31 July 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Ken Egan, Darren Sutherland, John Joe Joyce, John Joe Nevin and Paddy Barnes carry the hopes and dreams of Irish boxing fans with them in Beijing in the coming weeks and, as you can see from the messages below, everyone associated with the domestic scene is cheering them on…..
“I want to send the team my very best wishes for the upcoming Olympic Games. I can’t believe it was 16 years ago that I won my silver medal. I know the boys have the talent to do it this time around, too. Bring home the GOLD!!!”
“To all our Olympians, you will remember the next two weeks for the rest of your lives. So make sure you enjoy the experience and do yourselves justice. You’ve trained hard – give the performances that your training and dedication warrants. All the best lads, you can do this.”
“Best of luck to team Ireland in August, You guys are a part of our best team since ’92, when we came back with a gold and silver.”
James Moore and Celtic Gloves.
“Just want to wish the Irish boxers all of God’s blessings going into this, the most prestigious of all tournaments. Get out there and do your country proud. Conduct yourselves like the Irish Warriors you are, leave nothing to the judges and most importantly, fight your hearts out for Ireland! Beannacht D leat, mo chairde.”
“Best wishes to Irelands ‘famous five’ for 2008 Olympic games from all at Golden Cobra BC and Edward, Patrick & Paul Hyland – live the dream boys.”
“I really do expect big medal returns from this contingent of Irish hopefuls. They have proved to be amongst the top boxers in Europe – the most difficult qualifying group of them all. Good luck lads and no matter what you come back with, you will be so welcome, because we know you will have acquitted yourselves 100 percent. God bless you all.”
“This is the strongest team we have sent to the Olympics since Barcelona 1992 and I can only wish them the best of luck. They are all very talented – Ken Egan, Darren Sutherland, John Joe Joyce, John Joe Nevin and Paddy Barnes. With a bit of luck, which every boxer needs in a tournament like the Olympics, we could well get into the medals stage. Go for it lads, keep punching and watch your defence. So best wishes.”
Thomas Myler – Irish Independent and Boxing News
“All the best to the lads. I think they will do the country proud but I hope people are realistic with their expectations. It will be exceptionally difficult to medal but having said that I think there are a couple of dark horses in the team. They are 5 very talented lads and if they can maintain the same attitude that got them to the Games while out in Beijing and get the rub of the green I’ve no doubt that one or two can put themselves in contention for a podium place.”
Tomas Rohan Matchmaker, Brian Peters Promotions
“Good luck to all five Irish boxers going to the Olympics, particularly Belfast’s Paddy Barnes! Hopefully one of the lads can bring back a medal.”
Steve Wellings – BritishBoxing.net
“I’d like to wish Ken, Darren, Paddy and both John Joe’s all the best in Beijing. It’s amazing to have such a strong team going out there and I am sure you will inspire the next generation of Irish boxers. Lets just hope you are rewarded with some metalware!”
“Best of luck to our Olympic team. Hoping all you guys box to the best of your ability and bring home a few medals for your country and clubs – on that note congratulations to the coaches at Neilstown, Holy Family, St Saviours, Athy and Cavan. Go there and give them hell boys.”
Ken Moore – St Francis Boxing Club, Limerick
“The Olympics are what got me interested in boxing in 1992 when Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth picked up medals. With five boxers going I hope we can repeat the trick and turn a new generation of Irish children on to the sport. I believe our boxers are good enough not only to do us proud but to bring home the proverbial bacon. Best of luck lads.”
Cormac Campbell Irish-boxing.com
To pass on your best wishes to the Irish lads, just email [email protected] and we’ll add your message and your name to this list.