IRELAND'S oldest boxing international, the legendary Tim O'Sullivan has passed away.
Tributes have been led to the 92-year-old by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh, IABA president Dominic O'Rourke, Olympic champion Michael Carruth and his close friend Michael O'Brien, president of the Cork County Boxing Board.
He was admired, acknowledged and respected by the entire boxing family throughout the island of Ireland.
O'Sullivan represented Ireland on 16 occasions. In 1948, he was selected to represent Ireland at the Olympic games which took place at Earls Court in London that year.
However, following a wrist injury, the selectors substituted O'Sullivan and he missed out on the games. The IABA subsequently acknowledged his original selection and presented him with a specially commissioned silver medal.
Following his very successful boxing career, along with Paddy Martin, father of the current Taoiseach, he founded the Cork Ex-Boxers Association in 1972.
In the 1970s and '80s, O'Sullivan was a founding member of the famous Ballinough Boxing club. During this period, he built up extensive friendships with boxers from all part of the world including Rinty Monaghan, Henry Cooper, Marvin Haggler and many more.
He was also a close friend to many of Ireland’s great boxers including Mick Dowling, Michael Carruth, Kelly Harrington, Christina Desmond and Katie Taylor.
In 2015, he was honoured by the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins. In 2016 he was honoured by the Cork County Boxing Board, in 2017 he was the first and only Cork man to receive the IABA hall of fame award.
In 2018 to mark his 90th, then Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald hosted a special party which was attended by over 200 guests.
Following his passing, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: "The world of Irish boxing has lost an iconic figure. Tim represented all that was good in the sport.
"He had a great commitment always to promote and develop boxing and had a vast encyclopaedic knowledge. He is a huge loss to boxing not only in Cork but the entire country.
"Today we consider ourselves fortunate to have known Tim and celebrate his outstanding life in the sport he loved."
The Taoiseach then extended his sincere sympathies to his wife Elenor and the O'Sullivan family.
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh said: “Tim O'Sullivan was a colossus in the world of sport and Cork Boxing.
"He was an iconic figure who lit up a room when he spoke and imparted his vast knowledge. We are all the richer for having known him and on behalf of the people of Cork I extend my sincere sympathy to his wife and family.”
On behalf of the Cork County Boxing Board, Michael O'Brien said: “Tim O'Sullivan was an inherent part of the culture and rich heritage of Cork Boxing. He was a master craftsman in knowledge and above all else, he was probably one of the greatest boxing Ambassadors Cork has ever produced.
"The Cork County Boxing Board and the Cork Ex-Boxers Association extend our sympathies to the O'Sullivan family on their loss.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."