Katie Taylor successful defended her title as Ireland’s most admired sports personality.
The undisputed lightweight champion of the world is the undisputed star or Irish sports after she once again came out on top of sponsorship agency Oneside’s annual survey.
Former Crumlin amateur and Luke Keeler verbal sparring partner, Conor McGregor has been the Wexford woman’s biggest challenger of late, but has fallen down the pecking order this year.
‘Notorious’ remains in the top 10, but has fallen from second two years ago to coming ninth this year.
Taylor, who was said to be a clear winner, beat Ireland rugby legend and pundit Brian O’Driscoll to first place while Johnny Sexton makes up the top three.
“Katie Taylor’s appeal among the Irish public is on the rise with the Bray woman’s net volume of support up 58 per cent year-on-year alone. As the push for more recognition of women in sport in Ireland makes strides, it is encouraging for initiatives like 20 x 20 to see that Taylor’s biggest support comes from Irish females aged 18-34,” Onside CEO John Trainor said.
Golfer Shane Lowry, who won the 2019 Open, shot his way into the top five for the first time this year, while Rory McIlroy returned at number 10 after a year outside the poll’s top table. Roy Keane again made the top five, while Sonia O’Sullivan remains in the pack as a top 10 sports star which the Irish public continue to hold in high esteem.
Conor McGregor’s absence from the octagon has seen his standing drop from third to ninth place, while former footballer Robbie Keane drops just outside the top 10, alongside Ireland manager Mick McCarthy. Team managers received the highest accolade in the GAA arena, with Dublin football’s Jim Gavin and Wexford hurling’s Davy Fitzgerald tops.
Regardless, it’s Taylor who remains most admired by the Irish people. The Irish sensation had enjoyed another terrific year as she became the countries first ever undisputed champion in four belt era. The London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner next tops a bill in the Manchester Arena as she bids to join Steve Collins and Carl Frampton as an Irish two weight world champion when she challenges WBO light welterweight champion Christina Linardatou.