Cork boxing success will be honoured through street art in the coming months

Following a recent meeting with City officials, a number of well-appointed sites have been identified.These murals will acknowledge the condition of the sport on Leeside for over 100 years and will acknowledge the success of many boxers over that period.
Cork boxing success will be honoured through street art in the coming months

Kieran Joyce pictured in fromt of a screenshot of his coach and mentor Albie Murphy, with his Cork Boxer Of The Century Award following the presentation at the Boxing Centenary Dinner Dance in 2014. Picture: Doug MInihane

CORK boxing will celebrate its success through street art murals on a number of well-placed city walls later this year.

Following a recent meeting with City officials, a number of well-appointed sites have been identified.

These murals will acknowledge the condition of the sport on Leeside for over 100 years and will acknowledge the success of many boxers over that period.

The combined work of all murals will be a legacy to generations of Cork boxers, and this work will take place in a very appropriate year as the Cork Ex-Boxers celebrate their golden jubilee.

In addition, City librarian David O'Brien is anxious to host a number of exhibitions featuring Cork boxing on a number of branches of the library.

These exhibitions will provide an opportunity for the Cork public to travel down memory lane. 

It is also hoped to get local schools involved by inviting them to take part in an essay competition on the history of Cork boxing.

Meanwhile, Cokr City and county have produced many outstanding boxing families over man generations.

The famed Buckley brothers of Mallow will be featured in this column on a later date while Cork city also produced many great boxing families.

During the 1980s the Joyce brothers were phenomenally successful. 

Of this family, Kieran Joyce was selected as Cork boxer of the century.

Kieran was born on the Northside and was one of 12 children bork to Kieran and Elizabeth Joyce. 

The family ran a coal delivery business on Fair Hill. 

Two-time Olympian, and Cork Boxer of the Century, Kieran Joyce, pictured with Tony Flanagan at the Clubs premises in the Parochial Hall, Churchfield. Picture: Doug Minihane
Two-time Olympian, and Cork Boxer of the Century, Kieran Joyce, pictured with Tony Flanagan at the Clubs premises in the Parochial Hall, Churchfield. Picture: Doug Minihane

Kieran and his brothers Gordon and Barry joined the Sunnyside BC at an early age.

Kieran recalled: "When I was about ten, I felt destined to be a boxer." 

He immediately impressed at underage level winning multiple juvenile titles. 

He secured his first Elite belt at the National Stadium in Dublin in 1983 after defeating Joe Fenton in the 67kg final.

Later that year, he lined out for Ireland at the Europen Elites in Varna n Bulgaria. 

In these championships, he defeated Norway's Kristen Tergan, and Hungary's Tibor Mulnar. 

This secured a bronze medal.

In the semi-final he was unlucky to be defeated by the gold medalist Petr Galkin of the USSR. 

Joyce was the only Irish boxer to claim a medal behind the former Iron Curtain.

On his return, Joyce said that he got more out of Bulgaria than the medal. 

He said it provided an opportunity for him to see how the Russian, Poles and Hungarians trained.

He said that at that time they were light years ahead of the Irish training methods. 

As he was the first Corkman to return to Leeside with a European Championships medal, Joyce was honoured by the Cork Ex-Boxes Association (CEBA) at a special function which took place at the Sunset Ridge Hotel.

Paddy Martin made the presentation on behalf of the Cork boxing community.

Meanwhile, tickets for the Cork Ex-Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner dance are now on sale.

The event takes place at the Rochestown Park Hotel on Saturday, April 30.

On the night, many former boxing celebrities are expected to attend, and the guest of honour will be An Taoiseach Michael Martin.

Tickets costing €40 are now available to the public and are available from all committee members of CEBA.

In the meantime, in May, a plaque will be unveiled at Bishop Lucey Park to commemorate the memory of Tim O'Sullivan, a founder member of the Cork Ex-Boxes Association (CEBA).

Pictured with Eileen O’Connell celebrating her 100th birthday recently are, President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association Mr Paddy McSweeney, Bernie O’Connor, her grandson Louis O’Keeffe, son Dan O’Connell and Michael O’Brien and of the CEBA. Picture: Doug MInihane
Pictured with Eileen O’Connell celebrating her 100th birthday recently are, President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association Mr Paddy McSweeney, Bernie O’Connor, her grandson Louis O’Keeffe, son Dan O’Connell and Michael O’Brien and of the CEBA. Picture: Doug MInihane

Tim gave a lifetime of service to boxing and his memory will be fondly cherished by many generations of Cork boxing patrons who will be afforded the opportunity to reflect on his contribution.

This plaque will be unveiled by his lifelong friend and current President of CEBA Paddy McSweeney.

Last week many in Cork boxing were saddened by the passing of Eileen O'Connell, daughter of the famed Pakey O'Mahony, the former heavyweight champion of Ireland.

Last September Eileen celebrated her 100th birthday. 

To mark the occasion, she was visited at her home by members of CEBA and the County Board.

On that day, Eileen was in great form and gave a hearty welcome to all her guests. 

Over the last three years Eileen had the privilege of being in Bishop Lucey Park for the unveiling of a plaque to her father.

She also attended the Cork Boxing exhibition at the City Library, where her father's famous boxing belt was on display.

That day she received a special greeting from the Taoiseach Michael Martin, who opened the exhibition. 

On that day, she was also in great form and surrounded by family and friends, engaged with all on a very special boxing occasion.

The sympathy of the Cork Boxing community has been extended to all members of the O'Connell and O'Mahony families on the passing of an inspirational woman.

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