Boxer Barry McGuigan lands peace prize
Boxing hero Barry McGuigan has been honoured for his contribution to peace in Northern Ireland with a unique award.
To mark United Nations International Day of Peace, the Ulster sports star was presented with the Inspiration Award during a special ceremony in Belfast yesterday.
Local charity Springboard nominated the former world featherweight boxing champion as part of a Peace Day Campaign.
The ‘Clones Cyclone’ fought under the UN peace flag, encouraging unity during the darkest days of the Troubles.
The special ceremony was led in Belfast City Hall by Lord Mayor Pat Convery.
After a minute’s silence Mr Convery presented the awards, which recognised positive role models.
Mr McGuigan spoke of his pride at receiving the accolade.
“I am privileged to have been honoured with this award. I would like to thank Springboard and wish them all the best with their Peace Day Campaign,” he said.
Mr McGuigan had previously described the period when he fought during the 1970s and ‘80s as a “scary time” in Northern Ireland’s history.
“What I was sick of, everywhere I went the kerbstone was painted one colour or the other, slogans and murals on the wall,” he said.
“I just thought I don’t want to add to that. I wanted to bring people together and, most importantly, not feel threatened when they came to watch me box.
“That was why the United Nations Flag of Peace was ideal. People may have thought it was cliched, or commercial, it wasn’t.”