OVER 100 guests attended a function to celebrate the achievements of Cork's boxers hosted by the Lord Mayor at City Hall on Thursday evening last.
Cork's first All-Ireland champions of the new decade, Leanne Murphy and Patrick Lawlor were presented with their 2020 Jack McAuliffe gold medals.
Also on the night, Christina Desmond was congratulated after winning two Elite titles in 2019, and Katie O'Keeffe was feted as a European silver medalist.
A contingent from the Rylane BC attended the reception to mark their 40th anniversary, and the Togher BC, for the second successive year, was unveiled as the Cork Boxing Fraternity Association (CBFA) Cork Club of the Year.
Since their arrival on the boxing scene, the Togher club has significantly impacted the sporting landscape.
The President of the CBFA, Conal Thomas, said: "While many clubs have made a big contribution to the development of our sport last year, the Togher BC once again led the way not only through results in the ring but outside the ring in organisation and administration."
Thomas explained that the Togher BC was the top club at the County Championships and enjoyed notable victories at many tournaments throughout the country, including the Esker BC Cup in Dublin. They also finished runners up at the Celtic Box Cup in Dungarvan.
The unit was cited for the role they played within the community and lauded for providing weekly training sessions and facilities for members of the COPE Foundation.
Last year they also provided Cork's first two female referees and occupied numerous podium positions at County, Provincial and National level.
The plaque presented by Thomas detailed many of the club's attributes. The triumphs were widely acknowledged and received massive applause from the attendance.
Moreover, the Victor Aston Cup was presented to the Togher BC. This is a perpetual trophy reserved for the Club of the Year and was donated and sponsored by Dan O'Connell, a former President of the Cork Board and Munster Council.
O'Connell was unavailable to make the presentation on the night. In his place, his grandson Dean O'Connell, a former County and Munster champion, did the honours.
The Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Fergal Dennehy, one of the founding members of the Togher BC, welcomed all to City Hall and referenced the magnificent year enjoyed by Cork's clubs.
"A firm foundation for the continuing development of boxing has been laid in both the City and County," he said.
Cllr. Dennehy welcomed the Rylane BC to City Hall as part of their 40th birthday. A large Rylane entourage included two founding members, Dan Lane and Murty Buckley.
John Crowley was also in attendance with long-serving members of various committees including Danny Darcy, John Barrett and Mick Kelleher.
The outfit has produced numerous champions in male and female grades over the years. Many of those present included the club's first All Ireland gold medallist at Intermediate class, Gerry Sheehan.
Additionally, their first Elite titlist Sean Barrett is the unit's current club coach and has played a pivotal role in the development of the Cork Boxing Academies.
The Cork Ex Boxers Association (CEBA) made a presentation to Murty Buckley which was bestowed by President Tim O'Sullivan who remarked that the Ryalne was as well known in New York as it was in Cork.
The President of the Cork County Boxing Board, Michael O'Brien, made a presentation to Dane Lane to acknowledge his devotion to the unit over four decades.
As part of an outstanding night, Board Treasurer Nicola Murphy made a presentation to Katie O'Keeffe to acknowledge her European success for a second year running. At the same time, her coach Jim McConville received widespread approval for his high standard of coaching with the Kanturk BC.
Cork's first champions of the decade, Murphy and Lawlor, accepted their Jack McAuliffe gold medals from CEBA chief Tim O'Sullivan and Chairman JJ Murphy.
Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan was also on hand to congratulate all athletes. The President of the Glen BC, Mick O'Sullivan and head coach Tom Kelleher were also at City Hall. Details of the club's plans for Friday, March 13 next were announced.
On that night, Tomás Mac Curtain, the former Lord Mayor of Cork and the first President of the Glen BC in 1920, will be commemorated at a function in the clubhouse.
Meanwhile, the County Boys and Girls Championships commence at the Boxing Centre in Churchfield next Saturday and Sunday next with provisions made to complete the tournament next Monday night if required (7pm).