The Cork Ex-Boxers’ Association marked their 50th anniversary on last Saturday with a very special event at Bishop Lucey Park when the legendary Buckley boxing brothers and their father, who hailed from Fair Street in Mallow, were dearly remembered and honoured with the unveiling of a plaque.
The unveiling was performed by Joe Buckley, son of boxer Paddy Buckley, assisted by Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Dan Boyle.
Acting as MC for the event, Michael O’Brien of the Cork Ex-Boxers’ Association paid glowing tributes to the Buckley family who made a large and historic name in the sport.
Sadly, Paddy, John L, Dave, J.J. and Dan are now deceased but were lovingly remembered for their achievements on Saturday.
In his address, Joe Buckley thanked the organisation for their kind gesture in remembering his father, grandfather and uncles. He also paid tribute to his grandmother, Peg, and aunt Kitty and also remembered an old boxing great, Buff Herlihy, who lived just doors from the Buckley brothers home at Garden Cottage in Fair Street, Mallow.
Joe also mentioned the wives of the Buckley brothers - Elizabeth, Mary, Sheila, Margaret and Bride - who are all deceased.
Joe also thanked two Buckley members, Luke and Kenneth, from the latest generation who are now carrying the flag in the ring proudly for their grandfather and grand uncles.
Also present on the day was former Cork boxer Frank O’Sullivan, MBE, who has lived in Birmingham, England for many years and trained many champions over the years, and who was honoured by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.
The Thomas Davis Boxing Club was formed in Fair Street, Mallow in 1911. During the ceremony those gathered were told that Paddy Buckley’s greatest moment in his life was shouldering the great Jack Doyle during his funeral.
The new plaque is positioned on a wall which was originally the home of boxer Jack McAuliffe, the only Cork boxer to win a world title. He eventually emigrated to America.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin apologised for his absence at the unveiling due to other commitments. Mr Martin’s father was a popular boxer and good friends of the Buckley family.
Over 80 members of the Buckley families attended and later at the Glen Boxing Club Joe Buckley thanked them for a very special day in the life of the Buckley family.