Raphoe ABC, who won the club of the year award.
The strength of boxing in Donegal was evidenced on Saturday night as the County Donegal Boxing Board held its annual awards function.
Legendary Derry lightweight Charlie Nash and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jude Gallagher were the guests of honour as the great and good of Donegal boxing came together again.
“This is our first awards for three years now and it is great to see the boxing family all together again,” County Donegal Boxing Board President Peter O’Donnell told an audience of over 150 at the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey.
Letterkenny Boxing Club’s Paddy took the Harry ‘Kid’ Duffy Memorial Cup having won the Irish elite flyweight title last October. McShane overcame Padraic Downey from Antrim to land Letterkenny’s first elite title in 39 years.
McShane was one of eight national champions to be honoured on the night.
Raphoe Boxing Club - whose rising ace Taylor Parke left with the Michael Bonner Cup - were named as the best club, awarded the Jimmy Murphy Memorial Shield.
Buncrana’s Tosh Fitzpatrick and Brian Anderson of Twin Towns BC were inducted into the County Donegal Boxing Board’s Hall of Fame.
The presence of Nash and Gallagher added a stellar feel to the night.
Creggan man Nash held British and European titles after turning pro in the wake of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where he boxed for Ireland. Nash lost out to Jim Watt for the world lightweight title at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow in March 1980 and retired with a pro record of 25-5, 9KOs.
‘Tyrone Tornado’ Gallagher from Newtownstewart won the featherweight gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Nash won five Irish lightweight titles and Gallagher has an Irish Elite bantamweight crown to his name.
Also among the attendance was former IABA President Dominic O’Rourke and Donegal native Conal Thomas, who made Cork his home in the early 1980s and who became synonymous with Irish boxers such as Steve Collins and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan. Paddy Doherty, a Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in 1970, was present as was the President of the County Derry Board Eugene Duffy and Eugene O’Kane of the Derry-based Oakleaf ABC.
Nash was one of three recipients of a special recognition award for his services to the sport, inside and outside the ring.
Former Donegal county coach Dominic McCafferty, who recently stepped down from the role was honoured as was Chris McNulty, who authored the 2021 publication ‘Boxing In Donegal: A History’, the definitive history of the sport in Donegal.
Carndonagh’s John Mulher, James McCarron from Carrigart and Raphoe’s Peter O’Donnell received appreciation awards.
Harry ‘Kid’ Duffy Memorial Cup (Best Elite Boxer): Paddy McShane (Letterkenny)
Jimmy Murphy Memorial Shield (Best Club): Raphoe Boxing Club
John McLaughlin Memorial Cup (Best Senior Boxer): Lee Boyd (Convoy)
Jim White Memorial Shield (Most Improved Boxer): Conan Kearney (St Bridget’s)
Billy ’Spider’ Kelly Cup (Best Youth Boxer): Cathair Donaghey (St Bridget’s)
Johnny McDaid Memorial Cup (Best Female Boxer): Muireann Bradley (Letterkenny)
Dr Denis McLaughlin Memorial Cup (Best Junior Boxer): Kieran Cunningham (Carndonagh)
Michael Bonner Cup (Best Juvenile Boxer): Taylor Parke (Raphoe)
Hall of Fame: Tosh Fitzpatrick (Buncrana); Brian Anderson (Twin Towns).
National Champions: Rachel Harron (Raphoe, Girl 1 55kgs); Brenda Collins (Dunree, Under-18 and Colleges); Lee Boyd (Convoy, Defence Forces 81kgs); Matthew McCole (Illies Golden Gloves, Colleges); Bryan McNamee (Raphoe, Colleges); Conan Kearney (St Bridget’s, Boy 2 56kgs); Declan Duffy (Twin Towns, Defence Forces); Paddy McShane (Letterkenny, Elite 51kgs).
International Awards: Sadie Duffy (Illies Golden Gloves, referee and judge); Peter O’Donnell (Raphoe, team manager); Rory McShane (Letterkenny, Commonwealth Games coach).
Special recognition awards: Charle Nash (services to boxing), Chris McNulty (author, Boxing In Donegal: A History), Dominic McCafferty (former Donegal county coach).
Club Awards: Convoy - Kerry Brown; Raphoe - Ryley Doherty; Illies Golden Gloves - Cormac Callaghan; Dunfanaghy - Shaun Doohan; Letterkenny - Charlie Leader; Dunree - Gareth Doyle; Carrigart - Mark Ward; St Bridget’s - Carndonagh - Kieran Cunningham; Twin Towns - Caoimhin Connolly.
New Officials: Referees - Raymond Donaghey (St Bridget’s), Mandy Douglas (Letterkenny), Maeve McCarron (Carrigart); Judges - (Caitlin McGonigle (St Bridget’s), Fergal Doyle (Dunree), Michael Kearney (St Bridget’s).
Appreciation Awards: John Mulhern (Carndonagh); James McCarron (Carrigart); Peter O’Donnell (Raphoe).
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