Ireland’s top boxers, clubs, coaches and staff were lauded at the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) Annual Awards at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin tonight.
Current World Elite champions Michael Conlan and Katie Taylor and World Elite silver medallists Joe Ward and Michael O’Reilly were back on top of the podium, with Conlan scooping the World Achievement accolade.
The Portlaoise BC claimed a hat-trick, courtesy of Michael O’Reilly, current European Youth champion Michael Nevin and the Best High Performance Club Awards.
The Crumlin BC, which won 14 Irish titles last season, secured the club and coaching awards.
Former IABA President and Vice President Tommy Murphy and Sean Canavan received Lifetime Achievements Awards, while Gerry O’Mahony, Gay Farrell, Simon Walsh, Dan Cowman and Harry Robinson took home Services to Boxing Awards.
The popular Jimmy Walsh, coach to World No. 8 ranked Claire Grace at the Callan BC in Kilkenny and a man with over 70 years service to the sport as a boxer and trainer, was inducted into the IABA Hall of Fame, along with Peter Mullen and Art O’Brien.
“Our boxers, coaches, clubs and staff did the nation proud in international and domestic competition last year. Tonight we pay tribute to their magnificent achievements in 2015 and look forward with confidence to what will certainly be a very exciting and eventful year ahead,” said IABA President Pat Ryan.
Irish boxing, in all age groups, won 40 medals in World and European competition last year and qualified four boxers, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward for Rio 2016.
Ireland, competing in the only three ranking tournaments of last year, all of which were either Olympic qualifiers or qualifiers for the Olympics qualifiers, finished in 4th position in the medals table at the 2015 World Elite Men’s Championships, in second spot in the medals table at the 2015 European Elite Men’s Championships and in third place in the medals table at the 2015 Men’s and Women’s European Games.
Irish Athletic Boxing Association Awards
World Achievement Award – Michael Conlan (Clonard)
International Achievement Award 2015 – Katie Taylor (Bray)
International Achievement Award 2015 – Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
International Achievement Award 2015 – Joe Ward (APB)
Best Elite Award (Female) 2015 – Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
Best Elite Award (Male) 2015 – Dean Walsh (St Josephs/St Ibars)
Best Intermediate Award (Female) 2015 – Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel)
Best Intermediate Award (Male) 2015 – Martin Stokes (Holy Family, Drogheda)
Best Youth Award (Female) – Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
Best Youth Award (Male) – Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
Best Junior Award (Female) 2015 – Niamh Earley (Ryston)
Best Junior Award (Male) 2015 – Jason Harty (Rathkeale)
Best Schoolgirl 2015 – Sarah Edge (St. Bridget’s Edenderry)
Best Schoolboy 2015 – Brandon McCarthy (St Michael’s Athy)
Best High Performance Club 2015 (Portlaoise BC)
Best Club Award 2015 (Crumlin)
Best Coaching Award 2015 (Crumlin)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Tommy Murphy
Lifetime Achievement Award – Sean Canavan
Services to Boxing Award 2015 – Gerry O’Mahony
Services to Boxing Award 2015 – Gay Farrell
Services to Boxing Award 2015 – Simon Walsh
Services to Boxing Award 2015 – Dan Cowman
Services to Boxing Award 2015 – Harry Robinson
Services to Coaching Award 2015 – Christy McKenna
Commitment to Boxing Award – Fergal Redmond
Hall of Fame (Boxer) – Peter Mullen
Hall of Fame (Administrator) Art O’Brien
Hall of Fame (Coaching) Jimmy Walsh
Best Referee 2015 – John Mongan
Best Judge 2015 – Billy O’Connor