Belfast’s Paddy Barnes chosen as Ireland’s flag bearer at Olympics

Paddy Barnes
Paddy Barnes

Boxer Paddy Barnes has been selected as Ireland’s flag bearer for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

The 29-year-old has qualified for his third consecutive Games after winning bronze medals in both Beijing in 2008 and London 2012.

Barnes said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to carry the Irish flag into the Olympic Stadium at the Opening Ceremony.

“It’s an amazing feeling to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it twice before already.

“Going to my third Olympic Games as the flag bearer for Team Ireland now is just an incredible honour.

“I will be going for gold in Rio in the ring but I will also have the responsibility of helping to build a really positive environment for all Irish athletes. I could not be more excited about the next 100 days.”

Barnes is part of a six-strong Ireland boxing team that has already secured qualification for Rio, and which also includes reigning world champion Michael Conlan.

Olympic champion Katie Taylor will get a second chance to qualify at the World Championships next month after missing out at the first Olympic qualifier.