The sport of boxing has always had a tough reputation be it at professional or amateur level. I have been at two boxing events run by two Kerry clubs in the last 12 months, Trojan Boxing Club in May 2015 and Tralee Boxing Club in February 2016. Both events were exceptional in the way they were run and also the quality of each fight. This of course is down to the quality of the boxers and also the coaches that nurture that love of boxing in the first place.

I have always had an interest in boxing and the training aspect has always fascinated me. Looking at the work that both Pro’s and Amateur’s put in to prepare for fight is a sight to behold and after spending an hour last week in the presence of one of America’s best female amateur boxers Queen Underwood I got a small insight into the world of a dedicated boxer who puts hours into her training regime to put her at the top of her game.

She will now head to the Pro game and having spent time with her and also watching her performance last Saturday, I have no doubt that she will give the Professional game a real go. Katie Taylor of course needs no introduction, multiple medal winner at National, European, World and Olympic level. She is a true champion. She won her first fight in 2016 in Mallow the previous evening and headed to Tralee to the Brandon to see could she defeat Queen Underwood one final time before her amateur career came to a close at the end of the 4 rounds in Tralee. She did exactly that with a commanding victory.

At the end of each round Katie Taylor would let off a flurry of punches that anyone would find difficult to stop and this was again in evidence on Saturday and this lead her to victory. She now turns her attention to qualifying for the Rio Olympics. After her 1st two fights 2016 I have no doubt that she will give the qualifying her best shot and we will see her in Brazil later this year.

Having spent an hour last week in the company of all at the Tralee Boxing Club, I got an insight into the workings of club and how they run things. I am grateful to Tommy and Noel Kelliher for giving me the access to Queen Underwood as she prepared to face Katie Taylor last Saturday. Thanks also to the younger members of the club who made me so welcome and club chairman Bryan O Sullivan who took time out of his busy training regime to speak with me also.

Boxing as I said at the beginning has got a reputation of being tough and not that well-liked by the majority of people but I hope to try and change that perception. What boxing teaches you is discipline, desire, passion, honour, respect.  


Cian Mc Gibney


Charlie and Ita Tribute

Tribute To Charlie And Ita

As the 2nd and 5th anniversaries of my Grandparents deaths approach, I feel it is the correct time to write a piece to commemorate there memories. They are two people that I miss daily. When you spend nearly every day with them up until the day they died, they are bound to have an impact on you.

My grandad suffered with Alzheimer’s and let me tell you to watch a member of your family that you love and respect so much disappear in front your eyes is so hard. For the ten or so years in which he suffered I wished every day that I could have taken away his suffering. As a 16 year old when you get asked to help your Grandad get ready for bed , you tend to grow up quickly.

I have had to do things that I wouldn’t ask my best friend or family members to do , don’t get me wrong I enjoyed every moment with them both before they passed away and I wouldn’t take back a minute of it.

People look and me and think he is only interested in sport how could he manage to help other people out.  I also spent 2 years helping out with a group in Listowel Family Resource Centre. This work was very rewarding.

Back to my Grandparents , I watched Grandmother lose her husband of 60 years to this disease that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Although I only knew my Grandmother for 21 years , she was a woman I admired dearly. They were the perfect match for each other and to have survived 60 years together they knew each other really well. They reminded me of Richard and Hyacinth Bucket the couple from “ Keeping Up Appearances “.

As I said before I spent a lot of my life in that house and saw them at the best and also at the worst moments of their lives. I made a pledge when I was told that my Grandad was sick that I would do all I could to help them. I offered to look after them full time when they needed full time care and although I was angry when my family told me they didn’t want me to do it although they appreciated the offer they couldn’t ask me to give up my life , I am actually grateful to them for stopping me from doing it now.

When I made that pledge to myself that they looked after me when I needed them , I wouldn’t let them down when they needed me most. Having spent the last 10 years or so  in close contact with them I spent some special moments with them both , watching my Grandfather’s eyes light up when old friends called to see them.

They both were heavily involved with the community when they came down here in 1970. In recent years I have been told that my grandfather in particular had an impact on many people’s lives throughout the locality.

