Tributes for boxers Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes
- 10 August 2012
- From the section Northern Ireland
Stormont's sports minister has said there is "plenty to celebrate", despite Belfast boxers Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes missing out on Olympic finals.
Both men had to settle for bronze after losing their semi-final bouts.
"Any feeling of disappointment is more than overshadowed with a real sense of pride," said Carál Ní Chuilín.
"In securing a bronze medal, Michael can take his place among the best boxers in the world, and continues the proud legacy of Irish boxers."
St John Bosco club-man Conlan was beaten by Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana in Friday night's flyweight semi-final, with the judges scoring the contest 20-10 in favour of the Cuban fighter.
Barnes suffered an agonising defeat by China's defending champion Zou Shiming in the light-flyweight semi-finals.
The judges scored the contest 15-15 after three rounds but Zou was given the verdict on countback.
The two fighters have been engaged in a lighthearted Twitter spat after being pictured with some of the biggest names at the games.
After his quarter final victory Conlan said: "I just want to point out I got a picture with Serena Williams tonight and he (Barnes) didn't get none."
He was also pictured with former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis, who he referred to on Twitter as "wee Lennox". Barnes had been pictured with Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Usain Bolt.
Ms Ní Chuilín said: "It has been a mixed day for Irish boxers with John Joe Nevin securing a win and Paddy Barnes losing by the narrowest of margins. But, with Paddy also earning a bronze medal, there is still plenty to celebrate.
"Our boxers have once again shone on the global stage - proving to be ambassadors for their sport, their communities and themselves."