CASTLEBAR Town Council paid a significant honour to Islandeady sports star and European senior gold medal winner, Ray Moylett, of St Ann’s Boxing Club Westport, at Lough Lannagh Village, when Ray was accorded a civic reception by The Mayor of Castlebar, Councillor Eugene McCormack.
As a fellow Islandeady native, Mayor McCormack said Castlebar recognised the tremendous honour Ray brought to the county and to his sport of amateur boxing.
The Mayor and the Town Council have by their support recognised the standing of Irish amateur boxing, Ireland’s leading Olympic sport, a recognition that is missed by the national press and the state broadcasting media RTÉ.
Peter Mullen, former Irish champion and international boxer, now coach and mentor at St. Ann’s club, referred in his speech to the achievement of Ray’s parish of Islandeady, as the lynchpin between the progressive towns of Westport and Castlebar, providing The European champion, The Town Mayor and The Taoiseach of Ireland.
In the history of the Olympics Games, 23 Olympic medals were won by Irish athletics, 12 of those Olympic medals have been won by Irish boxers and of those Olympic medal holders only one, Paddy Barns, Beijing Olympic bronze medal winner, has won an European Gold, like Ray Moylett.
In the 100 years history of Irish amateur boxing, the six European gold medals were won for Ireland before this year’s double gold wins of Ray Moylett and Joe Ward, of Athy, were won for Dublin and Belfast boxing clubs.
This year’s Irish wins of two of the 10 European gold medals contested in the 2011 European Championships, by the top 57 European Boxing nations shows the strength of this leading Irish Olympic sport, a 32 county Irish sport.
This double European gold medal win for Ireland was only achieved once before in 1939, by the great Dublin boxers Jimmy Ingle and Paddy Dowdall, when the European Championships were held in Dublin for the official opening of the National Boxing Stadium on St. Circular Road.
Ray Moylett set the pace in Turkey for Ireland to celebrate the centenary year of Irish amateur boxing.