Charles Augustin Mc Gibney and Jane Ita Mc Gibney nee Clonan had a massive impact on other people’s lives and they had an impact on my life and two years on from my Grandad’s passing and also 5 years on from my Grandmother’s passing I just hope I haven’t let them down and that I picked up some good qualities from them both.  To you both I love you dearly and miss you everyday…. Thank You for all you did for me.


Cian Mc Gibney


Amy Broadhurst Interview

  • Can you take me back to the start of your career , how did you start out in boxing ?

    I started boxing at the age of 7. I had a massive interest in sport as I grew up with 3 older brothers. My 3 brothers at the time were competing in boxing so I was always watching them train and compete. The rule as a kid for me was I had to be home when the street lights came on. I was very bored on the winter nights as I had to come in at an early time so one of the evenings I decided to go down to the boxing club with my brothers to train and fell in love with the sport straight away! I’m coached by my dad Tony, Anto Donnelly, Derek McArdle, Damian Douglas and Gavin Donnelly who all have helped me up until this day. They all train me in different ways which helps me hugely! I had my first fight when I was 7 years old in Dealgan Boxing Club which is the club I box out off. I had my first competitive fight when i was 11. In 2008 I won my first Leinster and All Ireland title. In 2012 I was able to compete Internationally so it was a big year for me. I traveled to Poland in 2012 for my first European championship which is where I won my first European title. I boxed Germany in my first bout who was at the time World no.3. I won 17-7. I boxed Turkey in my semi final, it was a tough fight but I won 17-12. My final was against Russia. My opponent was world no.2. It was a very close fight but I managed to come through as the winner winning  16-15. Since then I have boxed all over the World at European, World and Multi Nation Tournaments. I boxed at the World Championships in 2013 where I lost out very fairly to a brilliant opponent from the USA named Jajaira Gonzalez. It was a brilliant experience and I walked away learning a lot. My 2nd World Championships was in 2015 in Taiwan. I won my first fight against the world no.3 from Kazakhstan. My following fight I lost on the end of a bad decision against a boxer from China.

    In 2014 I also traveled to Germany for the Queens Cup Multi Nation. I boxed Germany in my first fight winning 3-0, I won my 2nd fight against Kazakhstan who was Senior champion in her country and in my final i boxed Sofia Nilson from Sweden who is now a very good friend of mine which I won 3-0. I was also awarded the Best Technical Youth Boxer of the tournament. In 2015 I won my 3rd European Title and also was awarded the Best Youth Boxer in Ireland.

  • You have 13 Irish titles and 3 European gold along with 1 silver medal , how did you find winning those titles ?

    The Irish titles I won I trained very hard for. Some of them have been walkovers which at the time I would have been disappointed as i didn’t get to compete for my title. But I trained very hard for them so after a while I realized I deserved them. I enjoyed my first European experience but I wasn’t 100% confident flying over there as It was my first time competing Internationally. I cried my eyes out after I secured a bronze medal because i didn’t expect to go over and do that well so winning the European gold was the cherry on the cake especially beating world class boxers. My favorite experience was when I went to my 2nd Europeans in Hungary. I traveled alongside Katie Taylor and also captained the team. My first was against a very tough Turkish boxer, I won that 2-1. My 2nd fight was against the Hungarian boxer who I beat 3-0. My final was against a French boxer who I beat 3-0. I loved the experience of it all. My European Silver came in 2014 when I traveled to Italy, again I really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot from this trip. I boxed Italy in my first contest who was a very tricky boxer. I stopped her in the 4th round. In my semi final I boxed a Swedish boxer who just kept coming forward, it was comfortable for me and won 3-0. My final was against and excellent Ukrainian boxer, the first two round I won on all the judges cards, in the 3rd round I took a standing count which I couldn’t argue with because I stood blocking punches too long. In the 4th round it was even enough and I threw a 1-2 combination and caught her, the referee jumped in and give me a standing count. The clip is on you tube as straight after my final someone had uploaded it. At the time I was devastated but when I look back I can still be proud of myself as I made history by being the only female boxer ever to win European gold and a European silver medal from Ireland. 

