Conor McGregor named as Ireland's most admired sports star

The findings of the annual Sport and Sponsorship Sentiment Index have been released

BY Daniel Kelly 09:28 Friday 16 December 2016, 9:28 16 Dec 2016

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Hogan

A survey of 1,000 sports fans, have named Conor McGregor as Ireland's "Most Admired Sports Star".

The UFC Lightweight Champion topped the list ahead of Katie Taylor and the O'Donovan Brothers in the 2016 Sport and Sponsorship Sentiment Index, which was commissioned by PSG Sponsorship.

McGregor's rise has been steady. Having finished sixth in 2014, he moved up to third place last year, before topping the list in 2016.

2016 saw the Olympic and Paralympic Games take place in Rio de Janeiro, and despite the many medals won in a variety of sports, Ireland's win over New Zealand in Chicago was named as the Greatest Sporting Achievement of the year.

For the third year in a row, Joe Schmidt's side were named the team of the year, despite only winning six of their 12 Test matches in 2016.  League of Ireland champions Dundalk finished in second place.

The performances of Gary and Paul O'Donovan in Brazil, saw the Cork brothers become household names. Their interview with RTE ahead of their final in Rio, when they spoke about "steak and spuds" and their "pull like a dog" comments were named as Ireland's most memorable sporting moment.

Speaking as the Index was launched, PSG Communications CEO said their was a seasonal bias towards the results.

"Major successes that happen earlier in the year tend to drift from people’s consciousness as the end of year approaches. There were so many sporting moments and highs and lows from Robbie Brady’s winner versus Italy to Munster Rugby’s emotional tribute to Anthony Foley but more than anything, this year’s research illustrates that as a nation, we are obsessed with sport and blessed with our sports teams and sports stars."

Without many major events in 2017, the Six Nations was named at the event most fans were looking forward to. If Ireland win the Six Nations, for the third time in four years, they may win the team of the year award for the fourth year in a row.

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