Ireland’s European Elite history

Courtesy of Bernard O’Neill IABA

Over 60 medals have been claimed by Ireland’s boxers in almost a century of European Elite male and female boxing.

The inaugural European Male Elites were hosted in Stockholm, Sweden in 1925 and the 1st European Women’s Elites in Saint-Amada Les-Eaux, France in 2001.

Dublin’s National Stadium has played its part in the 95-year history of the Continentals, as the venue was used for the last Europeans before WW2 in 1939, the year the Stadium opened, and the first  Europeans after WW2 in 1947.

The home of Irish boxing is the only venue to host the tournament successively.

Ireland first entered the Europeans in Milan in 1937 with Ernie Smith, James Healy, Frank Kerr, Charles Evenden and (?) Lydon lining out for the boys in green. None of the squad got past the quarter-finals.

Katie Taylor is Ireland most prolific European medalists after claiming six titles on the bounce between 2005 and 2014 but her debut at this level ended in defeat to Russia’s World lightweight champion Yulia Nemtsova in Riccione, Italy in 2004.

Joe Ward is Ireland’s most prolific male boxer having won three gold medals. Ward and Jimmy Ingle, who won gold in 1939, were both just 17 when they topped their respective podiums.

Ingle and Paddy Dowdall were the first Irish boxers to be crowned European champion 81 years ago and Aoife O’Rourke and Kurt Walker the last in 2019.

Ireland secured four medals – courtesy of double gold for John Joe Nevin and Jason Quigley and double silver for Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan – to finish second in the medals table behind Russia in 2013  in Minsk, Belarus.

Barnes had to pull out of his final because on an injury sustained in the last four and Joe Ward, the defending light-heavy champion, twisted his knee in the preliminaries in Minsk. If both men hadn’t been injured, Ireland would probably have commanded No. 1 spot in the medals table that year.

Irish female boxing lies in 8th position in the all-time European medals table and male boxing in 11th place (tables have to be updated to take into account the most recent medals).

Overall, Ireland’s boxers have claimed 65 European Elite medals since 1925. Twenty-one of those medals are gold.

IRELAND AT EUROPEAN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S ELITE CHAMPIONSHIPS

National Stadium Dublin 1939
51kg Jimmy Ingle Gold
57kg Paddy Dowdall Gold
69kg Charles Evenden Bronze

National Stadium Dublin 1947
91kg Gearoid O’Colmain Gold
57kg Peter McGuire Silver

1949 Norway
60kg Maxie McCullough Gold
57kg Dave Connell Bronze

1951 Italy
54kg William Kelly Silver
60kg Dave Connell Bronze
64kg Terry Milligan Bronze

1953 Poland
64kg Terry Milligan Silver
54kg John McNally Bronze

The Czech Republic 1957
69kg Fred Tiedt Bronze

1959 Switzerland
51kg Adam McClean Bronze
69kg Harry Perry Bronze
75kg Colm McCoy Bronze

1965 West Germany
60kg Jim McCourt Bronze

1969 Romania
54kg Mick Dowling Bronze

1971 Spain
52kg Neil McLoughlin Bronze
57kg Brendan McCarthy Bronze
54kg Mick Dowling Bronze

1977 East Germany
49kg Phil Sutcliffe Bronze

1979 West Germany
54kg Phil Sutcliffe Bronze

1981 Finland
49kg Gerry Hawkins Bronze

1983 Bulgaria
69kg Kieran Joyce Bronze

1985 Hungary
51kg Sean Casey Bronze

1991 Sweden
57kg Paul Griffin Gold

1993 Turkey
57kg Paul Griffin Bronze

1996 Denmark
51kg Damaen Kelly Bronze

1998 Belarus
75kg Brian Magee Silver

2004 Croatia
75kg Andy Lee Bronze

2005 Norway
60kg Katie Taylor Gold

2006 Poland
60kg Katie Taylor Gold

2007 Denmark
60kg Katie Taylor Gold

2006 Bulgaria
81kg Ken Egan Bronze

2008 England
60kg Ross Hickey Bronze
64kg John Joe Joyce Bronze
75kg Eamonn O’Kane Bronze

2009 Ukraine
60kg Katie Taylor Gold

2010 Russia
49kg Paddy Barnes Gold
75kg Darren O’Neill Silver
57kg Tyrone McCullough Bronze
60kg Eric Donovan Bronze
81kg Ken Egan Bronze

2011 Netherlands
60kg Katie Taylor Gold

2011 Turkey
64kg Ray Moylette Gold
81kg Joe Ward Gold

2013 Belarus
56kg John Joe Nevin Gold
75kg Jason Quigley Gold
49kg Paddy Barnes Silver
52kg Michael Conlan Silver

2014 Romania
60kg Katie Taylor Gold
69kg Claire Grace Bronze

2015 Turkey
56kg Michael Conlan Gold
81kg Joe Ward Gold
64kg Dean Walsh Bronze

2016 Bulgaria
75kg Christina Desmond Bronze

2017 Ukraine
81kg Joe Ward Gold
52kg Brendan Irvine Bronze
56kg Kurt Walker Bronze

2019 Belarus
56kg Kurt Walker (Gold)
49kg Regan Buckley (Bronze)
75kg Michael Nevin (Bronze)

2019 Spain
74kg Aoife O’Rourke Gold
60kg Amy Broadhurst Silver

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com