Bray boxer Katie Taylor has again emerged as Ireland’s most admired sports star with her exploits in the ring being voted the country’s greatest sporting achievement and most memorable sporting moment from last year, the Teneo Sport & Sponsorship Index (TSSI) for 2020 indicates. Taylor retained the WBC, IBF and WBO lightweight belts last year.
For the fourth year in a row, Taylor is Ireland’s most admired sports star, with 30 per cent of the public vote. Next in line was Ireland rugby captain Johnny Sexton on six per cent, followed by golfer Shane Lowry on five per cent and Padraig Harrington, Galway hurler Joe Canning, rugby’s Conor Murray and cyclist Sam Bennett, all of whom were on four per cent.
Taylor’s victory over Delfine Persoon was voted Ireland’s greatest sporting achievement and most memorable sporting moment, with 32 per cent of the vote. Sam Bennett’s dramatic sprint victory on the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris was second on 15 per cent. Tipperary winning their first Munster senior football title in 85 years was third on 11 per cent.
Dublin footballers scooped the top team award after winning Sam Maguire six years on the bounce, getting 24 per cent of the vote, just one point ahead of the Limerick hurling team. Leinster Rugby finished third on 20 per cent thanks to their unbeaten Pro 14 season. Dublin’s ladies footballers came fourth on 12 per cent and Dundalk FC fifth on 10 per cent.
When it comes to the nation’s favourite sport, the big three of GAA, rugby and soccer continue to dominate. Gaelic games grew in popularity in 2020 and holds on to its status as Ireland’s favourite sport for the third year in a row, having topped the charts for the first time in 2018. Soccer had been the nation’s number one for eight years in succession from 2010.
The TSSI is a 1,000-person nationally representative survey with quotas ranging across gender, region, age and social class. The research was carried out by Teneo’s sports and sponsorship team and iReach and examines the Irish general public’s attitudes towards sport and their sporting heroes. It is the view of the general public and not a survey of sports fans.
To watch Katie Taylor’s win over Belgian boxer Delfine Persoon from last August, click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0SPFya5jfA