the other members of Team Ireland, whom he said had done the country proud.

Tributes were also made on Twitter from personalities including Lennox Lewis, Paul McGrath, and Oscar De La Hoya.

Mr McGrath said: "Katie Taylor, just brilliant. Could not be prouder of you. Not a dry eye in Ireland when they sang our anthem and raised the Irish flag."

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Taylor was "a once in a generation athlete who has achieved her Olympic destiny."

"The whole country can be extremely proud of Katie Taylor's achievement today."

Irish Independent

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