Irish boxing hero Deirdre Gogarty will be immortalised in bronze as plans are afoot to erect a statue in honour of her and her groundbreaking boxing career.
The Deirdre Gogarty Legacy Committee held a press conference in Drogheda today to confirm their intentions and call for help in raising the funds necessary to get the statue made.
Gogarty’s is a boxing innings worth remembering. She was involved in what is deemed the first ever boxing bout between two women in 1991, albeit an ‘illegal’ and unsanctioned fight at The Shannon Arms in Limerick.
Unable to get a boxing license in Ireland she made the difficult choice to move to the USA and turn professional to chase a World title. This move made the Louth native the first-ever female professional boxer in Ireland and lead her to competing in one of the most historic female fights of all time.
Gogarty versus Christy Martin is now a fight of folklore and is deemed the spark that ignited much needed change for women’s boxing. Chief support to Mike Tyson versus Frank Bruno at the MGM Grand, the entertaining war was the first all-female bout to take place on a PPV boxing card.
Just a year later Gogarty, a hero to Katie Taylor, realized her dream of becoming a world champion by beating Bonnie Canino in Florida on 2nd of March 1997 for the Featherweight world professional title.
That victory cemented Gogarthy’s legacy in the sport as Ireland’s First female professional boxing world champion as well as Drogheda’s first and only professional boxing world champion.
Since retiring in 1998, the trailblazer has been recognised for her achievements by being inducted into the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
It’s an achievement-packed transformative career that the Deirdre Gogarty Legacy Committee led by Ciaran Mc Ivor of Boxing Bants want to honour.
“Despite being a trailblazer for female athletes, becoming Ireland’s first female professional boxer and professional world champion inspiring the next generation of great fighters like Katie Taylor who used to write to Deirdre as a young girl, Deirdre Gogarty has yet to receive the recognition in her hometown of Drogheda she deserves, recognition worthy of her incredible sporting career,”
Speaking today a humbled Gogarty said:
“I cannot begin to express how thrilled I am about the potential of a statue in the place where my journey began! In my days as a young woman, cycling through Drogheda on my way to the boxing club, I had such big dreams and ambitions. It was a very exciting time, but unfortunately my future as a boxer looked very bleak, when door after door would slam shut against women’s boxing in 1988.
“When Drogheda put up the statue of Tony “Socks” Byrne, I was in awe. I wanted to accomplish great things like Byrne’s Olympic medal, but women were not allowed box amateur, or in the Olympics back then, which was hugely frustrating. I made the difficult decision to leave Drogheda, turn professional, and move to the United States. Eventually, I fulfilled my dream of winning a world title, just like my idol Barry McGuigan. However, it would’ve been in vain if I weren’t able to break down barriers for other female boxers. So in the same way that I was inspired by Byrne’s statue, I hope that my statue will remind others that the most important factor in pursuing a dream is, persistence is everything!”
The Legacy Committee need to raise 100,000e to get the statue erected and are calling for help, donations can be made here https://www.gofundme.com/f/deirdre-gogarty-legacy-fundraiser?utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer