Northern Ireland news

Twitter storms as Irish golfers 'claimed' by British

Gary Lineker referred to Co Down Rory McIlroy as one of 'our great sportspeople'

SPORTS presenter Gary Lineker sparked a Twitter storm after claiming Co Down golfer Rory McIlroy as British.

Sky commentator and English professional golfer Laura Davies also raised eyebrows after referring to Offaly's Shane Lowry as "British".

Praising McIlroy after he missed the cut to advance in the Open contest, Lineker tweeted: "We should be proud of our great sportspeople not bash them at every opportunity."

But some Twitter users took exception to the ex-England footballer, with one saying: "'Our sportspeople'. Rory is Irish."

Lineker replied: "It's the British Open and @McIlroyRory is British."

When one Twitter user highlighted how people from Northern Ireland can identify as British, Irish or both, Lineker responded: "Exactly. Don't worry though, I do realise he's from Northern Ireland."

McIlroy will represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Britain's most successful female golfer also felt Twitter's wrath after claiming on Saturday that Lowry is British.

"It would be lovely for the home fans," Davies said. "And for us as well, to see a British winner of The Open.

"The Americans have been way too dominant recently in these Majors, haven't they?"

There was no shortage of outraged Irish people tweeting to correct the Sky contributor.

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