Katie O'Keeffe does Cork boxing proud winning another European medal in Bulgaria

This time the six time All-Ireland champion won a bronze medal
Katie O'Keeffe does Cork boxing proud winning another European medal in Bulgaria

IABA national awards: Boxing referee John Casey, Katie O'Keeffe, three time European medallist, and former Cork County Boxing Board president Michael O'Brien.

CORK'S Katie O'Keeffe won a bronze medal at the European Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria recently and is once again the pride of Leeside boxing.

Following a very close semi-final bout, Katie was edged out on a split decision. 

However, she returns home as a European medalist. 

Her latest international success has further enhanced her reputation as a boxing dynamo with a great future.

This is her third European medal, as she won both bronze and silver at previous European campaigns prior to the two-year international suspension because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

O'Keeffe is also the holder of six All-Ireland titles. 

This tally represents phenomenal national success. 

Former Irish international and Elite champion Seanie Barrett, who is widely acclaimed as a first-class coach, did a lot of work with Katie at the Cork Ladies Boxing Academy.

Barrett, who congratulated the young athlete on her latest success, believes she has a great future in the sport, adding that Katie is dedicated, focused and determined to improve her standard of boxing year on year.

Cork's female boxers have enjoyed great success at both the World and European Junior Championships. 

In recent years, both Christina Desmond and Leanne Murphy have brought European medals to Leeside, with Desmond winning an European Elite bronze medal.

The President of the Cork County Boxing Board Billy O'Sullivan warmly congratulated Katie on here achievement, saying she has raised the Cork flag on the European circuit and her success enhanced the sport, which will see female boxing continue to flourish in Cork.

County Board PRO Mick O'Brien said Katie's success in Europe was much more than returning with a medal. 

O'Brien added that following Covid it was important to show that our sport and our boxers are back with a bang, and that every Cork boxing follower must take pride in these results.

Before Covid Cork boxing enjoyed in excess of thirty Irish title each year over a five-year period. 

These triumphs were further advanced on the international stage, culminating in the winning of 12 World and European medals over a five-year period.

Cork boxing won its very first European medals back in 1983. 

On that occasion Kieran Joyce returned from Bulgaria with a European Elite bronze medal. 

Following Joyce's success, the then President of the Cork ex Boxers Association, Paddy Martin made a presentation to the Sunnyside BC man.

And to mark Cork's latest European medals success, Paddy Martin's son, the Taoiseach Michael Martin, will be making a presentation to Katie at the Rochestown Park Hotel on Saturday next.

The winning of this medal is also a very prestigious achievement for the Kanturk BC. 

Here, coach Jim McConville has done a magnificent job with his boxers over many years.

Jim is an excellent coach who operates closely with a small but hard work committee. 

The club has produced numerous All-Ireland champions in recent years. 

The unit also provides opportunities for many local athletes to take up the sport.

Vanc O'Connell is also a very prominent female coach with the club. 

She is also working with and is part of the Cork Ladies boxing academy.

Kate has also received great support from both her parents, and they have travelled abroad on many occasions and shared her international success.

Katie's goal is now to win a European gold and if this is achieved, she will become the first Cork boxer ever to complete the grand slam of winning gold, silver and bronze Continental medals.

Meanwhile, on Saturday night next the 30th of April, the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA) will host their golden jubilee dinner dance at the Rochestown Park Hotel commencing at 7.30pm.

The guest of honour will be the Taoiseach Michael Martin and his role will be to congratulate an organisation established by Tim O'Sullivan and his father.

During the past 50 years Cork boxing has celebrated many great occasions and many of these nights will be recalled on Saturday evening.

Cork's first citizen, the Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher, will represent the people of Cork and City Hall, a building which has hosted many outstanding boxing nights down through the years.

In recent years the Ex-Boxers have interacted with many clubs in both the city and county. 

Cork County Boxing Board presidents over the years: Dan O'Connell, Michael O'Brien and new CCBB president Billy O'Sullivan.
Cork County Boxing Board presidents over the years: Dan O'Connell, Michael O'Brien and new CCBB president Billy O'Sullivan.

When Jack Doyle died in difficult circumstances in 1978, CEBA ensured his body was returned to Ireland where he received a burial with dignity in his home town of Cobh.

The MC on the night is John McHale, Sports Editor with the Echo, and the organising committee has assured the Cork boxing public that this will be a night to remember as CEBA reflect on a magnificent 50 years.

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