BRIAN DILLON'S Boxing Club will this coming weekend commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the death of their patron.
Brian Dillon was born on the Rathcooney Road in 1830.
From an early age, he was active in the fight for Irish freedom.
He was a small man in stature, just under five feet tall. However, he was inspirational in his nationalistic views.
He joined the IRB and played a leading role in Cork and throughout Ireland – in the ongoing battle to rid the English in Ireland, and to return the Emerald Isle to freedom from the Saxone tyrant.
Brian Dillon was arrested by the Crown Forces and sentenced to 10 years in an English prison.
He was five years into his penal servitude sentence when he died on the 21st August 1872 at the very young age of only 42.
Brian Dillon fought and died for Irish freedom and his deeds of great sacrifice and bravery have always been acknowledged by generations of Corkonians.
In recognition for the contribution he made for Irish liberty as a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood IRB, a plaque to Brian Dillon was erected on the wall of a house in Dillons Cross.
However, the night, the Black and Tans in March 1920 shot dead Tomas MacCurtain and burned Cork City, and also with a tank knocked down the wall displaying the plaque at the house around Dillons Cross.
As a tribute to the great local patron, a GAA club was founded in the locality in 1910.
The club was named Brian Dillon's Hurling and Football Club. This club have been outstanding ambassadors in the promotion of Gaelic Games.
They are one of the oldest GAA clubs in Cork, and have always been true to the aspirations of promoting all things Irish.
They are a credit to the Gaelic Athletic Association.
In 1981, a group of local amateur boxing followers came together around Dillons Cross.
They set up a Boxing Club in the area. Around that time, the GAA Club had a pitch in the Tank Field and a meeting room on Stream Hill near Dillons Cross.
This small meeting room was affectionately known as the Hole in the Wall. The Gaelic club agreed to facilitate the Boxing Club and so the Brian Dillon's Boxing Club was now up and running.
Five years later, on the 16th October 1986, the Boxing Club officially purchased these premises.
This was a red letter day for the boxers. The trustees and signatories of the deeds of ownership on behalf of the Club were Thomas Lynch, Willie O’ Mahony, Noel Casey, Stephen Rice, and former Lord Mayor of Cork Frank Nash.
Brian Dillon's Boxing Club last year celebrated their 40th Anniversary.
Over the years the club has produced many outstanding boxers who have won numerous County, Munster and, All-Ireland titles.
Among the Club’s first coaches was the famed Glen coach Tom Kelleher. Tom was on hand in the early years of the club.
It is now part of the club’s folklore that Tom was coach to the Great Roy Keane when he boxed briefly with the club long before he made a name for himself in football.
Brian Dillon's Boxing Club is proud of the outstanding contribution they have made to the development of Cork boxing.
From the humble beginnings in a small room, they have purchased and extended their facilities over the years.
In 2012, the club celebrated their greatest achievement when Oliver McCarthy won a European Gold medal.
The following year Brian Dillon's were named Cork Boxing Club of the year. Based on the success and with the assistance of Government Sports Grants, they extended and renovated their premises.
The club was now no longer the hole in the wall, but an ultra-modern Boxing amenity which any club would be proud of.
On the 16th March 2016, the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Chris O’Leary officially opened the new extension.
On the day, the Lord Mayor praised the great work of the committee.
He congratulated the club on its development and on behalf of the people of Cork thanked all the volunteers the club had produced since their foundation.
Club President Denis Desmond was very proud that for the second time in ten years the club won the 2022 Cork Boxing Club of the year.
This was in recognition of the club producing All-Ireland Champions during very difficult Covid period.
Denis was presented with the Victor J. Aston Cup by sponsor Dan O’Connell at a Gala Banquet to make the golden jubilee of the Cork Ex-boxers Association.
On the night the Taoiseach Micheal Martin congratulated the Club, saying they were part of a sport which had a great tradition on Leeside and Brian Dillon's were a credit to that sport.
Denis Desmond thanked all boxers, coaches, and members of the club for their time and efforts on behalf of the club.
Michael O’Brien prior to the presentation outlined a long list of worthy achievements by the Club over the past year in addition he said Brian Dillon's had always been helpful in assisting the County Board in addition to providing two officers secretary John Wiseman and Treasurer, Nicola Murphy.
All members of the Boxing Club will take great pride in the new plaque which will be erected in their club in honour of their patron Brian Dillon.