Saturday, 15 August 2015

Ní Chuilín congratulates Michael Conlan on European gold

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has congratulated Belfast boxer Michael Conlan on winning gold at the European Elite Championships.

Michael defeated Great Britain's Qais Ashfaq in the final in Samokov, Bulgaria.

Congratulating Michael on his achievement, the Minister said: “I am delighted that Michael Conlan has secured a European bantamweight championship gold, going one better than the last time he competed in this competition in 2013, when he took silver. Michael is yet again showing what an inspiration he is to young athletes, especially boxers.

“Boxing is a sport that is accessible to all and particularly offers opportunities to people from marginalised communities to develop their fitness and, in turn, their overall mental health and wellbeing.

“Michael is a credit to his club, to his local community, and to the north as a whole. He can look ahead to the Rio Olympics next year with confidence.”

The Minister also congratulated Westmeath fighter Joe Ward on taking gold in the light heavyweight section and Dean Walsh of Wexford on securing bronze at light welterweight.

She said: “The whole Irish team has performed strongly in these championships. It is great to see boxers from right across the island bringing home medals. Well done to the whole team and to all the coaches, staff and of course the families and friends who support the boxers all year round.”