LAST weekend, the suburb of Blackpool on Cork’s Northside was buzzing.
Much of the conversations taking place in the shops and in the post offices, etc was focused on one topic, the forthcoming Tomas Mac Curtain Commemoration Night which takes place in the City Hall on Thursday 23th March next.
Following the recent comprehensive publicity in The Echo and on local radio stations, the Glen Boxing Club who are the organisers of the event have been inundated from the public frantically seeking tickets for this special and unique concert and boxing extravaganza.
The concept of a two hours concert followed by a top class boxing tournament has captured the imagination of Corkonians of all ages. Admission tickets are not for sale, and have been made available by invitation only.
The promotion is organised by a Club Sub-Committee in association with Cork City Council.
In 2020 to mark the official centenary of Mac Curtain’s death at the hand of British Crown Forces who murdered him at his home in Blackpool, many events were planned and subsequently cancelled as a consequence of the Covid pandemic.
To address the disappointment of three years ago, the Glen B.C. devised a show to perpetuate the memory of Tomas Mac Curtain and to make it appealing to all strands of Leeside society.
A submission was made to Paul Moynihan Director of Corporate and International Affairs at Cork City Council.
The application was successful and the presentation formula for the show was fine tuned.
A series of meetings between both parties decided to extend the scope of the event and plans were then put in place to stream the occasion worldwide, facilitating Corkonians abroad and providing an opportunity for all to share in the celebration of Mac Curtain life with the focus on what he achieved.
Last week the Glen Club put the emphasis on the first part of the evening outlining details of who were performing in the concert.
Now the focus is on the Boxing Tournament. The concert will commence at 7pm sharp and all guests who are in receipt of invitation tickets have been strongly reminded of the early start.
Following a fifteen minute interval the boxing will commence at 9.15pm.
Prior to this, the Mac Curtain Family are making a presentation to the Glen Boxing Club of a magnificent cup.
This is truly a beautiful piece of silverware bearing the name in Irish, translating it will be engraved to read.
The Tomas Mac Curtain Cup presented to the Glen Boxing Club, by the Mac Curtain Family in 2023.
The presentation on behalf of the family will be made by Tomas Mac Curtain the third great grandson of the Irish Patriot.
It will be received on behalf of the Club by the Chairman Antony Connolly who has given great service to the Club, both as a boxer and as an administrator and a man truly imbrued with the spirit of the Glen Boxing Club.
The Boxing Tournament will see some outstanding contests. Some of the Countries finest boxers will compete.
Boxers from all parts of the Country will travel to Cork to insure patrons will enjoy many top class boxing contest’s.
This has been billed nationwide as a very prestigious event. The city Hall in Cork, has a history as a venue which has housed many great boxing nights down through the years. The card will include both male and female matchings.
The Glen Boxing Club has organised tournaments and semi-internationals there, since their first tournament in 1938.
On that night, eighty five years ago, a Glen selection took on Pembrook, the hall was packed to the rafters, and so that occasion ignited a torch for many years of Cork boxing at this iconic venue.
Following each contest both boxers will be presented with a very special Tomas Mac Curtain Medal.
This medal has been specifically designed for this illustrious occasion. The medal is exclusive with many features associated with the occasion.
The medal’s are cast in antique gold, and should provide the boxers with many cherished memories many years from now.
The Tournament Chief Official will be John Wiseman Secretary of the Cork County Boxing Board.
The role of Lord Mayor of Cork has had a long association with the Glen Club, and Cork boxing. Tomas Mac Curtain was President of the Glen B.C. during his tenure as Lord Major.
A number of office holders as Corks first citizen have been linked to Cork boxing, including John Birmingham who established the Cope Foundations having followed in the footsteps of Mac Curtain.
The Glen B.C. will be making a presentation of a special commissioned plaque to each of Cork’s former Lord’s Mayor who have been invited to attend as a special guest.
Many have had a close relationship with the sport in recent years. Ten years ago Catherine Clancy travelled all the way to Belfast to support a Cork boxing team in 2013.
The following year Lord Mayor Mary Shields hosted a civic reception to mark the centenary of the County Board.
In 2015, a Sinn Fein Lord Mayor Chris O’Leary presided over many of the Glen Boxing Club’s centenary celebrations.
The following year Lord Mayor Des Cahill will be remembered for leading the biggest boxing parade ever of All-Ireland Champions, marching through Bishop Lucey Park behind the Butter Exchange Band.
In 2017 Tony Fitzgerald honoured the oldest International in the Country Tim O’Sullivan on his 90th birthday, he will also be respected for attending a Cork Victory Dinner on a night when it clashed with the Chamber of Commerce Annual Ball.
In 2018 Lord Mayor Mick Finn officially opened the IABA National Convention which was held in Cork for the first time ever.
In 2019 Lord Mayor John Sheehan, officially opened the Cork Boxing Memorabilia Exhibition at the City Library as well as presiding over a Tribute Ceremony to Tomas Mac Curtain on the 13th March 2020.
The following year Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh a big advocate of Cork boxing, made history when he presented the Lord Mayors Silver Medal to a volunteer he acknowledged for his work in promoting and developing amateur boxing in Cork.