Annual awards show just how big a punch Donegal boxing packs – here’s who won what

The strength of boxing in Donegal was on display on Saturday night as the County Donegal Boxing Board held their annual awards ceremony.

Legendary Derry lightweight Charlie Nash and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jude Gallagher were the guests of honor as the big and the good in Donegal boxing came together once again.

“These are our first awards for three years now and it’s great to see the boxing family back,” County Donegal Boxing Council chairman Peter O’Donnell told an audience of more than 150. at the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey.

Letterkenny Boxing Club’s Paddy won the Harry ‘Kid’ Duffy Memorial Cup after winning the Irish elite flyweight title last October. McShane overcame Antrim’s Padraic Downey to clinch Letterkenny’s first elite title in 39 years.

McShane was one of eight national champions to be honored that night.

Raphoe Boxing Club – whose rising ace Taylor Parke left with the Michael Bonner Cup – was named top club and awarded the Jimmy Murphy Memorial Shield.

Buncrana’s Tosh Fitzpatrick and Twin Towns BC’s Brian Anderson have been inducted into the County Donegal Boxing Board Hall of Fame.

Nash and Gallagher’s presence added a stellar feel to the night.

The Creggan Nash man held British and European titles after turning professional following the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where he boxed for Ireland. Nash lost to Jim Watt for the world lightweight title at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow in March 1980 and retired with a professional record of 25-5, 9KOs.

“Tyrone Tornado” Gallagher of Newtownstewart won the featherweight gold medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Nash has won five Irish lightweight titles and Gallagher has an Irish Elite bantamweight crown to his name.

Other attendees included former IABA President Dominic O’Rourke and Donegal native Conal Thomas, who made Cork his home in the early 1980s and became synonymous with Irish boxers such as Steve Collins and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan. 1970 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Paddy Doherty attended, as did Derry County Council Chairman Eugene Duffy and Eugene O’Kane of the Derry-based ABC Oakleaf.

Nash was one of three recipients of a special recognition award for his services to the sport, inside and outside the ring.

Former County Donegal coach Dominic McCafferty, who recently stepped down, was honoured, as was Chris McNulty, author of the 2021 publication ‘Boxing In Donegal: A History’, the definitive story of the sports in Donegal.

Carndonagh’s John Mulher, Carrigart’s James McCarron and Raphoe’s Peter O’Donnell received appreciation awards.

2022 County Donegal Boxing Council Award Winners

Harry ‘Kid’ Duffy Memorial Cup (Best Elite Boxer): Paddy McShaneLetterkenny
Jimmy Murphy Memorial Shield (Top Club): Raphoe Boxing Club
John McLaughlin Memorial Cup (Best Senior Boxer): Lee Boyd (convoy)
Jim White Memorial Shield (Most Improved Boxer): Conan Kearney (Saint Bridget)
Billy ‘Spider’ Kelly Cup (Best Young 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 ParkeRaphoe

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, Defense Forces 81kgs); Matthew McCole (Ilies Golden Gloves, Colleges); Bryan McNamee (Raphoe, Colleges); Conan Kearney (St Bridget’s, Boy 2 56kgs); Declan Duffy (Twin Cities, Defense Forces); Paddy McShane (Letterkenny, Elite 51kgs).

International awards: Sadie Duffy (Ilies Golden Gloves, referee and judge); Peter O’Donnell (Raphoe, team leader); 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 County Donegal coach).

Club awards: Convoy – Kerry Brown; Raphoe-Ryley Doherty; Illies Golden Gloves – Cormac Callaghan; Dunfanaghy – Shaun Doohan; Letterkenny-Charlie Chief; Dunree-Gareth Doyle; Carrigart-Mark Ward; St Bridget’s – Carndonagh – Kieran Cunningham; Twin Cities – 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 Rewards: John Mulhern (Carndonagh); James McCarron (Carrigart); Peter O’Donnell (Raphoe).