The events of Friday, February 5th 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, will be talked about for a long time in the communities of Carraig na bhFear and White’s Cross as Fight Night 2016 proved to be a fantastic night for the 30 participants and the 700 plus spectators in attendance. The energy and adrenalin, both inside and outside the ring, was an absolute joy to experience. As the dust finally settles on what proved to be an electric Fight Night the organising sub-committee, made up of members of White’s Cross GAA and Carraig na bhFear GAA, would like to express our deep appreciation of the valuable contributions made by so many people. With both Clubs endeavouring to raise money to buy additional grounds adjoining their respective current facilities, this was first and foremost a fundraiser. In this regard we are hugely grateful to so many who gave their time voluntarily to this project.
Most importantly, we want to express our sincere gratitude to all the boxers, who took to the ring on the night. All had been committed to the endeavour over the past three months and their efforts were energising for all involved in the organisation of this event. As well as the 30 boxers on show on the night there were another 15 that participated in the training over the past three months. Not alone did these men and women train hard for the event but they also secured sponsorship and sold tickets. Moreover they contributed each week to the cost of the training – all ensuring that we could minimise the financial outlay on the event. We also thank the families of the boxers, who were left holding the fort at home while our boxers skipped about the place at training a couple of nights a week and more! In particular congratulations and best wishes to Kathleen Murphy, wife of boxer Olly Murphy, who gave birth to the couple’s fourth child the day before Fight Night.
We thank our excellent Master of Ceremonies Eoin Nash who ensured the audience was kept informed and entertained throughout the night. Eoin had also given great guidance in the planning of the event in the lead up to it. Thanks to Paul Sherlock who did outstanding work behind the scenes to ensure the boxers were lined up and ready ahead of each fight – between Paul and Eoin we had a continuous and seamless flow of entertainment for the night – well done lads. Thanks to the six members of Carraig na bhFear and White’s Cross GAA who acted as runners to Paul and Eoin.
Thanks to our doctors on duty for Fight Night – Dr. Dan Crowley and Dr. Aidan Hegarty – fortunately they were not called into action but we are very grateful to them for offering their services nonetheless.
Thanks to our referee and judges from St. Finbarrs club – Trevor Olden, Mikey Olden and Anthony O Neill – they went about their job in a most professional manner. Thanks to our ring-girls who added greatly to the pageantry of the occasion – thanks to Aoibhne McElhinney , Caoimhe McElhinney, Shauna McElhinney , Ciara Cashman and Maeve McCarthy. Thanks to the group of over 20 that sold raffle tickets on the night and those who manned the doors throughout the event. Thanks to photographer, John Cooke, who has provided us with over 250 photos – capturing great memories of a fantastic night. We would also like to acknowledge the inputs of Eoin Barry (Watergrasshill GAA), Mick O Neill (Aghada GAA), Victor Lane (Newmarket) and Tim Brosnan (Meelin), who having previously hosted an equivalent event, were able to give us great guidance on its organisation. Thanks also to journalist Mary White for her assistance.
Check out pictures from the recent fight night
The vast majority of the tickets for Fight Night were sold ahead of the night itself – on top of the 30 boxers who were each selling tickets, there were over 40 others from the two Clubs who went door to door in our respective communities over the past few weeks. You did us a great service – thank you – the politicians out canvasing ahead of the General Election would do well to have you on their teams knocking on doors! Thanks also to those who secured sponsorship for us in the programme – a 156 page programme doesn’t just compile itself!
Thanks to those who, headed up by Pat O Callaghan, disassembled the ring at Team Thomas on the Thursday night, erected it in the Radisson on Friday afternoon, disassembled it in the Radisson Saturday morning and reassembled it in Team Thomas on Saturday afternoon – mighty work lads! Thanks to Team Thomas for giving us the use of their ring free of charge.
A conservative estimate would put the figure at over 120 individuals who worked on this event in a voluntary capacity – naturally enough there were many people that double and triple-jobbed (and more) on the project! The fact that we received all this assistance without any charge has meant that we could minimise our expenses in hosting the event and thereby maximise the profits from the fundraiser. This spirit of goodwill to both our Clubs and its members by all of these persons is gratefully appreciated. Equally we would hope that the event itself lacked nothing for this reliance on voluntary effort – we hope all those present would agree it was run in a most professional manner.
There were others involved too who were paid for their services (they have to earn a crust!) but a number of these nonetheless should be thanked because they were hugely cooperative and ultimately represented excellent value for the money paid.
We thank Luke and Hamish Thomas from Cork Boxing Academy based at Team Thomas Fitness Centre for the outstanding training they provided at their top-class facility – and it only down the road from both Clubs! We wish Luke well with his new start-up – Cork Boxing Academy – boxers training under him will go places! We thank the Radisson Blu Hotel for their support particularly on the day of the event – it really proved the ideal venue. We thank Liam Barry and his team at Fermoy Print, who showed great patience and tolerance as we stretched agreed deadlines tighter and tighter to maximise the return from the programme. We thank our DJ Ian Hendrick – he was spot on with the walk-in songs for each of the boxers – indeed Ian came and met with us ahead of the night to ensure that everyone knew what they were at in relation to the music. We thank Ted Dunne for providing the lighting at a very competitive price – it certainly ensured that the ring was the centre of attention for the night. We thank our videographer Joe Dolphin of Dolphin Studios, who did a first class job of recording each of the fights – note the DVD is available for sale for 15 euro.
We thank all our sponsors and all those who placed advertisements in the programme and indeed others who donated money anonymously. The programme was absolutely bulging on the night! We would ask you to support these businesses where possible – let’s keep our business local. Thanks also to those who put forward spot prizes for the night – in particular thanks to John O Flynn GM at Fota Hotel and Resort who organised the two night break at the Muckross Park Hotel and Michael Magner of Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel who lined up the two night break at the Woodlands Hotel. Thanks also to the Glanmire Area News, the Evening Echo and the Avondhu – each of these publications gave excellent coverage of the event in advance.
Ag a deireadh míle buíochas do gach duine a cheannaigh ticéidí don oíche – na daoine a bhí ann ar an oíche agus iadsan nach raibh ann a cheannaigh iad chun tacaíocht a thabhairt do na clubanna. The fact that you turned up in the Radisson in your hundreds to support the boxers did justice to their efforts in training – we take it from the rapturous applause given to our boxers that you enjoyed yourselves!
Le fíor buíochas díobh go léir ó Sean C Burke, Barry Casey, Danjoe Foley, Conor Kelleher, Dermot O’ Driscoll, Nicky Pike & Liam Spillane.