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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

Joe Duffy backs ‘great little runners’ Jedward for Olympic torchbearer mission

Disgruntled callers to Liveline want Bernard Dunne to carry the flame in June rather than the marathon-running pop twins.

Jedward limbering up at Croke Park in 2011.
Jedward limbering up at Croke Park in 2011.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

REVEALING JEDWARD AS two of the Olympic torchbearers was never going to go off without a few grumbles and RTÉ’s Liveline got a few of them on Thursday afternoon.

The Radio 1 show, hosted by Joe Duffy, fielded calls from listeners demanding that boxers Bernard Dunne and Katie Taylor carry the Olympic flame as part of the relay planned for 6 June.

Gerry Fleming, head boxing coach at Neilstown Boxing Club, believes Dunne is more than deserving of the relay role while another caller claimed Taylor had been ‘treated dreadfully’ by Irish sports officials.

Role model

Fleming said he was pleased that Olympic Silver Medallist Kenny Egan was included on the list of 41 torchbearers but lamented the exclusion of Dunne. He said:

(Bernard) has been a role model for his area in Clondalkin and Neilstown. He’s won a world title and a european title and is a great family man.

Duffy read quotes from Dunne’s autobiography that covered his time in Sydney as a boxing reserve for the 2000 Olympics when the Olympic Council of Ireland, he claimed, ‘hung me out to dry’.

John and Edward Grimes (Jedward) are from Lucan, while Drimnagh’s Michael Carruth will also carry the torch.

Katie Taylor

Callers to the show also demanded that Bray boxer Katie Taylor, who will hope to qualify for the Olympics in China over the next eight days, should carry the torch.

One caller commented, “What does she have to do to get recognition in this country?”

Support for Katie Taylor on Twitter.

34 of the 41 torchbearers, including Paul McGrath and Shane Horgan, have been announced by the OCI.

The remaining seven will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

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