Paddy Barnes to carry Irish flag at Rio Olympics opening ceremony

BoxingBy Sean McGoldrick
Paddy Barnes
Paddy Barnes

Double Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes will carry the tricolour and lead the Irish team during the opening ceremony at the 2016 Rio Olympics on August 5.

The President of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey made the announcement today.

Barnes, who has already made history by becoming the first Irish boxer to qualify for three Olympics, has never made any secret of his ambition to be the Irish flag bearer at the Games which begins in 100 days’ time.

Katie Taylor was the flag bearer at the 2012 Olympics in London but Paddy still stole the show.

He wrote on a sheet of paper ‘Open for sponsors @ Paddyb-ireland (twitter)’ and held it up for the cameras as he paraded around the in-field during the opening ceremony.

Barnes will lead what is expected to be the largest ever Irish team at an Olympians.

So far 66 Irish athletes have qualified.