Youth Olympic bronze medalist Déarbhla Rooney pictured with her Sean McDermott Boxing Club coaches John Gilligan and James Kelly in Bee Park Resource Centre. Photo Willie Donnellan
It is probably easier to take on Déarbhla Rooney in the ring than get coach John Gilligan to step into the limelight. But the legendary Sean McDermott Boxing Club official did chat to the Observer about the awesome talent that is the new Youth Olympic bronze medalist.
Persuaded by his fellow club officials and our own Willie Donnellan to chat, John simply said “Very proud of Dearbhla, she has been here since she was a young age, so much talent. Great work going on in the club.”
And he quickly shifted the attention away from himself - “We have great coaches James Kelly, Sandy Gethins, Pauric McGovern, George Hewitt, James McDowell, Al Morris and great administrators in Martha Morris, Betty Duignan is our treasurer.
“It is great to see a turnout like this, there really is a good vibe at the club, everyone is pulling in the one direction and the standard of boxing is very high. We have great help from the other clubs, the county board and the Connacht Council, it is all positive.
“We’re a minority sport but we still get great support. Traditionally the sport has been very strong in Leitrim. There is a great club in Drumsna, Ballinamore, Drumshanbo used to be quite strong.”