Cork Ex-Boxers Jubilee celebration dinner was a night to remember for a variety of reasons

Presentations were made to the O'Sullivan and Martin families and several boxers from previous generations were honoured
Cork Ex-Boxers Jubilee celebration dinner was a night to remember for a variety of reasons

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Corks leading female boxer, Christina Desmond, pictured enjoying the night with her family at the CEBA event in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane

AT the recent Cork Ex-Boxers Association Golden (CEBA) Jubilee dinner, which took place at the Rochestown Park Hotel, the special guest was the Taoiseach Michael Martin.

The CEBA was founded in 1972 by two former international boxers, Tim O'Sullivan and Paddy Martin, father of An Taoiseach.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Caitriona Twomey, on behalf of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, making a presentation to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, representing the Martin family, to acknowledge their late father Paddy’s contribution to the setting up of the association. Picture: Doug Minihane.
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Caitriona Twomey, on behalf of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, making a presentation to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, representing the Martin family, to acknowledge their late father Paddy’s contribution to the setting up of the association. Picture: Doug Minihane.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - JJ Murphy of the Cork Ex Boxers Association presenting a Distinguished Service Award to Billy O’Donovan of Leeside Lough BC in recognition of his huge contribution to the sport in Cork. Picture: Doug Minihane.
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - JJ Murphy of the Cork Ex Boxers Association presenting a Distinguished Service Award to Billy O’Donovan of Leeside Lough BC in recognition of his huge contribution to the sport in Cork. Picture: Doug Minihane.

On the night, pride of place went to the O'Sullivan and Martin families. 

They were recipients of glass presentations which were suitably inscribed to honour the memories of the founder members.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Golden Glove recipients Kevin Walsh of Set Colmans BC and Gordon Joyce of Sunnyside BC pictured at the dinner in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Golden Glove recipients Kevin Walsh of Set Colmans BC and Gordon Joyce of Sunnyside BC pictured at the dinner in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane

Caitríona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners made the presentation to the Martin family and Paddy McSweeney, President of CEBA, made the presentation to the O'Sullivan family.

Paddy "The Champ" Martin, apart from his distinguished career in the ring, was also a great humanitarian. 

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Former Youth Olympian, multiple Irish title winner and European Bronze medalist Christina Desmond receiving a Golden Glove award from Paddy McSweeney of the CEBA. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Former Youth Olympian, multiple Irish title winner and European Bronze medalist Christina Desmond receiving a Golden Glove award from Paddy McSweeney of the CEBA. Picture: Doug Minihane

During his life, he worked with various charities and over many years helped many Cork families.

This work was acknowledged by the CEBA and they felt it appropriate that Caitríona Twomey, a champion of the homeless, the hungry and the disadvantaged, should make the presentation.

Allied to this, the Twomey family have given many years to Cork boxing. 

Michael Martin accepted the presentation on behalf of his family.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Christy O’Keeffe, a long time member and supporter of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, chatting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Golden Jubilee Dinner in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Christy O’Keeffe, a long time member and supporter of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, chatting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Golden Jubilee Dinner in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane

Paddy McSweeney then made the presentation to Eleanor O'Sullivan on behalf of the O'Sullivan family.

This was also an appropriate choice as apart from his capacity as President of CEBA, Paddy was a lifelong friend of Tim O'Sullivan.

The overall occasion was described as a night of boxing magic.

The bight screen was the focal point of the hall, and it continuously relayed hundreds of photos recalling Cork boxing events down through the years.

The MC was John McHale who did a magnificent job and worked with event co-ordinator Mick O'Brien who delivered many nuggets of Cork boxing history to the audience.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Paddy McSweeney of the CEBA presenting a Golden Gloves award to the evergreen Harry Butt who, boxing out of the Dean Sexton BC, became a television star through his appearances on the RTE Ringside Series in the mid 1960s’. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Paddy McSweeney of the CEBA presenting a Golden Gloves award to the evergreen Harry Butt who, boxing out of the Dean Sexton BC, became a television star through his appearances on the RTE Ringside Series in the mid 1960s’. Picture: Doug Minihane

All strands of Cork boxing attended the sold-out event, which included boxers and coaches from many generations. 

Many presentations were made on the night with full details on the presentations being published in the Echo on Monday May 2 last.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - The legendary Don Murray, who won both Irish Junior and Senior heavyweight titles in 1962, and also boxed internationally, pictured with his family at the CEBA event in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - The legendary Don Murray, who won both Irish Junior and Senior heavyweight titles in 1962, and also boxed internationally, pictured with his family at the CEBA event in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane

It was a night to remember for Billy O'Donovan, Dan O'Connell, Tom Kelleher and John Hayes, the Buckley family from Mallow and former and current boxers, including Dom Murray, Harry Butt, Gordon Joyce, Seanie Barrett, Kevin Walsh, Christina Desmond and Katie O'Keeffe.

Recently, the Taoiseach reflected on the outstanding night at the celebrations. 

On entering the hall, Michael Martin received a prolonged standing ovation.

During the evening, he visited all 30 tables and had pictures taken with many families and boxers. 

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - One of the driving forces behind the resurgence of Cork boxing in the 1970s’, former Army boxer and renowned international referree and judge Dan O’Connell pictured enjoying the evening with his wife Myra at the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - One of the driving forces behind the resurgence of Cork boxing in the 1970s’, former Army boxer and renowned international referree and judge Dan O’Connell pictured enjoying the evening with his wife Myra at the Rochestown Park Hotel. Picture: Doug Minihane

In a recent communication to the CEBA, he congratulated its committee on organising what he described as an occasion to savour.

He said his family thoroughly enjoyed the night and the occasion epitomised the true spirit and character of an Association that had truly stood the test of time.

Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Paddy McSweeney of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, making a presentation to Eleanor O’Sullivan, representing the O’Sullivan family, to acknowledge their late father Tim's contribution to the setting up and running of the association for almost 50 years. Picture: Doug Minihane.
Cork Ex Boxers Golden Jubilee Dinner - Paddy McSweeney of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, making a presentation to Eleanor O’Sullivan, representing the O’Sullivan family, to acknowledge their late father Tim's contribution to the setting up and running of the association for almost 50 years. Picture: Doug Minihane.

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