Taoiseach backs choice of Conor McGregor as Sports Personality of the Year

Enda Kenny called McGregor a "fabulous athlete" and a "no-nonsense man"

Taoiseach backs choice of Conor McGregor as Sports Personality of the Year

Taoisech Enda Kenny. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The Taoiseach has paid tribute to Conor McGregor - and appears to have waded into the row over the Crumlin fighter being stripped of the featherweight title.

Enda Kenny said the Crumlin fighter is a worthy winner of the RTÉ sports personality of the year award.

"Conor McGregor is a fabulous athlete. He is a no-nonsense man, obviously," he said.

“Sometimes when you see the fights in the cage you might say it has brought fighting to a new dimension here.”

Mr Kenny - perhaps unintentionally - also involved himself in the row over McGregor's ownership of the UFC featherweight title by saying he is top of “two categories” at the moment:

"McGregor is a world superstar, and he is at the top of that particular category or two categories."

The Crumlin fighter has been formally stripped of his UFC featherweight title due to his failure to defend the title since his spectacular first-round knockout of José Aldo last year.

However, he still considers himself to be a two-weight champion, having also claimed the lightweight belt last month.

This is not the first time Mr. Kenny has associated himself with successful sports stars or teams.

Earlier this year, he presented Rory McIlroy with the Irish Open trophy at The K Club after the four-time major winner won the event for the first time. Kenny also was front and centre on the Clan Terrace, as Connacht booked their place in the PRO12 Final, beating Glasgow Warriors in the play-off. 

His love of Mayo GAA is widely known too, but his newfound admiration for McGregor comes amid constant murmurings of an election in 2017. Perhaps he may to try and focus in on the fighting spirit of McGregor, in his hopes to remain on as Taoiseach.