FORMER Irish head boxing coach Billy Walsh, the current USA head coach, has officially opened the new Connaught Boxing Centre of Excellence at Lough Lannagh Holiday Village in Castlebar.
He performed the ceremony this morning in the company of former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Mr. Walsh conceived the idea during a training camp at the complex in 2013.
Since then government funding was allocated to help transform a former gymnasium at the location into a state-of-the-art boxing training facility, which is also used by Castlebar Boxing Club.
A phase two project to extend the centre is currently being planned and will require additional funding.
In his address, Mr. Walsh said he was very proud to see that the dream coming to fruition for the benefit of the sport in the west of Ireland.
He stated: “The best way to predict the future is to create it. And that is what has been happened here at Lough Lannagh Holiday Village.”
Deputy Kenny praised members of the Connaught branch of IABA and Castlebar Boxing Club for their involvement in the project and he was delighted to have assisted them in putting the facility in place.
He wished both organisations every success in the years ahead, adding the future of boxing in the region is in safe hands.
At the outset, Deputy Kenny extended sympathy the Needham and Davitt families, Louisburgh, on the tragic deaths of Martin Needham and Declan Davitt on Christmas Day.
*See our Facebook page for video coveage of Deputy Kenny's address.