Arbour Hill Boxing Club gets fixed up

Des Phelan, Arbour Hill BC Chairman Credit_ Harry Hatton(1)Arbour Hill Boxing Club chairman Des Phelan has had the painters in

The renovations of Arbour Hill Boxing Club are coming to a conclusion with the Dublin 7 club hoping to re-open its facilities in the first week of December.

Construction work at the club, which is also the home of Avona Boxing Club (originally situated across the Liffey in the Liberties), began in the middle of September. Brothers John and Alan Keogh are club sponsors and their contribution has been to carry out the renovation work at the premises.

“The Keogh brothers are financial backers at the moment,” Arbour Hill Boxing Club chairman Des Phelan informed THE LIBERTY.

“[The club] kept them on the straight and narrow. They want to return the favour. There’s at least 50 grand worth gone into the place.”

The temporary closure of the club, which was established back in 1929, has resulted in the construction of two new separate male and female changing rooms, new toilets and the repainting of the ceiling in the hall.

The rest of the finance to facilitate the construction work has come from a state grant of €25,000 through the IABA (Irish Amateur Boxing Association), a “generous donation” of €4,000 from former amateur boxer Brian Sutton and up to €700 from Tesco through the collection of coupons.

Sutton, whose late father Mick was a trainer at the club, is now president while Stephen Kavanagh occupies the secretary position.

To celebrate the reopening of the club, Phelan is hoping to attract former boxers like Mick Dowling and Steve Collins and politicians such as Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Ring.

“Steve Collins trained here but he was still associated with St. Saviours but they had no club at the time. Dowling is a Kilkenny man and that’s why he picked this club because our own colours are black and amber.

“Because of the closure, we don’t know how many members out there are going to come back. Our hopefuls is a set of triplets; David, Dillon and Matthew McDonagh. They’re 15 years of age. They’re very good, very dedicated.”

Phelan got involved in boxing from the age of 10 and remained a participant in the sport at an amateur level up until he was 26. The highpoint of Phelan’s time in the ring came back in 1983 when he claimed the All-Ireland junior title. He also won a bronze medal at a multi-nation tournament in the Netherlands a number of years later.


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