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Northern Ireland's sporting legends may be immortalised in museum

By Cate McCurry

Published 04/05/2016

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
Golden girl: Mary in the Olympic Games
Carl Frampton

The dream of building a museum dedicated to Northern Ireland’s sporting heroes appears to have taken a step closer.

Some of our sporting greats, including George Best, Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton, look set to be immortalised in a museum of achievement after its concept won widespread support.

While fans have rejoiced in the success of their idols both in the modern era and in years gone by, there have also been calls to mark their achievements. A long-term dream of Dame Mary Peters is to build a sports museum dedicated to the greats who have excelled in their fields. 

Former Ulster and Ireland rugby star Nigel Carr, the vice-chairman of Ulster Sports Museum Association, has been lobbying local government to sign up to the idea.

He said: “We are making slow progress with greater acceptance of the concept with both sports and museums officials.

“We’ve written to the five main political party leaders as their manifestos appear to align with our position of having sport as a central theme in a broader museum of achievement.

“The main political parties are being urged to include in the Programme for Government a commitment to explore the concept of celebrating the world class achievements of local people in all walks of life and using these achievements to inspire present and future generations to strive to realise their full potential.

“While flags, parades and dealing with the past have been among the most divisive issues since the Good Friday Agreement, there may be common ground emerging on aspects of our history.

“For while perspectives on the Troubles may appear irreconcilable, there is often a shared pride in the many successes of this land.”

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