ON January 1 next, the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA) will commence a year of celebration to mark their golden jubilee.
Following a recent meeting of the Association, a provisional plan was put in place.
This will be further fine-tuned at the next meeting, which will finalise the blueprint which will give Cork's boxing supporters a year to remember.
The Taoiseach Michael Martin, whose late father Paddy was a co-founder member of CEBA, is expected with proper planning to attend two of the events organised during the year.
Michael Martin has always given significant time and attention to Cork boxing, and when a plaque was unveiled to his late father in Bishop Lucey Park in 2017, a huge crowd flocked to the park for a great afternoon of nostalgia complimented by the Butter Exchange Band.
Next week Paddy McSweeney and Mick O'Brien are due to meet with the city architect Neil Perkus at City Hall to discuss final details for the boxing wall at Bishop Lucey Park.
Work is due to commence shortly on a 2m revamp of the city centre park.
This magnificent amenity will further enhance the history of Cork boxing.
The Taoiseach will be pleased to see his father's name continue to be profiled on a wall that showcases the history of Cork boxing.
In preparation for the Golden Jubilee, a new tie and pins were unveiled recently.
Former boxers and supporters will be contacted in the coming months and invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary.
The main theme of the year-long celebration is to cherish the history of Cork boxing.
This was always the mantra of the late Tim O'Sullivan, a co-founder of the Association.
Tim was also a member of a small committee that organised an outstanding exhibition of Cork boxing memorabilia at the city library during August and September of 2019.
The now retired city librarian Liam Ronayne said at the time it was one of the finest exhibitions he had seen at the library and attracted thousands during its six-week run.
Last week, while reviewing events at the library, the new City librarian David O'Brien contacted the Board president to discuss further exhibitions at suburban libraries.
Mr O'Brien added that he would like to wish CEBA every success during their year of celebration, and he looked forward to working with them in any capacity where he can be of service.
The Director of Corporate and International Affairs Paul Moynihan is also very anxious to see that the Cork Ex-Boxers Association will have a very eventful year.
He indicated that he would like to see the famous Pakey O'Mahony boxing belt go on display at the Cork City Museum at the Mardyke.
New month Mr Moynihan is due to meet with Board President Michael O'Brien and a delegation from Dublin to discuss details of promoting a full boxing international at City Hall next year.
This will also be part of CEBA's celebrations.
The roster of events for next year include a plan to have at least one major event per month, commencing with a Mass for deceased member followed by an evening of nostalgia, music and refreshments.
The beginning of the year will also see the production of a calendar illustrating the Association's highlights over fifty years.
This will be a first-class publication and will be available for sale to the public.
A dinner dance at the Rochestown Park Hotel is also envisaged with the keynote speaker being the Taoiseach Michael Martin.
A publication with a photo gallery and a collection of short stories covering the main events of CEBA's half-century will be produced as a limited edition.
A photographic exhibition at the Vision Centre on North Main Street will take place.
Here, a unique opportunity for anybody involved in Cork boxing will facilitate them to sign their name on a special book which will be on display.
This book will subsequently go on display at a Cork boxing museum planned for the future.
A number of plaques will also be unveiled during the year, and schools will be invited to submit essays on Cork boxing.
One boxer per CEBA decade will be selected and presented with a golden glove.
Plans also include special receptions for CEBA at City Hall and County Hall.
The full and final program for CEBA's year of celebration will be published on Saturday, September 5 next at City Hall, during the official launch of the friends of Cork boxing worldwide.