Political Football

Political football: sports people who turned to politics

It’s not such a big leap really…

WEXFORD YOUTHS SUPREMO Mick Wallace earlier rose to speak in the Dáil for the first time as a TD.

In the same chamber, Louth’s Gaelic football manager Peter Fitzpatrick took his seat as a newly-elected deputy.

They’re not the first personalities from the world of sport to jump the fence, baby, as Eamon Dunphy almost said. Here’s a few more…

Political football: sports people who turned to politics
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  • Dick Spring

    Before he became Tánaiste in the early 90s, Spring played Gaelic football and hurling for Kerry. His father Dan won two senior All-Ireland medals but Dick was better known as an accomplished rugby player lining out for Ireland and Munster. His nephew Arthur Spring regained his old seat last week.
  • George Weah

    The former AC Milan striker was the first African to be named the world's best player in 1995. Ten years later he lost a runoff for president in Liberia but has since announced his intentions to challenge next year.
  • Jack Lynch

    The Corkman won five All-Ireland hurling titles and one football Celtic Cross with the Rebels. He went on to be Taoiseach between 1977 and 1979. Pretty impressive, I guess.
  • Jesse Ventura

    Jesse "the Body" Ventura seamlessly transferred from a life of pro wrestling to the governor's house of Minnesota. He served from 1999 to 2003 and didn't seek a second term.
  • John O'Mahony

    The Mayo native led fierce rivals Galway to All-Ireland gold in 2001. He took over as Mayo chief and was elected to the Dáil for Fine Gael in 2007. He's since stepped down as manager but retained his seat last week.
  • Manny Pacquiao

    The Filipino became the first boxer in history to earn world championships in seven different weight classes - which is great. But less than a year later, Pacquiao upset heavy favorite Roy Chiongbian in the race to represent the province of Sarangani in the Philippine Congress.
  • Seb Coe

    One of the greatest middle-distance runners ever - winning 1500 gold twice - 'Lord Coe' has his hands full these days with organising the London Olympics.

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