Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Hall boxing fans left flummoxed and disappointed

By Nevin Farrrell and Aodhan Fagan

They came to see boxing... they got gymnastics instead. Confusion was the main winner as boxing fans turned up at Belfast City Hall hoping to watch Northern Ireland's Commonwealth boxing heroes and heroines in live action on the big screen.

The day started off well at City Hall with the first fight involving Belfast's Michaela Walsh going ahead as scheduled at 1pm – and her win was greeted with cheers.

However, as another local boxing hero, Michael Conlan, took to the ring at the Glasgow Games at 2pm, the pictures lighting up the huge screen featured gymnastics. The Conlan fight did eventually flash up on the big screen after 2.30pm, but by then time city centre workers were already back at their desks.

And at 3.15pm, as Sean McGlinchy climbed through the ropes, the fortunes of a Welsh gymnast were being viewed.

Howard Keery (65), from Newtownabbey, was watching the big screen at 3.15pm, the time McGlinchy was due to fight.

He said: "If you have nine local boxers going after silver medals I think it would have been more appropriate to show that on the big screen than gymnastics, which had nobody from here involved."

A City Hall spokesman said: "Unfortunately, the screen only shows what the BBC are broadcasting and there is no 'red button' option on the big screen.

"If people were inconvenienced we apologise, but the content is dictated by what the BBC was showing."

Earlier, cheers filled the air as Walsh boxed her way into the reckoning for a Commonwealth gold.

Thomas Canavan (60), from Poleglass, said: "It is great to see they are doing so well."

Jim Crawford (44), from Bangor, who'd nipped out for lunch from his job, said it was good that City Hall was showing the fights.

"It is good to see everybody from here performing so well, no matter what side of the community they are from."

Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon watched the first contest. She said: "I am a boxing fan and have worked closely with clubs like the Holy Cross Boxing Club in Ardoyne.

"As you can see, boxing is fun for the young people here today."

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