GENERATIONS of Cork boxers, coaches and club representatives gathered on Saturday morning last to mark the 10th anniversary of the now famed Cork Boxing Breakfast.
Over the last ten years, all strands of Cork boxing, past and present, participated and enjoyed the friendship and social aspect provided by this event.
At last weekend's social which took place in the lounge at the Harp Bar, Donie Carroll, not domiciled in New York for many years, was home on Leeside and was honoured for his ongoing work in support of Cork boxing.
Donie is the Vice President of "The Friends of Cork boxing" and is in regular contact with all current boxing activities in Cork.
When Gary Spike O Sullivan fought for the WBA World Middleweight title in New York a few weeks ago, many Cork boxing supporters travelled to the Big Apple to support him.
Over that weekend, Donie Carroll was front and centre of all operations and helped create fantastic memories for all who travelled.
One absentee from that group last weekend was Conal Thomas who was in Ukraine with a humanitarian convoy.
The rest of the group who travelled to New York assembled for last Saturday's breakfast to pay tribute to Donie as Donie is acknowledged as a man who is very helpful to all Corkonianas when they arrived in New York either on vacation or looking for work.
Ten years ago, in July 2012, Gary O'Sullivan defeated Matthew Hall to win the WBO international middleweight title.
This fight took place at Upton Park in London and was televised live by Sky Sports and watched by millions.
Among the viewers that night was President Michael D. Higgins, who, following Spike's victory, extended an invitation to the Loughmahon boxer to visit him in the park.
To celebrate Spike's WBO success, a boxing breakfast was organised.
This was a novel idea at the time, and it took place at the Silver Quay restaurant.
This proved to be an outstanding success, and so began the now famed Cork boxing breakfasts.
On Saturday, last amongst the attendance were four boxing followers who were at that first breakfast.
They were Tom Kelleher, Tony Flanagan, Spike O'Sullivan and Mick O'Brien.
Last Saturday, Tom Kelleher requested to sponsor the breakfast, adding that it was a special occasion, and he was delighted to do so.
In welcoming all to last Saturday's function, Mick O'Brien outlined the history of the Cork Boxing breakfast over the last decade.
"In recent years, fifteen prominent people associated with Cork boxing have passed away, and fourteen of those, accompanied by members of the families, were honoured at the breakfasts," O'Brien said.
"Over those years, we have organised in excess of 50 breakfast events.
"And we have had media presentations to over 200 boxing patrons whose contribution would have been either forgotten or ignored.
"Occasions such as these bring great joy to the volunteers who in many instances have given many years to the the sport."
Amongst those in New York for Spike's recent fight were national boxing coach Tom Murray, former Irish Elite champion and academy coach Seanie Barrett and Tom Kelleher the ageless wonder who has given a lifetime of service to the sport be that with his beloved Glen BC or various national boxing squads from the Gaelic Youths to the Irish Elite teams.
The organiser for last weekend's Boxing breakfast was Aine McLaughlin, who served what was universally described as the greatest breakfast of the last ten years.
A presentation by Gary O'Sullivan was then made by the guest of honour to Donie Carroll.
Here, Donie was acknowledged amongst his own for his generosity and friendship.
This award was sponsored by Conal Thomas, who, in a message, stated he wished to thank Donie for the magnificent memories of the recent weekend in the Big Apple.
Following this, a great morning of song and story followed.
Donie Carroll, with his guitar, led proceedings, beginning with the Cork anthem Beautiful City.
Others who gave great renditions included County Board treasurer Nicola Murphy, Derry McCarthy, John Saville, Deno Caroll and many others.
Meanwhile, on Saturday morning next at Bishop Lucey Park at 12 noon, a plaque will be unveiled to honour the legendary Tim O'Sullivan, who passed away in October 2020.
The President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA), Paddy McSweeney, will unveil the plaque.
A parade of Cork's All-Ireland champions will take place.
They will be led by piper Norman O'Rourke.
31 champions from 15 clubs will then be presented with their Jack McAuliffe gold medals.
These medals are sponsored by CEBA and have become a treasured possession for each athlete who has received them over the last ten years.