independent

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Boxing royalty wowed by new club facility

 

John Fitzpatrick and Paul Taaffe, founding member of the O’Hanlon Park Boxing Club pictured celebrating the official opening of the new club with some of the younger members. Picture: Ken Finegan
John Fitzpatrick and Paul Taaffe, founding member of the O’Hanlon Park Boxing Club pictured celebrating the official opening of the new club with some of the younger members. Picture: Ken Finegan
Fergal Carruth (left), CEO, The Irish Amateur Boxing Association, John Fitzpatrick and Michael Carruth, 1992 Olympic Welterweight Champion at the official opening of the O’Hanlon Park Amateur Boxing Club at Longwalk, Dundalk.
Liam Enright, Fidelma Dines, Elizabeth McGuigan and Arthur Bates at the official opening of the O’Hanlon Park Amateur Boxing Club

Olivia Ryan

Dundalk-based O'Hanlon Park Amateur Boxing Club celebrated the official opening of its new spacious, top -class facility last week with a visit from boxing royalty!

Olympic gold medal winning boxing champion Michael Carruth delighted the crowds as he turned out to meet the next generation of young boxers, and see first hand the range of facilities now available at the new club

Located in the old Toymaster building in the Long Walk area of Dundalk, the new club will be open to members of the community of all ages - children from seven years of age right through to adults who have reached retirement age.

Hotelier John Fitzpatrick has been involved with the boxing club since 2011, when he made a donation to the club when he participated in The Secret Millionaire show which aired on RTE 1.

At the time John struck up a friendship with Paul Taaffe, one of the founding members of the club and following the broadcast of the programme, John committed to raising additional funds for the club to help purchase a building that they could make their own, instead of renting the local parish Hall as they did in the past.

In the parish hall they had to set up and take everything down each day that they used the space.

John helped raise more than €425,000 through the Eithne & Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Fund and the Boxing Club raised over €56,000 including a grant, to enable the club move to the new building.

'The new building means that they will now have everything in place and be able to offer more days for the community to take advantage of a wide-ranging programme of activities,' said John.

'Special needs children, adults with low self-esteem, people who have suffer from obesity, former addicts and anyone who needs a friend are welcome to participate in special training programs to help them in their everyday life.'

Paul Taaffe explained that when it operated from the local parish hall, the club had access to three nights a week and approximately 125 members.

It is hoped with the new facility to increase opening times from 10:00am - 10:00pm five days a week and open at weekends for competitions and Sunday training.

In time it could be used by schools, disability groups and other voluntary organisations.

'Ultimately it will be a facility for the community and potentially could be used by up to 200 children, young people and adults daily.'

The Argus

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