    I also enjoyed my European experience in 2015 when I travelled to Hungary for the 2nd time. I was named captain also. My first fight was against the home boxer from Hungary. She was very tricky but thankfully I came through and won by stopping her in the 4th round. My 2nd fight was against Sweden who I mentioned is a good friend of mine, it was hard getting in but we were both after the same thing so we had to put the friendship to one side. I won that fight TKO 3.  My final was against the Italian who had boxed 60 kg at the world championships 3 months previous. I felt I won the first 2 rounds very comfortable, i think she would of edged the 3rd round but I came on strong in the 4th and nicked it! It was a great fight all together.

  • How do you find keeping your weight in check as you box at 57 kgs ? 

    When I first started boxing competitively at 11 I boxed 42 kg. The following year I took a massive jump and entered the Leinster at 52 kg, I entered the All Ireland Championships at 54 kg and the Cadet Championships which is another Irish Championship at 57 kg. Since then I’ve kept my weight at 57 kg, every tournament I have boxed 9/10 times has been 57 kg so I made no secret to anyone about what weight i would be entered at. As the years went making 57 kg has got tougher, definitely! I started to develop into a women and I started to gain muscle which made it hard. I’m still competing at 57 kg but over the nest 1-2 years I will move up to 60 kg as it’s an Olympic weight so I would like to gain the experience at a heavier weight. But for the 5 years 57 kg has always been the weight i competed at.


  • How do you find the diet side of boxing , do you ever want to just break out and eat whatever you like ? 

    I hate the dieting! lol.. Because 57 kg got tougher for me as I got older I had to stay away from all sorts of sugar foods and fatty foods and stick to the water. Its a nightmare but I always know that them sort of sacrifices be well worth it in the long run. After a tournament I always binge eat, I always buy my chocolate before a competition and just tease myself until its over. The amount of chocolate I buy you could fit into a hamper basket lol. Some crazy part of me likes the healthy eating though because I always feel good in my body, my body is in good shape and when I feel like that I know my performances in the ring will be to the best of my ability.


  • Do you have any special techniques while preparing for a fight ?

    The night before I box i don’t get a wink of sleep especially if the tournament is huge. So i usually be twisting and turning in bed until it’s time for weigh in. When I weigh in i make sure i have plenty of food in me and i’m fully hydrated. After wards I go straight back to bed and get a few hours sleep and I usually wake up feeling very good. Again I’ll drink and eat more to make sure i have all the energy I need in the ring. When we go to the venue where i’m boxing I always listen to music. I hate people talking to me before I box because I always try and get into a zone where I’m focused but if people constantly come up and talk to me I get in a very bad mood lol. But after I box I’m the best person to talk to! 


  • Do you think female boxers get enough coverage in the media ?

    I think female boxing has definitely picked up since Katie won gold in 2012, its growing very rapidly but personally I don’t think we get as much recognition as we deserve. There’s a lot of female boxers on the rise and nobody knows this because of the lack of recognition. A lot of people look at it as a mans sport and don’t think female boxers shouldn’t be boxing but over the next few years everyone will get a huge surprise at how good women are at boxing! 


  • Can you explain the funding drive to me ?

    The funding for women at the moment is, if your an Olympic weight 51 KG, 60 KG, 75 KG, you will qualify for some sort of funding whether its if you have a European, World or Multi nation medal you will automatically receive funding once your Senior Champion of Ireland. Because the men has all boxing weights in the Olympics they get funding a lot easier then the women. I train full time, I have no job as I put all my time into boxing and I don’t receive any sort of income because I’m not an Olympic weight and I have no other sponsors. So it is very tough.


  • Can you tell me the plan for the next four years ?

    My plans for the next four years is too become World Champion, European Champion and of course Olympic Champion. I want people to think of me when they think of female boxing. I want to continue making history but the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 is definitely the biggest goal of mine!


  • Can you see yourself boxing professionally after your amateur career finishes ?

    I’ve started to think about that recently about the professional game. I would like to at some stage, if I got a very good deal I would of course take up that opportunity. I have a massive liking towards Oscar Dela Hoya’s ‘ GoldenBoy Promotions’ so it would be unreal if he started something up for the women because he seems to be a brilliant mentor and promoter. But Definitely as I said if I got a good offer I would consider it. It would be a brilliant experience all the same.


  • Who are your sporting idols ?

