Political plaudits for Kelly Harrington but homecoming may lead to real results

Kelly Harrington’s glorious gold medal at the World Championships in India at the weekend sparked an outpouring of political support – and tonight there were some real results.

The Inner-City Dublin lightweight was hailed by politicians from around the country after topping the podium in New Delhi following a split-decision win in Saturday’s decider versus Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee.

The 28-year-old became our third ever senior World gold medallist and the plaudits flowed in and, following a Civic Reception tonight, so will some funding.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, said “on behalf of the Irish people I would like to congratulate the Irish boxing teams on their medal successes at the recent Men’s EU Elite Championships in Spain and Women’s World Elite Championships in India. In particular, I would like to congratulate Kurt Walker on winning gold and Kieran Molloy on winning bronze in Spain and Kellie Harrington on winning gold in India. These results are a tribute to your hard work, commitment and dedication to reach the highest levels in your sport. I had the pleasure of meeting Kellie at the launch of the National Sports Policy in her own backyard in Sheriff St earlier this year and I am delighted to see all her hard work has paid off this week.”

Minister of State with a responsibility for Sport said “I am delighted to congratulate Kellie Harrington, Kurt Walker and Kieran Molloy on their fantastic medal wins in India and Spain. By your achievements you provide encouragement and inspiration to countless young boxers throughout Ireland who aspire to represent their country at the highest levels. I would also like to commend the IABA High Performance Director Bernard Dunne and his coaching teams for all their work in preparing the Irish teams for these Championships. I would like to wish all our boxers continued success in the future and especially with Tokyo in mind in 2020.”

Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, is a boxing enthusiast who hails from Ballybough in the North Inner City and pushed for and hosted a civic reception for Harrington this evening on Sean MacDermott Street.

On stage, the outspoken Independent Councillor took aim at the Sports Minister for his non-attendance in comparison to other events celebrating Irish sporting success.

Ring asked “where is the Minister for Sport Shane Ross?” and noted how he was “there for the hockey,” and “there for the Dubs” but pointedly questioned why he was not “here in the north inner city”.

However, among all the political congratulations and the questioning, something tangible and beneficial has come from the win with Ring announcing the ‘Dublin City Council Kellie Harrington Boxing Fund’.

Specific details of the fund will be revealed in due course.

Photo Credit: Chris Shelly (DCC)

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com