THE ESTEEM in which former Avoca resident and RTÉ boxing commentator Noel Andrews was held was evident from the large attendance at his funeral and burial in Castlemacadam Cemetery last week more than twenty years after he bid farewell to the locality. He passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, January 8.
Noel was laid to rest in the area which held many happy memories for him during his time as the proprietor of the well known Avoca Inn.
Born in 1932 in the heart of Dublin, Noel was the brother of the late This is Your Life presenter Eamon.
Growing up close to the national boxing stadium in Dublin, Noel was immersed in the sport from an early stage and went on broadcast his first live boxing match on Radio at the age of 18
In his early 20s he worked as a DJ on Radio Éireann working on sponsored programmes and soon became a household name at the time. He also worked as an MC and compere on the Showband circuit of the time and travelled the country with many of the big names.
All the time however, Noel continued his first love which was boxing commentary. In the 60s and 70s he began travelling around the world commentating on boxing.
He had great love of travel and was particularly fascinated by the 'Cold War' Eastern block countries who dominated amateur boxing at that time.
Noel married his first wife Joan in 1960 and went on to have six children.
He always had a great love of Co. Wicklow and in 1970 bought The Avoca Inn.
His days in Avoca were special to Noel and he was very much a part of the community during the time he resided there. He was heavily involved in initiating the Melody Fair and was a member of the Avoca singers for a number of years through which he made many friends.
Noel continued to work in boxing and travelled all over the world covering many of the great names of the time including Barry McGuigan.
His real passion was for the Amateur game and he covered all of the Olympic games from Munich 1972 through to Atlanta 1996. The incredible success of the Irish boxing teams in various Olympic Games around the world gave him huge pleasure.
Sadly, in 1981 his wife Joan passed away. Noel remarried in 1985 to Kerry native Agnes (née Stack) who was the manager of the Arklow Bay Hotel at the time.
He sold the Avoca Inn in 1990 and left Avoca. Since then he has lived in Gorey, Liscannor, Co. Clare and most recently Annagassan, Co. Louth.
Noel is survived by his wife and children, extended family and a wide circle of friends.
May he rest in peace.