Three of Ireland’s best amateurs of years long passed were this evening worthy recipients of special awards from the I.A.B.A at the National Stadium.
The Irish Amateur Boxing Council presented the awards to the boxers for their commitment, loyalty and dedication throughout their careers.
IABA’s Joe Kirwan’s recalls these fine boxers and their feats:
Paul Buttimer (Sunnyside, Cork)
Paul was one of the outstanding boxers to come out of the Munster Region. He won four National Senior titles, three at flyweight and one at bantamweight.
Paul has represented Ireland at the European Championships in Italy in 1987, and in Gothenburg Sweden in 1991. He also represented Ireland at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. Paul has informed me that he was the only Irish boxer to beat Wayne McCullough at Senior level. Paul has boxed for Ireland on about 40 occasions. His favourite Irish boxer was Paul Fitzgerald, a former multiple Senior Champion. Paul is presently the coach at the Fermoy Boxing Club.
Joe Lawlor (Darndale, Dublin)
Joe was another outstanding boxer in the late eighties and early nineties. He won three National Senior Championships at flyweight. He also represented Ireland at two European Senior Championships in Greece 1989, and Gothenburg, Sweden in 1991. Joe also represented Ireland in the Olympics in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. And at the World Seniors in Moscow, Russia in 1989 at flyweight. His favourite Irish boxer was Barry McGuigan. Joe has represented Ireland on about 45 occasions. Just like Paul Buttimer, Joe Lawlor, has been with one club during his career. He is now coaching at the Darndale Boxing Club.
Paul Griffin (Drimnagh (Mount Tallant)
Paul was one of the outstanding Irish boxers in the nineties. In that period he won four consecutive Senior titles at featherweight. In 1991 he won a gold medal at the European Senior Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. This was Ireland’s first gold at the European Senior Championships since Maxie McCullough won gold in Norway in 1949. In 1993 he won a bronze medal at the European Senior Championships in Bursa, Turkey. He was withdrawn on medical advice in Bursa. He was unbeaten in European Senior boxing. Paul has also represented Ireland in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. He has represented Ireland on forty occasions. Paul has also represented Ireland at the World Senior Championships in Australia in 1991. Paul’s favourite Irish amateur boxer was his brother Gary. At present, Paul is assisting Mick Dowling with coaching at the Mount Tallant BC.
Three who always gave of their best in an Irish vest and most assuredly deserving of the rewards received.