The Irish mother is way ahead of Superman, Batman or Mother Teresa as a hero, according to a new research.

Even Olympic gold medal boxer Katie Taylor, although a perfect role model, doesn’t compare with Mom as a hero for Irish families.

The study was carried out at the department of psychology at the University of Limerick.

Lead researcher Elaine Kinsella, who conducted the study under the supervision of professors Eric Igou and Timothy Ritchie, said parents, particularly mothers, were regularly cited as heroes.

Kinsella, 28, said, “Traditional descriptions referred to heroes in masculine terms and often described those who risk their own lives to help others. But we found that although many types of heroes exist, the most frequently mentioned hero is one’s mother.”

When the research participants were asked to define heroic characteristics, they emphasized the need for evidence of self-sacrifice and moral integrity, qualities found in parents and mothers.

Kinsella said, “Katie Taylor is interesting because she seems to have a strong set of values and morals. She is also brave and has done a lot for female boxing, but sports stars like her are probably best described as role models rather than heroes.”

Two-thirds of those surveyed reported having at least one hero and that about a quarter on the list were family members.

Kinsella added, “Within that group of family members, mums were at the top followed by dads and grandparents.”

The research team surveyed 189 people from 25 different countries who were asked what they believed to be the most important features and functions of heroes.

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