Less than 48 hours after they joyously celebrated their latest success at the National Stadium, Monkstown BC were left devastated at their own front door.
Irish International’s Sean Mari and Jack Marley helped cement the club’s status as one of the best talent producers in the country by winning National Elite Championships at their respective weights on Saturday night.
However, by Monday Monkstown found themselves locked out of the place they have developed such talents and have called home since 2008.
Club officials turned up at the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council-owned Mounttown Community Facility, only to find the shared training facility was padlocked shut (inset).
It’s not the first time the progressive boxing club, who trained outdoors in protest last November after the facility was closed to them, has had an issue with the venue but it was particularly ‘devasting’ in the wake of last weekend’s success.
“With the club and the community on such a high it was an absolute shock and a devastating blow to find we were denied access to the club [on Monday morning],” club coach James Doyle told the Gazette before pleading for Council intervention.
“It’s a tough one to take as we are immediately turning our attention to the upcoming tournaments including the Olympic qualifiers, we are pleading with the Council to sort out this mess once and for all with the Board of the Community Centre.”
Thankfully, some progress does appear to have been made on the issue after what was described as a ‘positive’ meeting with DLRCC on Tuesday evening.
“The outcome was positive,” Monkstown BC club secretary JP Kinsella told the Dublin Gazette on Tuesday evening.
“Structures are being put in place to ensure the club will always have access to a dedicated space at Mountview Community Facility.
“That will entail a dedicated space for training and changing room facilities going forward. Hopefully this will be amenable to all parties in the future, and will be hugely beneficial to the local community.”
While Doyle felt the need to highlight the on going issues with the Community Facility he was determined to ensure it didn’t take the gloss of a brilliant championships for the club.
Little and large duo Mari and Marley claimed second career titles. Solider Mari won the flyweight crown with victory over Commonwealth Games representative Clepson dos Santos while his 20-year-old clubmate defeated Patrick Ward at the Stadium to celebrate heavyweight success.
“We were delighted with the Elite Championships overall,” he adds positively.
“These results are the result of years of development, 1000s hours of technical and hard work. Sean Mari put in an outstanding punch-perfect performance against a top-class boxer from Belfast.
“We were also delighted with Jack and more relieved as he needed these rounds badly. Injury had curtailed his progress the past few months as he missed out on a few vital tournaments. He was only back punching six weeks ago and sparring four weeks ago. In fact, these contests were Jack’s first full 3 round contests since the European U22s last March.“Jake Rapple also performed brilliantly in one of the best bouts of the tournament against one of the boxers of the tournament in Paul Loonam. Jake will now quickly switch focus to the Irish Under 22s. Carol Coughlan also gave her all as usual but lost out in a scrappy affair in the semis.”
Featured Image: 21 January 2023; Jack Marley of Monkstown Boxing Club, Dublin, right, celebrates after his victory over Patrick Ward of Olympic Boxing Club, Galway, after their heavyweight 92kg final bout at the IABA National Elite Boxing Championships Finals at the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin. P
hoto by Seb Daly/Sportsfile