FIVE hundred tickets are going on sale nest month for the biggest event in Cork boxing history.
The occasion is the Golden jubilee banquet of the Cork Ex Boxers Association (CEBA) which will take place at the Rochestown Town Park Hotel on Saturday April 30 next.
The guest of honour and keynote speaker will be An Taoiseach Michael Martin.
However, from his current political status, Michael Martin's invitation is extended for his support for Cork boxing over many years and equally because he is the son of Paddy Martin a founder member of CEBA, and Tim O'Sullivan 50 years ago.
Over the last half century since the foundation of CEBA in 1972 boxing has experienced many outstanding triumphs inside and outside the ring.
This events have been carefully chronicled leading to a great officiation which will be fully enjoyed by all guests.
When Steve Collins returned to Cork last November for a celebration dinner following his world title victory over Chris Eubank in 1995, PRO Michael O'Brien promised patrons they would enjoy a night to remember.
And former Beamish and Crawford managing director Alf Smithy said that social occasion was one of the greatest nights he'd enjoyed, adding that Cork boxing officials know how to put on a show.
When the Cork Ex-Boxers were founded in September 1972 a few weeks later, the then Taoiseach Jack Lynch was attending a function at the Imperial Hotel.
By coincidence on the same night the ex boxers were holding one of their first meetings in Canty's bar across the road from the Imperial.
During the ex boxers meeting, founder member Paddy Martin excused himself for a couple of minutes.
He then went across the road to the hotel and met Jack Lynch who was a close friend of his as they both played Gaelic Football with St Nicks where Martin was an accomplished footballer.
Paddy asked the Taoiseach would he pop across the road to Canty's and meet the men who were going to chart the CEBA.
Jack agreed and notified his personnel and within minutes he was in Canty's bar with the boxers.
Here, he enjoyed a drop of Paddy whiskey.
In his brief few minutes with them, Jack wishes the group well, and, amidst jovial laughter, he raised his glass and said here's to your first fifty years.
It is now fifty years later and it is remarkable that the man who invited the Taoiseach to join the CEBA that night was the dad of the current Taoiseach Michel Martin.
This is an extraordinary piece of Cork boxing history.
As Jack Lynch did fifty year ago, Michael Martin will now receive the warmest of welcomes for the Cork ex Boxers.
History will be keen to repeat itself and Michael Martin as Taoiseach will also be afforded the opportunity to raise a glass and extend best wishes to the CEBA for the next fifty years.
The committee has worked tirelessly to ensure that the guests who attend will included patrons from many other sporting codes.
Apart from boxing, Tim O Sullivan and Paddy Martin had very strong links with other sports such as the GAA, rugby, football and hockey.
Paddy Martin was a roving sporting ambassador for many years while Tim O'Sullivan, a widely acclaimed physio, was linked with the Rockies, Cork Athletic, Munster rugby and the Kerry Gaelic football team.
Tim was also employed as physio to touring teams such as the All Blacks , Australia and South Africa.
In the fifty years of CEBA;s existence, many great boxers excelled in Cork while many big clubs were established.
That last ten years has seen Cork boxing acknowledged for many of its athletes and ambassadors.
Many of these clubs and boxers are linked to CEBA.
Over the years, CEBA has visited many clubs where they have erected plaques to mark milestones in that club's history.
One of the great unites to emerge during CEBA's reign was the Rylane boxing club. Illustrated by the picture this page, this club was always supported by very strong committees.
Dan Lane, John Crowley and the Barretts are among many great men and women who served the club.
John Barrett the father of a great boxing family.is himself a very popular ambassador for the sport.
At the recent dinner for former world champion Steve Collins, John was once again present.
A man of principle, John will make up his mind on many issues and will now be swayed by the thoughts of others.
This teak-tough honesty is part of the foundation on which the Rylane BC is built.
Many great Cork families have given support to the CEBA down the years are also featured on this page.
Equally, Bobby Fiddes, who was honoured in the recent past, and who will also be part of the Cork boxing story during the golden jubilee celebrations.