A great year for Irish boxing was celebrated on Friday night at the Annual IABA Awards Dinner at the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin.
It was an opportunity for all the boxers, coaches and administrators to get together and honour some of Ireland’s finest – past and present – exponents of the noble art, though inevitably in an Olympic year the top boxing awards went to Irish Olympians led by Gold medallist, Katie Taylor, who once again took the “Boxer of the Year” crown back to Bray BC.
With her new book “Katie Taylor – My Olympic Dream” released this week and a starring role in FIRST – the Official Film
of the 2012 Olympic Games which was premiered in London’s Mayfair on Tuesday this has been a very special week for the 26 years old Wicklow woman. The film will be released in UK on Friday 23rd November though Irish dates are still to be confirmed.
The Irish squad in London 2012 received special Olympic Achievers award status at tonight’s ceremony.
Deservedly the Best club and Coaches title goes to the Ryston club in Newbridge, Co.Kildare .
Paddy Barnes as the first Irish boxer to win two medals at the Olympic Games (2008 & 2012) was also the recipient of an outstanding achievement award.
Moate’s Joe Ward received the ‘Best Elite Boxer’ award .
Well known and highly respected historian Joe Kirwan received a very special ‘Lifetime Service to the Sport’ award.
St Paul’s Waterford are celebrating too – that former boxing great Niall Gough who reached 11 Irish Elite Finals – and won 8 of them – between 1991 and 2001 was inducted into the Hall of Fame
as was administrator Mick Darby, another familiar face in Irish boxing circles.
Special Ladies Achievers Award deservedly go to Ceire Smith (Cavan BC ), Clare Grace from the Callan Club and Geesala’s Michelle Lynch.
The year ended of course on another high note with Friday night’s magnificent European Junior Gold in Poland for Dundalk’s Amy Broadhurst so all in all a great end to a great year for Irish boxing.
Let us not forget the Back Up Team who were also rewarded – for without such stalwarts as Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia,Peter Taylor, Des Donnelly and R & J Michael Gallagher this would not have been such a successful year.
Roll on 2013.
IABA Annual Awards 2012:
Boxer of the Year
Katie Taylor (Bray BC)
Olympic Achievers Award
Katie Taylor (Bray BC)
John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)
Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC)
Michael Conlan (St John Bosco BC)
Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC)
Adam Nolan (Bray BC)
Olympic Achievers Back Up Team Award
Best Elite Boxer
Joe Ward (Moate BC)
Outstanding Achievement Award
Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
(First Irish boxer to win two medals at the Olympic Games, 2008 and 2012)
Oliver McCarthy (Brian Dillons BC)
James McGivern (Oakleaf BC)
Michael Nevin (Portlaoise BC)
Jason McKay (Canal BC)
Brian Wall (Cashen BC)
David Roche (Riverstown BC)
Hughie Myres (Ryston)
Best Club and Coaches Award
Ryston BC, Kildare
Ladies Achievers Award
Ceire Smith (Cavan BC )
Clare Grace (Callan BC)
Michelle Lynch (Geesala BC)
Referee & Judges Awards
International – Eddie Cummings
National – John Casey
Services to Boxing
Special Lifetime Service to the Sport Award
Hall of Fame
Administration – Mick Darby
Boxing – Niall Gough (St Pauls Waterford)