The impressive new Southside Boxing Academy was officially opened in Southill, Limerick on Monday.
AIBA World number 3, John Joe Nevin, the Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism, Leo Varadkar and the Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin at the official opening
London 2012 Olympians Darren O’Neill and John Joe Nevin attended the opening of the new Southside Boxing Academy in Southill, Limerick on Monday last.
Located on a 14,000 square foot site in the Galvone area, the Academy, which already boasts nearly 100 male and female members, was officially opened by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, and the Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin.
Dr John Lynch, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the IABA, IABA President Tommy Murphy, IABA CEO Don Stewart, IABA Director of Boxing Dominic O’Rourke and IABA National Registrar Stephen Connolly attended the opening.
“Limerick has a proud tradition in Irish boxing and has produced many of our finest champions. It is fantastic to see the work that is being done here and everyone involved deserves enormous credit,” said Tommy Murphy.
“I hope this facility is going to be a real success,” Leo Varadkar told the Limerick Leader.
Mayor McLoughlin, a former Irish rugby international, said that he looked “forward to seeing many international boxers coming out of this ring in years to come.”
Darren O’Neill and Irish coach Zuar Antia at London 2012
Kilkenny southpaw Darren O’Neill, who captained the Irish Olympic squad at London 2012, where Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan won gold, silver and two bronze medals – Adam Nolan also represented Ireland at welterweight at the 30th Olympiad – gave the new facility the thumbs up.
“There is plenty of floor space, plenty of bags and good rings, so all the basics are here. Limerick has a strong tradition with the likes of Willie Casey and Andy Lee, so if they can emulate those here it will be great,” said the 2010 European silver medallist.
World number three, John Joe Nevin, a silver medal winner at London 2012 and a two-time AIBA World medallist, added that he was very impressed with the facility.
The President of the Southside Boxing Academy, Gerry Barry, paid tribute to the community.
“The amount of volunteers we are getting is unreal, amazing. It is a great community effort.”