ANOTHER glorious chapter in the illustrious history of the Glen BC was written on Saturday last following an official visit from An Taoiseach Michael Martin.
The club was bedecked in all its splendour and its walls and hallways proudly illustrated in pictures and story the deeds from its boxing ambassadors spanning over 100 years.
The Taoiseach and his entourage, which included two cars, arrived promptly at noon. Michael Martin was formerly welcomed by the Chairman of the club Anthony Connolly and the President of the Cork County Boxing Board Michael O'Brien.
As a consequence of the Covid-19 restrictions, the numbers attending were drastically reduced to comply with a directive issued by the Department of An Taoiseach.
However, those that were privileged to attend gave the Fianna Fail leader the warmest of welcomes, which included an ovation on his arrival in the function hall.
The smile on his face matched the enthusiasm for his visit. Once again, the people in the heartland of Blackpool where the Glen club is located celebrated a historic occasion as this time, they were welcoming the son of one of their most famous boxers, Paddy "The Champ" Martin.
Those in attendance were confined to officers only from the club, the Cork County Boxing Board, the Cork Ex Boxers Association, the Cork Boxing Fraternity Association and special guest Christina Desmond and members of her family.
All present were welcomed by Michael O'Brien, who, in his address, reflected on the part the Taoiseach's father played as both an international boxer and one of the famed sons who boxed with the Glen BC.
The Board President then referenced the Taoiseach's political career which commenced during the local elections in Cork in 1985.
Here, O'Brien reminded the Fianna Fail chief that as a young 24-year-old in May of that year, he canvassed Ballyphehane with his policies.
However, all the local people wanted to know was if he was the son of Paddy "The Champ" Martin.
On the back of his father's boxing success, the young school teacher was elected to what was known as Cork Corporation.
Later in that year, in his role as Deputy Lord Mayor, he had the privilege of presenting his late father with the Cork Ex Boxers Hall of Fame Award at a function in the Sunset Ridge Hotel.
O'Brien then went on to outline the long and successful career enjoyed by our new Taoiseach. He also charted the dark and difficult days and many of the difficult decisions taken by Michael Martin.
However, he added that the Fianna Fail leader had a mind of steel and was a man of remarkable resilience.
He was quoting from an article in a Sunday newspaper by Eoghan Harris ten weeks ago. In the article, Harris chronicled the enormous challenges confronting the Taoiseach.
And O'Brien reminded all present that Harris concluded his article by stating "Martin will face his challengers and not throw in the towel as he is the son of a Cork boxer."
The President of the Board then paid tribute to the late Tim O'Sullivan for his services to the sport on Leeside.
The focal point of last week's ceremony was the presentation of the Paddy Martin Cup to current Irish Elite champion Christina Desmond.
Prior to the presentation, the Taoiseach paid tribute to the dynamic attitude she has taken to her chosen sport before going on to congratulate the Macroom southpaw on winning the cup for the second time.
He also wished her every success as she attempted to qualify for the Olympics and in her career as a Garda.
Other presentations were then made to Michael Martin to mark his election to office. These came from the Cork ex Boxers Association, represented by Paddy McSweeney and Martin Coughlan, the County Board, represented by John Wiseman and Nicola Murphy, and the Cork Boxing Fraternity represented by its President Conal Thomas.
The President of the Board then spoke and presented Michael Martin with their plans for a permanent home for Cork boxing.
He also made representations on behalf of IABA President Dom O'Rourke with respect to the earliest and safe resumption of the sport.
Glen BC coach Tom Kelleher and club President Mick O'Sullivan provided the Taoiseach with a marker and asked him to autograph the canvas of their famed ring.
Following his 90-minute visit to Ireland's oldest boxing club, Michael Martin, accompanied by his very efficient PA, were accorded a guard of honour as they left the building which marked a historic visit to a boxing club which is acknowledged as an institute in Cork sporting folklore.