Dan O'Connell to have the distinction of unveiling the first boxing plaque on the new boxing wall at a revamped Bishop Lucey Park to honour the late Maurice Walsh

Cork boxing is now preparing to publicly acknowledge the memory of an iconic man who through his coaching skill motivated and inspired hundreds of boxing athletes.
Dan O'Connell to have the distinction of unveiling the first boxing plaque on the new boxing wall at a revamped Bishop Lucey Park to honour the late Maurice Walsh

Members of the Walsh family from St Colman's BC, Shanagarry with the late Maurice Walsh (centre)

THE former President of the Cork Board and the Munster Council, Dan O'Connell, will have the distinction of unveiling the first boxing plaque on the new boxing wall at the revamped Bishop Lucey Park.

The plaque will honour the memory of the legendary Maurice Walsh of St Colman's BC.

In May of last year, Maurice passed away after a short illness. 

He had been active in the sport since 1984 and left a legacy of magical memories.

Cork boxing is now preparing to publicly acknowledge the memory of an iconic man who through his coaching skill motivated and inspired hundreds of boxing athletes.

Last week at Bishop Lucey Park, the Cork County Board President Michael O'Brien and Paddy McSweeney, met with the city architect Neil Perkiss.

Following discussions and clarity of some changes all final plans for the new wall have now been agreed.

The new wall will also be lit up at night and this will greatly enhance the sport.

Dan O'Connell was a long-time friend and boxing colleague of the late Maurice Walsh. 

He is also a long-time member of the St Colman's club.

It is therefore a fitting tribute to Maurice that a man of Dan's calibre should unveil the plaque.

This will be a very special day for Cork boxing supporters with a large volume of sporting dignitaries attending.

It will be a proud day for the Walsh family, and it will be a day of celebration for the sport to mark the contribution of Maurice during his life.

The park will be bedecked with flags and bunting, and the Butter Exchange Band will grace the occasion.

During his illustrious term as County Board President, Dan O'Connell was a man of vision and creativity who displayed superb skills as an organiser.

He was man who understood how to attract sponsorship and understood the business community.

As a former President of the Board, Dan worked on a no-nonsense philosophy. 

He knew how to get things done and was not popular with everybody. However, that never troubled him.

Dan showed little sympathy for wafflers and always demanded results and not excuses. 

Recently, he reflected on some of the occasions during his presidency.

"I remember many tournaments which are now part of our Cork boxing history. 

"For me some of the stand out moments are Munster versus Poland which took place at the Ballyphehane Community Centre," he said.

Here, he recalled Neelie Dunne (Sunnyside BC) getting up off the floor to beat the Polish champion and European silver medallist.

"A night to remember also," he added, "was the visit of a strong Northern Ireland team to box a Cork selection.

"This was facilitated by a good friend to Cork boxing, Pat McCrory, who was secretary of the Ulster Council."

Another friend of Cork Boxing was Franck Hendry who was President of the Scottish ABA. 

This man brought teams to Cork on a number of occasions.

At the first Cork boxing dinner at Jurys Hotel, Ireland and Scotland's top amateur boxers supplied a night of top-class competition that was generously supported by Cork's corporate sector.

O'Connell added: "Following on from the Jury's success many other top-class bills were facilitated at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

"These memorable nights of Leeside boxing were acknowledged by the IABA and they requested that Cork promote a multi-nations tournament.

"This was a great success and remains the only full multi-nations tournament staged in Cork, said O'Connell.

"During my time as President the Silver Springs Hotel were also a great supporters of Cork boxing."

Dan recalled that one Canadian team were so impressed with the venue and the hospitality of their Cork hosts that the insisted that a Cork delegation visit Canada to acknowledge the great time they enjoyed on Leeside.

Cork subsequently travelled to Canada and had the trip of a lifetime.

Dan O'Connell is today very much looking forward to unveiling the plaque to his old friend.

Maurice Walsh played a significant role in the development of the St Colman's club and had also supported Cork boxing.

"His name must always be fondly remembered with pride as a man who always got the best out of his boxers and in return from him, they received experience, confidence and wisdom," said O'Connell.

No date has been fixed for the unveiling yet, but it will be the first plaque on the wall when the park reopens following the renovation.

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