Cork Ex Boxers launch golden jubilee calendar and also pay tribute to the late Toddy O'Sullivan

Toddy was very passionate about Cork boxing and a great follower of the sport. 
Cork Ex Boxers launch golden jubilee calendar and also pay tribute to the late Toddy O'Sullivan

Spirit Of Jack McAuliffe Award, Saoirse Morrissey, Caitriona Twomey.

LAST weekend the Cork Ex Boxers Association (CEBA) published a magnificent golden jubilee calendar - 1972- 2022.

This beautifully illustrated collection of photos contributes to highlighting the work done by CEBA over fifty years.

The main photograph on the cover of the calendar captures in great detail the atmosphere created in Bishop Lucey Park on one of those many special days when a plaque was unveiled to honour one of Cork's boxing greats.

This picture by Doug Minihane, while showing the park in all its splendour, compliments the importance of the occasion for those who are being honoured and those in attendance.

It also enhances the link between the Cork City Council and the Cork boxing family, who, through this boxing wall of fame, take a profound pride in the culture and tradition of their sport.

During the year, the former President of the Cork Board Dan O'Connell was unveiling a plaque to perpetuate the memory of the late Maurice Walsh of the St Colman's BC.

During his speech O'Connell pointed to the boxing wall and said, "there is no other wall, there is no other city, there is no other boxing community that honours its champions and personalities both past and present from inside and outside the ring in this unique way."

This extract from that speech is featured fittingly alongside the cover photograph. 

Kevin Cummins described this picture as truly outstanding. Kevin is the well-known managing director of Cummins sports.

An historic photo of three of the most prominent O'Sullivans currently involved in boxing. Former International Tim, World Middleweight contender Gary and renowned Birmingham City BC Coach, Cork born Frank who was awarded an MBE for his services to boxing in the UK. Photo: Vancs O'Connell.
An historic photo of three of the most prominent O'Sullivans currently involved in boxing. Former International Tim, World Middleweight contender Gary and renowned Birmingham City BC Coach, Cork born Frank who was awarded an MBE for his services to boxing in the UK. Photo: Vancs O'Connell.

He captained Cork to All-Ireland minor hurling glory in 1964. 

However, he is widely acclaimed as a top photographer and a man who produced some historical black and white pictures over several decades.

His photos featured sports, politics and everyday events. 

Kevin is a man who knows the lens and one who can identify an outstanding picture when he sees it.

Meanwhile, next weekend in Birmingham Frank O'Sullivan will be presented with the 2021 Cork Boxing Personality of the Year Award.

Frank is a legend in the world of amateur boxing. 

Born at the bottom of Shandon Street he successfully boxed with the Sunnyside BC, winning three All-Ireland titles before emigrating to Birmingham as an 18-year-old to seek employment.

In a letter from the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Colm Kelleher warmly congratulated Frank on his latest accolade which the Lord Mayor described as the ultimate honour in being recognised and acknowledged for his achievements during a lifetime of amateur boxing from his fellow Corkonians.

Elsewhere, the Boy and Girls 1 & 2 Championships are going on in Dublin. 

These Championships have been going on over the last couple of weekends and will culminate with the finals this weekend.

To date Cork's clubs have enjoyed reasonable success, and the champions will be featured fully in a later column.

Meanwhile, the spirit of Jack McAuliffe and the work he did in behalf of the poor and destitute of New York when he retired will be linked and associated with the current work of Catriona Twomey and Cork penny dinners.

This will be part of seminars at various library branches, which will take place next year in conjunction with the Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The sympathy of all in Cork boxing has been expressed to the O'Sullivan family following the death of Toddy on Sunday last.

Toddy was very passionate about Cork boxing and a great follower of the sport. 

Steve Collins pictured with members of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association in Bishop Lucey Park ahead of the unveiling of the plaque there in his honour. Picture: Doug Minihane
Steve Collins pictured with members of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association in Bishop Lucey Park ahead of the unveiling of the plaque there in his honour. Picture: Doug Minihane

He was Lord Mayor of Cork in 1980 and also served the people of Cork south-central for many years as a Labour party TD and later as junior minister during his political career.

The late Mr O'Sullivan was widely respected by all sections of society. 

He was an all-round sportsman but primarily was a St Finbarr's hurling and football man.

Toddy took a profound pride in the city of Cork and loved its people. 

During his term as Lord Mayor, he spoke with passion on the privilege it was for him to wear the chain of office worn by Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence McSweeney.

Toddy made it well known that he was looking forward to reading the boxing columns on the echo each Thursday.

He said he had the greatest experience of seeing Cork's finest boxers since the early fifties regularly. 

Over the latest ten years, he would ring County Board PRO Mick O'Brien to reflect on and recall some of the great memories he recalled during boxing nights at City Hall.

The late Toddy O'Sullivan
The late Toddy O'Sullivan

Toddy would always finish the conversation by encouraging all to keep up the good work and continue to maintain the tradition and culture of Cork boxing, a sport which was very close to his heart. 

May he rest in peace.

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