Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Barry McGuigan ‘snubbed and hurt’ at not being asked to carry torch

Patrick Kielty holding the Olympic Flame before he completes his leg through Dundrum on Day 20 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay
Paul McLister carried the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Ballymena and Moorfields before it was taken via ferry to Scotland
Sports Minister Carl N Chuiln welcomes the Olympic torch to Parliament Buildings this morning as part of the relay

Boxing legend Barry McGuigan has told how he was left feeling “snubbed and hurt” after not being offered an opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch on its historic visit.

The 51-year-old former world featherweight boxing champ —who has won a UN award for his efforts in promoting peace and reconciliation — said not having the chance to hold the famous Olympic flame was for him a “once in a lifetime opportunity missed”.

On Day 19 of the relay the torch was brought from Belfast to Dublin and back to Northern Ireland on Wednesday as a symbol of the peace process.

Among the 41 torchbearers selected to run through Dublin on Wednesday was pop duo Jedward.

Sport stars including Sonia O’Sullivan, footballer Paul McGrath and Jockey Ruby Walsh were also chosen.

Boxers Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth were involved in the symbolic torch handover at the border.

Other celebrities who were selected to be a torchbearer in Northern Ireland included Zoe Salmon, Patrick Kielty and UTV presenter Paul Clark.

McGuigan, a former Commonwealth gold medalist, said he did get to witness the torch— but only as he was stuck in a traffic jam in Dublin.

“The torch ran straight past, an elderly gentleman was holding it, I’ve no idea who it was.”

McGuigan said he can’t help feel “a little disappointed” he was not asked to be involved.

“I feel a bit snubbed,” he admitted.

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