Fergal Dennehy plays a huge role in the continued success of Togher Boxing Club

The Togher unit set up by Dennehy and his colleagues has produced many outstanding boxers. Amongst these was Leanne Murphy, who captained Ireland and returned from the European Youth Championships with a bronze medal.
Fergal Dennehy plays a huge role in the continued success of Togher Boxing Club

Officers of the IABA and the Cork County Boxing Board pictured with Deputy Lord Mayor Fergal Dennehy during a courtesy visit to City Hall in 2018. Picture: Doug Minihane

OVER the last ten years, Fergal Dennehy has played an integral role in the development of the Togher Boxing Club.

During this period, the Cork City Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor, on many great boxing occasions, has complimented the relationships enjoyed by Cork boxing with City Hall.

Almost a decade ago, the very successful Togher club was set up. 

Speaking recently about this, Dennehy said: "We set up the club to help focus the minds of young people. 

"Instead of hanging around the streets we wanted boys and girls to get involved in sports, and we believe that amateur boxing is a great platform the help them develop and mature."

A fine premises was founded under the auspices of the Cope Foundation. 

The man involved was John Bermingham, former Lord Mayor of Cork. 

He was also for many years secretary of the Glen BC and President of the Cork County Board.

From the outset, the Togher club linked with many local agencies. 

They operated through their large and hard-working committee.

Birmingham City BC and England boxing coach Frank O'Sullivan MBE with members of his family in Cork City Hall at a function in his honour hosted by Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Fergal Dennehy. Picture: Doug Minihane
Birmingham City BC and England boxing coach Frank O'Sullivan MBE with members of his family in Cork City Hall at a function in his honour hosted by Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Fergal Dennehy. Picture: Doug Minihane

The new club was fortunate to attract many boxers and coaches, while other members set out to complete courses in coaching, judging and refereeing.

From the beginning, the club attracted a very large membership. 

This volume of athletes was catered for by up to twelve coaches. 

In a club that was going almost seven days a week, Dennehy held the post of Secretary.

Under the guidance of a magnificent committee, the club became very successful. 

From their first season, the Togher BC were winning County, Munster and Irish titles.

The club displayed great organisation and discipline and soon earned a reputation where they were respected throughout Irish boxing.

Equally, the goodwill of the club was noted when they were always willing to assist and support the Cock County Board and the Cork Ex Boxers Association.

The Togher unit set up by Dennehy and his colleagues has produced many outstanding boxers. 

Amongst these was Leanne Murphy, who captained Ireland and returned from the European Youth Championships with a bronze medal.

She also won the Paddy Martin cup. 

These successes Dennehy says are a tribute to the great coaches and management team at their club.

For three years in a row, the Togher BC were presented with the Victor Aston cop, which is presented to the Cork club of the year..

Following the Covid pandemic, the club emerged once again and continued to maintain its high standards. 

In his role as Deputy Lord Mayor, Fergal Dennehy has represented the city with distinction.

These occasions included many boxing breakfasts where many of Cork's great boxers from yesteryear were honoured. 

He represented the people of Cork at the 2014 Centenary dinner and accorded and official welcomed Ireland's Olympic champion Michael Carruth when he welcomed him to City Hall in 2017.

Steve Collins being greeted by Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Fergal Dennehy on the steps of Cork City Hall where he also received a Civic Reception in September 1995 having retained his title against Chris Eubank in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Doug Minihane
Steve Collins being greeted by Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Fergal Dennehy on the steps of Cork City Hall where he also received a Civic Reception in September 1995 having retained his title against Chris Eubank in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Doug Minihane

In addition to many of his duties, Fergal Dennehy is always available to assist clubs with information on grants or other specific guidance on various issues that arise from time to time.

Last November, he welcomed former World champion Steve Collins, to City Hall to mark the 25th anniversary of his world championship success on Leeside.

He was also the guest of honour on the dinner that followed. 

Collins was loud in his praise of the Deputy Lord Mayor and said the welcome he received at City Hall from Fergal he would cherish for the rest of his life.

During St Patrick's weekend this year, another great boxing occasion took place at City Hall. 

This event saw the presentation of the Cork Boxing personality of the year award.

Fittingly, the recipient was Frank O'Sullivan from the Birmingham ABC. a native of Shandon street and former Sunnyside BC boxer.

The reception at Cork's mist iconic building was hosted once again by Fergal Dennehy. 

This was a magnificent trip down memory lane for O'Sullivan.

The legendary coach was honoured by Queen Elizabeth for services to amateur boxing in 2012.

In City Hall, memories came flooding back to Frank of when he brought a Birmingham City boxing team to Cork in the mid-eighties. 

He was then welcomed to the city by the Lord Mayor, who was Fergal's father, John Dennehy TD.

On this occasion Frank O'Sullivan was accompanied by his wife and members of his family. 

He said he received many accolades during his long career but was thrilled to be presented with this accolade by Fergal Dennehy.

Along with members of his family, he was then taken on a tour of City Hall, which included the concert hall where many of Cork's great boxing battles had taken place.

Frank. in thanking the Deputy Lord Mayor said he was an outstanding diplomat for the city of Cork and truly remarkable advocate for the sport of boxing.

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