Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes becomes a father ... baby daughter for ring hero Barnes and fiancée
Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes has become a father and he just couldn't wait to share his happy news.
Not long after the arrival of his baby daughter, the 27-year-old took to Twitter to announce to his 45,000 followers and the rest of the world that his fiancée Mari had given birth to their first child following a long labour.
The Olympic medal-winning athlete spoke of his awe at what women experience when giving birth. "After hours of serious labour @MissBurnsx gave birth to our baby girl!" he wrote.
"Don't know how women go through that!"
Barnes honed his boxing skills as a teenager at the Holy Family boxing club in north Belfast.
At London 2012 he made Irish and Olympic sporting history when he became the first boxer from Ireland to win medals at consecutive Games.
Following his bronze medal success at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, he will compete again for Ireland at the Rio Games in 2016.
After Barnes made the announcement yesterday, the sportsman was inundated with messages of support and congratulations.
Fellow Team Ireland boxer Mick Conlan offered congratulations to his "big daddy" friend.
Super-bantamweight Belfast boxer Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton and his wife Christine, who recently revealed they are expecting their second child, also joined in the online celebrations.
The couple are already proud parents of little Carla, who was of course named after her dad, so perhaps Carl will offer Paddy some advice about the joys of fatherhood.
Pregnant Christine wrote: "So over the moon for our friends @MissBurnsx and @paddyb_ireland on the birth of their baby girl. Can't wait to meet her!!! CONGRATULATIONS."
The wider boxing fraternity also sent messages of well wishes.
Dublin boxer Kenneth Egan said: "Ah that's wonderful news, congrats Paddy and Mari."
And a boxing fan commented that the arrival of a baby girl, traditionally associated with the colour pink, was very timely considering Giro d'Italia is capturing people's attention.
"Just in time for the pink show in Belfast #Giro," he wrote.
Some of Paddy's other achievements
- European Union Championships Gold medal winner 2007; Silver medal 2013
- Olympic Bronze medal, Beijing 2008 and London 2012
- European Gold medal winner, Russia 2010
- Commonwealth Gold medal winner, India 2010
- Canon Hayes All-Ireland Sports Personality of the Year 2010
- Belfast Telegraph Special Achievement Award 2013
- Sports Personality of the Year – Aisling Awards 2013
- Irish Boxing Writers Association Achievement Award 2013