Pugilistic Paddy is Kildare town’s Person of the Year

PADDY Phelan – main architect of the revival of amateur boxing in Kildare town – was named last week as the Kildare Derby Festival Person of the Year.

PADDY Phelan – main architect of the revival of amateur boxing in Kildare town – was named last week as the Kildare Derby Festival Person of the Year.

Having been a member of Newbridge’s Ryston Boxing Club for many years, Paddy decided it was time to set up a local club.

He was ferrying young boxers to and from Ryston and the new club was launched in November 2010.

“Today we have 102 members, mainly children from as young as 6 up to adults,” he told the Leader.

“The hardest part was to find a suitable premises. In the beginning we used the CYMS hall thanks to John Gleeson (of the Kildare CYMS),” added Paddy, who coached at Ryston BC for twelve years.

Others helped including top jockey Johnny Murtagh, who also lives in Kildare town and who secured thousands of euro in sponsorship for the fledgling club.

As youngsters flocked in county titles were followed by provincial and All-Ireland successes. Recent All-Ireland winners are Katelynn Doran, Tully; Katelynn Phelan, Woodside Park; Emma Kelly, Bishopsland and Wayne Geraghty, Crockanure. The club has landed two dozen county titles and 15 Leinster successes and Best Club awards at county and provincial level.

- Paul O’Meara