The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) partnership with An Garda Siochana is being highlighted, nationally, as a powerful tool of cross-community engagement.
Gardai have visited local boxing clubs across Ireland to deepen existing ties between our sport and the wider community.
The most recent Hi Garda event took place at Golden Gloves Boxing Club in Churchfield in Cork, and featured prominently in the Irish Independent and in The Sunday World.
The initiative has been spear-headed by IABA National Treasurer, Larry Morrision Garda Boxing Club and Arbour Hill, Dublin’s Brian Sutton, both former serving members of An Garda Siochana. Larry and Brian are building on the rich tradition of partnership between IABA, boxing, and An Garda Siochana, which began with the association’s inception in 1911. The IABA would like to thank both Brian and Larry for all their hard work in helping to develop and drive this fantastic initiative.
In the 1920s, General Eoin O’Duffy placed recognised our sport as a gateway for integrating Gardai with their local communicates, and they assisted in the establishment of boxing clubs throughout the country. The IABA is also proud to boast a long history of competitive Garda boxing members, including Willie “Boy” Murphy, Dick Hearns and Jim Brannigan, and more recently, Niall Kennedy, Olympian Adam Nolan and Christina Desmond. The IABA also counts the Garda Boxing Club as one of its affiliated units.
IABA CEO Fergal Carruth says “The success of Hi Garda highlights the importance of each and every boxing club to their local community. One of the IABA core values has always been inclusivity. Our clubs and coaches across the country work, every day, with boxers of all abilities and all walks of life. That’s the spirit of our sport, and that spirit is well captured in Hi Garda”
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Superintendent Michael Corbett of the Garda National Community Engagement Bureau, says “These clubs are brilliant sporting organisations for young people who have an interest in this sport either to keep themselves fit or to box competitively…There is brilliant work being done across the country by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) and An Garda Síochána is delighted to support this work in any way that we can”
Clubs who have hosted Hi Garda events include Holy Family Boxing Club in Ballsgrove, Drogheda Nutgrove Boxing Club in Rathfarnham, Dublin, Charleville Boxing Club in Co Cork and Celtic Eagles club in Briarhill, Co Galway.
Clubs are encouraged to make contact with their local Garda Station as part of the Hi Garda programme – a full list of station contact details is here.