Sean Crowley received one of the most well deserved standing ovations in the history of Irish boxing from officers and delegates at the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) Central Council meeting at the National Stadium in Dublin last Saturday after announcing his decision to step down as National Secretary.
Pat Ryan, President of the IABA, Joe Hernon, Vice President, Stephen Connolly, National Registrar, Larry Morrison, Treasurer and the Presidents of all the Provincial Councils hailed his work and exemplary service at IABA headquarters.
The Cork-born IABA stalwart, who boxed with the Fermoy BC and Thurles BC in his youth, admitted that the meeting was an emotional moment at the home of Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport.
A Fermoy man now living in Arklow, Sean Crowley has served as National Secretary for almost twenty years under four IABA Presidents, Breandan O Conaire, Dominic O’Rourke, Tommy Murphy and Pat Ryan.
The man from the Rebel County, who was first appointed National Secretary in March 1997 after serving for three years as Leinster Secretary, has witnessed many changes both inside and outside the ring.
He said: “I have has seen the rules for helmets for men come and go and have seen the advancement in women’s boxing, both numerically, and, more pertinently, in the rise in standards as epitomised by the recent World Championships in Kazakhstan which featured some fantastic boxing.”
Known as the “voice of Irish boxing”, he presented thirty National Senior Championships and also represented Ireland in his capacity as National Secretary at seven International Boxing Association (AIBA) Congress meetings in Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, USA and Santo Domingo, where current AIBA President, Dr. CK Wu, was first elected AIBA President in 2006.
Describing the current era as a good as any golden epoch in Irish boxing, Sean Crowley signalled out the Olympic gold medal wins for Michael Carruth and Katie Taylor and the performances of all Irish squads in international competition as glorious moments in the history of Irish boxing.
But he wouldn’t be drawn on who is his favourite Irish boxer!
“That’s a loaded question,“ he laughed. “There have been so many brilliant athletes in our sport. Michael and Katie winning Olympic gold, very proud moments, and our various squads of all ages, men and women, taking on the best in the world and bringing home medals. Fantastic performances against the top nations.
“We have a talented new crop coming through at Youth and Junior level, both male and female,
and I’m looking forward to the results from World and European competition in the near future.”
The outgoing National Secretary wished incoming National Secretary Al Morris, who described his predecessor as a fantastic servant of Irish boxing, the very best of luck and thanked Ireland’s clubs.
“A very special thank you to all the clubs for their faith in me and continuously voting me into office since 1997. It’s has been a privilege to serve the Association for almost twenty years.”
“I would also like to thank all within Irish boxing for their help and support throughout almost two decades and wish Al Morris the very best of luck as the new National Secretary. My door is always open to anyone requiring advice,” added Ireland’s most experienced boxing administrator.