    When I was younger and first started boxing Katie Taylor was a huge hero and inspiration of mine, I still think she is and amazing boxer but as I got older I started watching more than just Katie. I started to watch Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and straight away I fell in love with the he boxed. His power and the way he puts his combinations together is just something else. I could watch him all day! He’s a strange looking Mexican, a nice looking Mexican! He’s by far my biggest hero. I try to implement his style sometimes. He’s Class. 


  • Where did the nickname “Dynamo” come from ?

    When I won my first European title in 2012 a man named San Sheridan set up a fan page like he did also with Katie Taylor and it was him who came up with it. The girls on the 2015 European team were calling me Canelo and chanting El Canelo when I was boxing which I loved lol


  • And finally Amy , what is the ultimate dream ?

My Biggest aim is to win and Olympic gold medal! There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think of being on the podium w

Paul O Connell Tribute

Paul O Connell Tribute

So Paul O Connell has had to admit defeat in his quest in trying to fight back from the hamstring  injury suffered against France at the 2015 World Cup . He has announced his retirement from Rugby without playing a game for Toulon. He of course spent the majority of his career with Munster and captained them to Heineken Cup glory in 2008. He started out with Young Munster and cut his teeth in the All Ireland League and credits this time with them for turning into the player he went onto become.

He was a leader and this was evident as he was a captain for each team he was involved with , Captaining Ireland between 2013 and 2015 , He was Munster captain between 2008 and 2013. He was the Lions captain in 2009 down in South Africa. He was of course more than just and leader , he was an inspiration to all that played with him over the year’s. He was one of those rare players in sport that no matter what they did or said you would follow them into the trenches.

He presented the jerseys to the Munster Under 18 Club side in Thomond Park and to see parents and players fixed and engrossed in what Paul was saying was a thrilling moment , not many people have that special ability to hold a room for the whole of the time they are speaking but Paul was one such person.

He of course was famous for rousing speeches and saying the right thing at the correct moment and firing a team up before a game or at half time , everyone remembers his speech before Ireland faced France when he famously said “ Did You Put The Fear Of God Into Anyone”  This is only one example of what sort of a character he was. He also gave some memorable post-match interviews , namely for Munster after the quarter final in the Heineken Cup against Harlequins where all of the players were questioned and he said “ He was so proud of each player , he almost felt like an amateur rugby player”.

He of course was also able to have a game changing impact by making a huge hit on most notably Sebastian Chabal for Munster against Sale in 2006 and for Ireland in 2014 against Australia with the match winning tackle on Ben Mc Calman when he picked him up and drove him backwards.

Paul O Connell will never be seen again and it was a pleasure to say that I saw him on a number of occasions over the last 14 years , whether it was in the Red of Munster or the Green of Ireland. It was a real pleasure to watch him pick off  the oppositions line out.

He is a real legend of Rugby Union that commanded the respect of players across the globe and will be severely missed by all who soldiered with him through his career whether that was with Young Munster , Munster , Ireland or The Lions.

Paul , enjoy your retirement and thank you for all the memories….



Cian Mc Gibney


Wales Vs Ireland Review

Wales Vs Ireland Review

Ireland and Wales played out an entertaining draw at the Aviva yesterday that finished 16-16. Both camps will take positives and negatives from the game that saw Ireland attacking wider than they have before under Joe Schmidt. Although it wasn’t all positive as the scrum and Line out came under pressure. Nathan White was selected at tight head after injuries ruled out both Mike Ross and Martin Moore. Rob Evans was selected at loose head for Wales and Ireland had said they were hoping to target the Welsh scrum. While the scrum was struggling through a mixture of calls from referee Jerome Garces and also Rob Evans was not being penalised for some illegal scrummaging.

The line out struggled from the start where new Irish skipper Rory Best had a tough day trying to find his jumpers. In attack Ireland pulled Wales apart using Johnny Sexton and his famed wrap around plays , he also used some clever runners from deep with Robbie Henshaw and Simon Zebo both coming onto the ball at speed and causing the Welsh defence trouble every time.

 Ireland were forced into a number of changes since the World Cup due to injuries to several  key players and also the well-publicised retirement of Paul O Connell. Peter O Mahony missed out through injury and was replaced in the squad by Munster team mate CJ Stander who many felt deserved his shot at a green shirt in the test arena.

