herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

City must honour McGregor with a civic reception, says councillor

JOHNSON (Stephen), FLYNN (Mannix): RAW COMES TO LIFE. 1-7-14
PIC SHOWS: (L-R) Stephen Johnson, a publican, and Councillor Mannix Flynn shake hands on the steps of the Fourt Courts yesterday (TUES) after their hearing.
PIC: COURTPIX
JOHNSON (Stephen), FLYNN (Mannix): RAW COMES TO LIFE. 1-7-14 PIC SHOWS: (L-R) Stephen Johnson, a publican, and Councillor Mannix Flynn shake hands on the steps of the Fourt Courts yesterday (TUES) after their hearing. PIC: COURTPIX

UFC champ Conor McGregor may be honoured at a homecoming event in the capital along the lines of Italia 90 and Dublin’s All-Ireland heroes.

Dublin City councillor Mannix Flynn told the Herald he expects that the Lord Mayor will be asked to hold a civic reception for ‘The Notorious’ after it was recommended by the South East Area Committee.

A council meeting is set to be held on Thursday, where councillors will ask Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh to commit to the idea – which will then be voted for at a full DCC meeting.

Mr Flynn proposed an emergency motion for a homecoming that befits the athlete’s excellence in the sport after McGregor became the undisputed UFC featherweight champion on Sunday defeating Brazilian Jose Aldo.

The councillor said that the win has given the people of Dublin and Ireland a massive boost.

“It was a fantastic win and it’s going to do an awful lot of good, not just for the sport and sport in general but also for the fitness for children – it’ll do a huge amount of good,” Mr Flynn said.

In July 1990, an estimated half a million people lined the streets to celebrate the return of Ireland’s Italia 90 heroes, while more than 30,000 were in attendance on O’Connell Street as Dublin claimed their third All-Ireland title in five years last September.

Other homecoming events were held for cyclist Stephen Roche when he won the Tour de France in 1987 ,and more recently a reception was held for boxer Katie Taylor in Bray when she won gold at the London Olympics.

Mr Flynn believes that thousands would line the streets to celebrate McGregor’s success and that a reception in the Mansion house for his family and friends would be fitting.

“I hope he gets a hero’s welcome home. We have to give McGregor a civic reception and a gathering.

“This is outstanding, this is a huge achievement and this is no mean feat.

“This man has a world title and I want a homecoming for him,” Mr Flynn said.

“You’d get thousands of fans and you’d get thousands of citizens too, they may not be fans of the sport but they’d be delighted with the achievement. This is about the achievement and who doesn’t want to celebrate this?” he added.

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