Martin Keenan of Rathkeale Boxing Club, right in action against Patrick Nevin Picture: Sportsfile
RATHKEALE’S nationally renowned boxing club is financially struggling to stay afloat, despite its “phenomenal” success.
The club is having such success, in fact, that the cost of travelling with its champion boxers is “eating up” all of the available money, leaving them training with threadbare bags and a floor that is “ready to collapse”.
Joe Williams of Rathkeale Boxing Club addressed the monthly meeting of the Adare Rathkeale municipal district in the hope that the local councillors would be able to find a solution.
“We are one of the top boxing clubs going at the moment, nationally,” said Joe Williams.
“We find that the few collections and dances and things we run isn’t enough, and we are eating up the money, with the way our success is going.
“To date we have 249 county titles, 141 Munster titles, 65 national gold, two European silver, and a European gold medal as well,” explained Mr Williams.
“With the number of boxers we have, we are travelling and travelling the whole time. All the money we are bringing in is going to the running of the club,” he added.
All of the area councillors congratulated and complimented the club on its successes, and it was agreed that it is a hugely important part of the community – not only in Rathkeale, but across county Limerick.
“To see young people from all over the county going in to Rathkeale to participate in a sport, and representing us in many a different levels, is fantastic,” said Cathaoirleach of Adare Rathkeale, Fine Gael’s Cllr Adam Teskey.
Cllr Ciara McMahon, Sinn Fein, expressed admiration for the “phenomenal young women” who are also making waves at the club.
“What struck me when I walked in was the discipline and the respect from the smallest to the oldest in there. What you have achieved is not recognised enough,” said Cllr McMahon.
“I’ve seen the floor, I have seen them skipping on it, and it is about to collapse in some places, it is a danger.
“Looking at what you need, I do think you deserve all the support, it’s a fantastic organisation that you have, I think it’s fantastic that women are treated equally to the guys.
“You have a beautiful future ahead, you are a credit to Rathkeale,” she added.
Fianna Fail Cllr Kevin Sheahan also praised the trainers for the level of discipline that they instill in the young boxers.
The councillors heard that the club does not qualify for a sports capital grant, as they do not own nor do they have a long lease on the community council-owned premises in Rathkeale, in which they train.
Cllr Sheahan proposed that the district hold a municipal reception for the club, and he also proposed that the councillors give a joint commitment to get finance for them after that, all of which was seconded by Cllr Ciara McMahon.