The Friends of Cork Boxing Group are expanding at a tremendous pace

It is intended that the week of St Patrick's Day each year will become the focal point of activity for its members. 
The Friends of Cork Boxing Group are expanding at a tremendous pace

Special guest, the late Eamon Ryan, addressing the large attendance at a boxing lunch, with CCBB president Michael O'Brien., Gerry O'Mahony of the Munster Council, Pat Ryan of the IABA and , partially obscured, current Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Picture: Doug Minihane

THE Cork County Boxing Championships for both boys and girls will this year take place over two weekends.

On Thursday night last, an officer board meeting confirmed that dates for the forthcoming Championships will be Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of February and Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of February.

John Casey will once again be the Director of Championships boxing. 

Following the Cork Counties, boxers will then move on the Munster Championships, which will commence within the following two weeks.

Cork boxers with the clubs and coaches and currently preparing for these Championships. 

It is hoped that many of our boxers will once again go on to national level and return to Leeside as Irish champions.

Meanwhile, the Friends of Cork Boxing Group are expanding at a tremendous pace. 

This is an opportunity for family and friends of Cork boxers past of present at home or abroad, to become part of a support network to advance the culture of Cork boxing.

While this organisation is still in its infancy, it is anticipated by many that this will become a very strong group within the next two years.

It is intended that the week of St Patrick's Day each year will become the focal point of activity for its members. 

Co-operation with the City Council will see the Lord Mayor extend greetings to all friends of Cork boxing at home and abroad.

Douglas native Derry McCarthy has been passionate about boxing all his life.
Douglas native Derry McCarthy has been passionate about boxing all his life.

This year two of the international vice Presidents of the group will return to Leeside. 

During St Patrick's weekend the current Cork Boxing Personality of the year Frank O'Sullivan, who became a boxing legend in England based in Birmingham, has been invited to City Hall on Friday, March 11.

In the meantime, on Thursday the 16th of March, Donie Carroll, now domiciled in New York, will lead a delegation to the office of Cork's first citizen.

Each of these men has always been outstanding ambassadors for the sport and when living in Cork both boxed at different stages with the Sunnyside BC.

Frank O'Sullivan will be presenting boxing belts to the Cork Ex-Boxers Association in recognition of their Golden Jubilee celebrations.

This will reflect on the life of Dan Vaughan, a man who gave great service to Birmingham boxing, while the other will be the Frank O'Sullivan MBE Boxing belt.

Equally, the other Vice President, Donie Carroll, has made provision to have a consignment of Friends of Cork Boxing lapel pins made up in addition to a limited edition of a unique tie depicting the heritage of Cork boxing.

Meanwhile, the past year has seen the passing of one of the greatest sporting ambassadors Cork had ever produced.

Eamonn Ryan, was a School Principal, a Cork footballer, a coach to many county Championships winning hurling and football teams and was a messiah in the world of inter-county Ladies Gaelic football.

Here, Eamonn planned and led Cork ladies to a magnificent ten All-Ireland titles. 

Eamon was also a very keen follower of boxing.

For many years he was a close personal friend of Paddy the Champ Martin. 

He was also intrigued by life and times of Muhammad Ali.

As the picture of this page illustrates, Eamonn was a guest speaker at one of the now-famous Cork Boxing Breakfasts.

On the occasion, he held his audience captive as he explained his philosophy on sport. 

Eamonn believed that everyone had a point of view, and he had the capacity to listen to all people.

A familiar sight for Cork Boxing supporters as referee John Casey issues instructions to two young boxers ahead of their contest at the County Championships in Churchfield. Picture: Doug Minihane
A familiar sight for Cork Boxing supporters as referee John Casey issues instructions to two young boxers ahead of their contest at the County Championships in Churchfield. Picture: Doug Minihane

He showed an interest in all sport and always looked forward to following the progress of Cork's boxers in the Echo.

He was also a close from with Dr Eanna Falvey who won an Elite title with the St Colman's BC in 2002. 

Eamonn also took a great interest in following the career of Gary Spike O'Sullivan.

Recently TG4 produced a programme which was dedicated to his life and titled "The Master". 

This programme paid a fine tribute to a man whose many qualities were impeccable.

Born in 1941, Eamonn packed some punch into his eighty years of life. 

Following his death, many tributes were paid to him.

However, one stands out and put his life into perspective. 

This came from Juliet Murphy, arguably the greatest ladies footballer Cork has ever produced.

She said of Eamonn, "When he died, I was thinking how I could honour his memory in my own life and thought he always had time for everyone, and now I am trying to be more like this in my own life."

Elsewhere, the Cork Ex-Boxers are currently compiling a publication to reflect on the last 50 years. 

One particularly entertaining article is written by Douglas native Derry McCarthy.

Derry writes about growing up as a youngster in Douglas and playing Gaelic Games with the local club. 

He passionately followed the sport of bowling and remembers many of this sport's great characters.

However, he puts the emphasis on his love of boxing and reflects on the involvement of his late father in the sport and reminisces on his disappointments and success in the ring.

This article from Derry will help to further enhance the folklore of Cork boxing.

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