Tim O'Sullivan honoured as one of Leeside's boxing immortals at a function in Bishop Lucey Park

It was a magnificent setting as the large attendance basked in summer sunshine amidst the panoramic beauty of the city centre park.
Tim O'Sullivan honoured as one of Leeside's boxing immortals at a function in Bishop Lucey Park

Michael Downey, Muskerry BC is presented with his medal by Paddy McSweeney, President, Cork Ex Boxers Association and Scott Long, Muskerry BC receives his medal from JJ Murphy at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county. Pic: Larry Cummins.

ON Saturday morning last at Bishop Lucey Park, the contribution of the late Tim O'Sullivan was revered when a plaque was unveiled to honour his lifetime of service to Cork boxing.

It was a magnificent setting as the large attendance basked in summer sunshine amidst the panoramic beauty of the city centre park.

In the past, Tim O'Sullivan had presided in his capacity as the president of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA) over the unveiling of many plaques.

However, following his death in October 2020, Paddy McSweeney was elected President of CEBA and on Saturday last Paddy had the honour of unveiling this plaque to CEBA's founder member in this their golden jubilee year.

It was also a proud morning for many of Cork's young boxers. 

All local records were smashed during the past season as Cork boxers claimed 41 national titles, won by 31 boxers representing 15 clubs.

Some of these champions had excelled in other grades and achieved additional All-Ireland glory. 

Following a parade around Bishop Lucey Park, led by piper Norman O'Rourke, the boxers were presented with their Jack McAuliffe gold medals.

These medals are sponsored by CEBA and perpetuate the memory of Jack McAuliffe, Cork's only world boxing champion who was born in Christchurch Lane, which today forms part of Bishop Lucey Park.

 At the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Irish International Boxer Tim O'Sullivan, and founding member of Cork Ex Boxers Association, are Bernie O'Connor and Paddy McSweeney, President, Cork Ex Boxers Association with 11yo Leon (grandson of Tim) , Eleanor O'Sullivan, her daughter Eleanor (jnr) Noel O'Sullivan and Mark Twomey at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county. Pic: Larry Cummins.
At the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Irish International Boxer Tim O'Sullivan, and founding member of Cork Ex Boxers Association, are Bernie O'Connor and Paddy McSweeney, President, Cork Ex Boxers Association with 11yo Leon (grandson of Tim) , Eleanor O'Sullivan, her daughter Eleanor (jnr) Noel O'Sullivan and Mark Twomey at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county. Pic: Larry Cummins.

The medals were presented to male and female champions by JJ Murphy CEBA chairman, and Paddy McSweeney.

Prior to the commencement of the official procession, Paddy McSweeney welcomed the wife of the late Tim O'Sullivan, Elanor, and members of the O'Sullivan family who expressed their delight and gratitude to CEBA for honouring Tim.

In his address, the MC Mick O'Brien welcomed all to what he described as a very special day in the history of CEBA.

"This," he said, "is the golden jubilee year of the Association and this morning we gather to pay tribute to a man who founded our Association which today stands as the third oldest group of former ex boxers in the world."

The attendance included many boxing people from many generations with many other sports personalities also attending the event.

A cohort of Tim's former friends were also present. 

These included Paddy O'Neill, Pat Delaney, Jim Ford and Con Power. 

All were delighted to see Tim being honoured for his community spirit and lifetime involvement in sport.

In a special message, the Taoiseach Michael Martin said; "I regret I cannot be amongst you here this morning as you honour the great contribution to boxing of Tim O'Sullivan.

"When I spoke at your recent golden jubilee dinner, I referenced the remarkable energy that Tim had displayed for so many years through his profound passion for boxing.

 Ex Boxers Dave Dunlea and Christy O'Keeffe at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county and a plaque dedicated to Tim O'Sulllivan was unveiled. Pic: Larry Cummins.
Ex Boxers Dave Dunlea and Christy O'Keeffe at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county and a plaque dedicated to Tim O'Sulllivan was unveiled. Pic: Larry Cummins.

"Tim has also been and ever-present on the Cork boxing scene and always displayed an encyclopedic capacity to name boxers time and events over many years.

"I congratulate the ex-boxers this morning on unveiling this plaque to a many truly worthy of such an honour."

Tim O'Sulliven was brought up off Sundays Well. 

The family returned after a few years later and even eventually settled on a house on Gillabbey Road.

Tim had an interest in all sports and he excelled at football and hockey. 

However, boxing was his first love. 

As a 17-year-old he joined a club which was located on Lavit's Quay. This was the Cork Catholic News Boys Club.

Tim made a big impression in his short time. Moving straight into senior ranks, he won four County titles and four Munster Championships.

He was narrowly defeated in the National Elite finals in 1947. 

Following this, he was nominated as an Olympic trialist for the 1948 Games in London.

Here, he made a big impression and was selected to go to the London Olympics at Earls Court, the famed boxing venue of that era. 

However, prior to the departure of the team the IABA made changes and Tim among other boxers was replaced.

Following this, the Cork County Board President Charlie Attaha challenged the IABA on what he described as their disgraceful treatment of the Cork boxier, and to make amends Tim was subsequently presented with a special IABA Olympic trialist medal.

 Ex Boxers Don Murray, Derry McCarthy and Billy Deasy at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county and a plaque dedicated to Tim O'Sulllivan was unveiled. Pic: Larry Cummins.
Ex Boxers Don Murray, Derry McCarthy and Billy Deasy at Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City on Saturday 9th July 2022. The Jack McAuliffe Medals were presented to 31 All-Ireland Champions from clubs across the city and county and a plaque dedicated to Tim O'Sulllivan was unveiled. Pic: Larry Cummins.

Following his retirement as a boxer, Tim spent many years as a coach with the Ballinlough BC during the 1970s and 1980s.

However, Tim will be most remembered for, along with his good friend Paddy Martin, two former Irish international boxers who came together in 1972 to form the Cork Ex Boxers Association.

Last Saturday morning, as the tricolour fluttered in the gentle breeze and following the playing of the National anthem, Paddy McSweeney proudly unveiled the plaque to acknowledge Tim O'Sullivan as one of Leeside's boxing immortals.

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