Taylor cause for Irish cheers and tears

How could winning one gold medal send a nation into such an eruption of celebration given that countries like China and the US are nearing 100 on the Olympics table?

Perhaps it’s down to the fact Ireland has a population of around 4.5 million compared to 1.34 billion for China and more than 311 million for the US.

Is that why we got so irate when the Daily Telegraph described Katie Taylor as British just a day after she took down Team GB boxer Natasha Jonas 26-15 in the quarter-finals?

Other nations might look at Ireland and see a country famed for famine, corruption, soaring debt and British colonialism.

There’s no doubt the old stereotype of the drunken Irish is holding strong, with Australian journalist Peter Hanlon recently reprimanded for frequent references to “intoxication” in an article on Taylor’s London success.

I too, almost fell out with a friend who could not understand why Ireland was blowing its own trumpet over one small piece of gold.

Forget austerity, 800 years of invasion and a language arguably on the brink of extinction.

Seeing a Wicklow woman pound her way to the top of the international boxing arena with such modesty and authority made us proud.

It was not necessarily her success that won us over, but the grace and humble demeanour she maintained the whole way through it.

That is what we want the world to understand about us.


About natashabrowne

Natasha is a freelance journalist and aspiring economist.
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