He qualified to play for Ireland under residency rules after moving here from South Africa in 2012 to join Munster. He made it quite clear a few months into his time here that he wanted to play for Ireland and yesterday that dream came through and also watching him belt out the National Anthem was a special moment. His performance was really strong and it certainly put all doubters in their place.

All 15 players on the field bought into the game plan and for the most part it worked well, Ireland led 13-0 after 30 minutes and then Toby Faletau crashed over for a try that saw them come from 13-0 down to 13-10 and that is how the 1st half finished.

Into the 2nd half and Ireland created a great chance off of a line out that saw Jack Mc Grath act as the link man and his pass created space on the outside that Johnny Sexton exploited and he put Andrew Trimble into space although Tom James tracked back and put him into touch. Wales lost Dan Biggar to an ankle injury and his replacement Rhys Priestland set the Welsh back division moving although it was really slow moving with Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies doing well in defence they didn’t really do very much in attack other than crash straight up the middle which for the most part Ireland were able to cope with.

Both sides will feel they had chances to win the game but considering how tight things were in the second half both teams most still feel they are well in the title race that also includes France and England with Italy and Scotland already looking towards the trap door. Let’s see what unfolds next weekend in round 2….


Cian Mc Gibney




Last August  I was at a GAA fixture where Beale were facing Tarbert/Moyvane  and I met Mary Lavery Carrig where she mentioned to me  that she was hoping to try and set up a Theatre Group to see what might happen as she had a play in mind. After initial meetings with a number of interested parties , the Tarbert Theatre Players was born. Rehearsals began back in September in the back section of Coolahans where Mary assembled the people she felt most encapsulated the characters she had written about.

“ Diarmy” is based on true events surrounding the controversial moves to ban the cutting of turf in raised bogs. It is a story of love , loss and a real love of the land. Mary put lots of time and effort into finding the right people to bring her vision to life , enter a cast full of life , comic timing and a real passion to make this play work. She also assembled a back stage team that would also help bring this play to life.

Looking at the cast she put together , you had a mix of youth and experience , the experienced heads of John Dowling , Yvonne O Keeffe Fox and Helen Enright showed the ropes to the young bucks like Cormac Wall and Jimmy Sweeney. The rest of the cast was expertly put in place with each part given to people who had the correct qualities to bring each character to life.

Maura Mc Dermott in the role of Babe Mc Morrow , PJ Normile  was given the task of bringing life to Phillip Mc Morrow , John Dowling took the role of Diarmy Mc Morrow , Cormac Wall played long lost son Diarmuid Mc Morrow , Thomas Mulvihill played family friend Ned Mc Kee , Shane Wall played Simon O Neill , the shifty Inspector from the council , Tom Stack played Fr Dan Mullins , the Priest who should have joined the Army instead of taking holy orders. , Guard Atkinson was expertly portrayed by Jimmy Sweeney, Dr Farrell  , the golf loving GP was played by Helen Enright , Delores Van Der Vere , The vegetarian Dutch photographer was played by Yvonne O Keeffe Fox. Guards Bernadette and Vince were brought to life by Kevin Enright and Maureen Considine with  Danielle Considine , Eoin Diggins, Laura Lavery and Trish Griffin playing paramedics Jane , Paula and Frances and Ben.

These cast members were hand-picked by Mary alongside her assistant director Jerry O Connell. She chose correctly in each case which took time and effort. She as I already mentioned also put together a strong back stage crew that included , Alison Lavery , Laura Lavery , Breda Lavery , Noelle Mc Gibney , Eithne Griffin , Niamh Wall and this author also played a small part as an usher , Trish Healy and Johnny Block Mulvihill were brought on board to construct the set that looked impeccable.

The three nights in Tarbert were fantastic and each audience brought something different to the table , they were full of praise for the work that has been put in since last September which this author must also commend.

 To Mary, well done for bringing this dream to life, many people say they would love to do things like this but not many go ahead and do it so congratulations for having the drive to succeed and here’s hoping the crowd in St Johns Listowel have the same appreciation for this play as was seen in the three nights in Tarbert.

To anyone who hasn’t booked and would like to see this Play, please contact St Johns theatre Listowel ASAP as tckets are like goldust.


Cian Mc Gibney