Boxing

Kellie Harrington Got A Lot Of Love For Her Appearance On 'The Tommy Tiernan Show'

Kellie Harrington Got A Lot Of Love For Her Appearance On 'The Tommy Tiernan Show'

From the moment her name was announced as the next guest on Saturday night's Tommy Tiernan Show, anyone who had the slightest inkling about Kellie Harrington knew it would be worth watching.

That was confirmed with her first words to Tiernan: "How's your Ma? Is your Da workin'?" It took the interviewer a few seconds - and a couple of repeats - to catch it.

Harrington - one of Ireland's big medal hopes at next year's Olympics (qualification pending) - won gold at last November's AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships.

Her sport and how it saved her from a young life which was going off the tracks were both discussed, as was how she still works at St Vincent's, a psychiatric hospital in Fairview.

Working in St Vincent's Hospital

I'm on the top bracket of funding now. By right, I don't actually have to work anymore but it's my escape from boxing. It takes me back to normality. Isn't that great? I'm going into a psychiatric hospital and it's taking me back to normality.

If I'm not training, I'll go and put the hours in. It's what I like to do. It just feels like I'm going into visit people, I don't know how much work gets done at all!

I love it. I love the patients. The ward that I'm on, there's nine patients. They're permanent. I know them all and they all know me. We're literally like family.

I had my homecoming when I came back from the World Championships. They were all sitting in the front row. They were straight up to the stage. They were told, 'Don't get any of these on the telly or in the paper'.

Next thing, one of them is up and he's like, 'Give me a look at that medal'. He's pulling it from around my neck. I came into work a week later and he's like, 'Kellie, I got a free coffee last week'. I was like, 'Did ya?' He says, 'Yeah, I think he noticed me from off the telly'. I was like, 'There ya go, you're famous'.

I wouldn't know what they're suffering from. I just know that they're suffering. They're pretty alright with me, I'm not giving them their medication or giving them showers or anything like that. I'm coming in and handing them out cigarettes, chocolate and crisps, fizzy drinks. I don't know if they're glad I'm a world champion or that I'm there giving them sweets.

The craic does be great in there. You can be yourself really. I don't care what anybody says - everybody has mental issues. I have more issues than Vogue Magazine for God's sake. It suits me to go in there, it brings me back down to earth and keeps my feet planted firmly on the ground.

Her upbringing in inner city Dublin and how boxing saved her
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"I was hanging around and getting up to all sorts of mischief. I was the worst possible child you could imagine; drinking, fighting. I knew I had to change and I couldn't keep putting my Ma and Da through what I was putting them through; going around looking for me every night, 'Where is she? What is she doing now?'

"I got into a boxing club and the discipline [you get] from boxing is amazing. Without that, God knows where I would be now. I'd be in prison or on drugs.

"That's how I'm still boxing: discipline. I need that in my life.

"Everyone is suffering, in some shape or form. It's about how you manage it. Boxing is my medication. If I didn't have boxing, I don't know what I'd be doing."

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The Russian, the Thai girl, a Finnish girl [are my rivals]. I couldn't tell ya [what their names are]. Anastasia, something like that.

The Thai girl (Sudaporn Seesondee), I met her in the final of the World Championships. She's good. She hits like a horse - she looks like one as well.

I was told that I look like Darth Vader when I'm walking to the ring. It's crazy, it's the best feeling ever, such an Adrenalin rush when you're walking to the ring.

My coach, Noel, I'd be saying to him, 'I think I'm going to shit myself'. He'd go, 'No you're not'. I'd be like, 'I think I need to go to the toilet'. He'd be like, 'You're alright. You don't need to go Kellie'. I'm like, 'Right. I don't need to go. I don't need to go. I'm ready for this'. I'd be talking to myself, I'd be hitting myself.

When you get into that ring, you forget what you were saying two seconds ago.

It's the best feeling every, except when you get hit in the face.

It was an appearance which received a lot of love from the watching public.

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Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Mickey Harte Gets It Spot On About Plight Of Antrim GAA

PJ Browne
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