IABA President wishes Olympic ref Gallagher speedy recovery
Tommy Murphy, the President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, has wished top referee and judge (R&J) Michael Gallagher a speedy recovery from his illness on behalf of Irish amateur boxing.
Gallagher, in another historic first for the sport in Ireland, scooped the Best R&J Award of the 2012 Olympics but was taken to hospital in London with a stomach illness on the same day that Katie Taylor won gold last Thursday.
The Tyrone native is presently staying at the Homerton University Hospital in London, the specially designated hospital for the 2012 Games, after suffering his illness and says he hopes to return home this weekend.
The Best R&J Award of the 30th Olympiad is a unique and prestigious doubles as Gallagher also won the AIBA Best World R&J Award in London last December.
“I was very proud to receive the award and it is a great honour. I would have loved to have been there for the finish of the games,” he said last night.
Gallagher’s appointment as the only Irish R&J for London 2012 was always seen as a lucky omen for Irish boxing as Newry’s Jackie Poucher was the last Irish R&J to officiate at an Olympics in 1992 when Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough won gold and silver,
Taylor bridged that 20-year gap last Thursday when she beat Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in the lightweight final, while John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan won silver and two bronze medals.
“Everyone involved in the sport in Ireland wishes Michael a speedy recovery from his illness,” said IABA President Tommy Murphy, in a sentiment echoed by IABA Director of Boxing Dominic O’Rourke, IABA National Registrar Stephen Connolly, Irish Team Manager Des Donnelly and Ireland’s Olympic coaches and boxers and the Irish boxing family.
Gallagher, a member of the Clonoe boxing club, refereed 11 and judged 32 contests at London 2012.
He also claimed the Best R&J award at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.