What will Éamon Dunphy think of this survey that makes Conor McGregor our most popular sportsperson
Conor McGregor is taking over the hearts and the minds of the country's youth, according to a new survey.
The UFC lightweight champion's shortlisting for RTÉ sportsperson of the year caused a bit of a stir last week, with Éamon Dunphy dismissing the whole affair as a "scheme".
In defence of the national broadcaster, it would have been crazy to not include McGregor after a 2016 that saw him become the first fighter in UFC to hold two belts simultaneously.
Dunphy hits out at the RTE "scheme" https://t.co/WUtwziK1yO
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 9, 2016
Dunphy may not place too much stock in the Crumlin native's achievements but a new survey suggests a nation captivated with his colourful career.
According to the PSG Sport and Sponsorship Sentiment survey Conor McGregor is the country's most admired sportsperson, garnering 16% of the 1,000 votes - thanks to his massive popularity among 18-34-year-olds, one-third of whom voted for 'The Notorious'.
Following McGregor was another fighter, Katie Taylor (14%), the Olympic rowers Paul and Gary O’Donovan (8%), Ruby Walsh (5%), Johnny Sexton (5%), Robbie Keane (5%), Rory Best (4%), Rory McIlroy (4%), Jamie Heaslip (3%) and Robbie Brady (3%).
Dundalk's European odyssey certainly captured the imagination, Stephen Kenny's men garnering 15% of the votes in the most admired team poll - ahead of the international team (11%) in a year when Martin O'Neill's men reached the knockout stages of the European Championships.
Both trailed well behind the international rugby team (31%), who recorded wins over South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in 2016.
Despite this result in the team poll, football remains the favourite sport in Ireland (21%) ahead of rugby and Gaelic games on 17%.