THE Glen Boxing Club in Blackpool are currently finalizing all details in relation to the prestigious Tomas MacCurtain Boxing Tournament which will take place in the City Hall, on Thursday 23rd March next.
The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, the Taoiseach and the Lord Mayor of Cork have all been invited to attend in addiction to many other Dignitaries from the world of sport, business, culture and education.
Tomas MacCurtain was very actively involved in the promotion of amateur boxing and was the proud President of the Glen Boxing Club, callously in the presence of his pregnant wife and young children, Tomas was brutally murdered in his home in Blackpool, in the early hours of the morning, on the 20th of March 1920.
Many plans were in place by various groups to commemorate the centenary of MacCurtain’s death over 100 years ago, however the Covid Pandemic completely whitewashed all plans and sadly as consequence many of these plans faded away through no fault of anyone in particular. The great aspirations of so many to honour Mac Curtain never materialized.
However, the Glen Boxing Club have drawn up a major plan to address, in their own way the outstanding selfless contribution and sacrifice made by MacCurtain on behalf of the people of Cork and Ireland in the struggle of Irish Freedom.
On the 13th of March 2020 the Glen B.C. as the main picture illustrates did hold a ceremony to mark the contribution of their club’s president, and on that night announced in conjunction with Fionnuala MacCurtain granddaughter of the Patriot that the Club would subsequently promote a very prestigious tournament worthy of saluting and proudly remembering the noble deeds of the man from Blackpool who was the first Lord Mayor of Cork, from that area.
The name Tomas MacCurtain is revered all over the world.
Outside of the Cork City Hall along with another great Cork Lord Mayor Terence McSwiney stands two busts of our Fallen Patriots.
When the Taoiseach Michael Martin visited the Glen B.C. in 2020 his first request was to be photographed next to the portrait of Mac Curtain which was unveiled by the club to mark his centenary.
Cork City Hall is synonymous with boxing, and it is a fitting venue for such a tournament.
The event would also include a talk on the life of MacCurtain by historian Gabriel Doherty of UCC, the Butter Exchange Band will perform and many of Cork’s previous Lord Mayors will attend in addition to many other celebrities who wish to be part of this sporting tribute.
Meanwhile, the friends of Cork Boxing are continuing to expand and develop the life and times of Tomas MacCurtain would be of great interest to many in this group, and recently Paul Moynihan, Director of Corporate and International Affair at Cork City Hall introduced The White Rose, this is a beautiful souvenir launched and marketed by the City Council, as part of 1920-1923 Cork City Commemoration Programme.
This is a lapel badge and exemplifies a touch of class, a White Rose a symbol of hope and a new beginning was presented to Ardmheara Tomas Mac Curtain at a meeting of An Chomhairle, on the 30th of January 1920 by Cumann Na m Ban.
On 30th January 2020 at a special meeting of An Chomhairle the Lord Mayor John Sheeehan was presented by a student from St.Angela’s College Secondary School with a White Rose commemorating the 1920 meeting of An Chomhairle.
Tomas MacCurtain was a student at the North Mon and ironically this year Paul Moynihan is President of the North Mon’s past pupil’s union, recently Michael O’Brien presented these White Rose badges to the Glen B.C. Committee, who are organizing the Mac Curtain Centenary Tournament.
O’Brien will also be in touch with many of the international friends of Cork boxing which includes Jim Leahy, Paris, Donie Carroll, New York, Paul Meade, Washington, Marty Walsh, Boston, Jim Barry, Chicago, Marian O’Leary, Florida, Alan Falvey, Sidney, Martin Sheehan, Adelaide, Ross McDevitt, Christchurch, Dan O’Malley, Rome, Aidan O’Sullivan, Amsterdam, Frank O’Sullivan, Birmingham, Sean Farrell, Liverpool, Ger Buttimer, Madrid, Diarmud Phillpott, San Francisco, Paul O’Driscoll, California, Mark Farrell, Cardiff, Steve Ryan, Los Angeles and Tim Daly, Bristol.
It is hoped that some of these Corkonians may be home and in a position to attend the event.
The Blackpool Historical Society and other groups will also be invited.
The Glen Boxing Club, with Cork City Council working together, can make this, not only a sporting occasion but an occasion to embrace history culture and understanding of times past but never forgotten.
The Glen B.C. will announce the full programme to commemorate Tomas MacCurtain in January 2023.
Meanwhile the next Cork County Boxing Board meeting will take place at the Glen BC at 8pm on Tuesday 6th December, inter County matches, the continuation of the leagues and dates for the forthcoming Cork County Championships will be on the agenda.
It is important for all clubs to be represented at this meeting.