Monkstown Boxing Club plead for new home after boxers are forced to train outsideGary Ibbotson 11 Nov 2022
Members of Monkstown Boxing Club are pleading with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to find them a new permanent home as they continue to struggle for access at their current facility.
The boxing club, which was founded in the late 1990s has trained several national champions and is currently training hopeful 2024 Olympians.
However, the club operates out of Mounttown Community Facility and shares the space with a creche, women’s groups, homework groups and other local clubs.
The club also says it sometimes struggles to get access to the centre to train.
In late October, members say they received an email from the board of management of the centre saying that it would be closed until Monday, October 7 with no explanation as to why given.
Members were then forced to train outside for the week as it was too short notice to organise an alternative location.
Members say this is not the first time such an incident has happened this year and are urging the local council to find a more appropriate home for the club.
“This club had years of bad treatment,” says local TD Richard Boyd Barrett.
“This is a great club, a great asset to the area, and promotes inclusivity and diversity,” he says.
“But the management of the centre is making life hard for them.
“Most recently, there was no explanation given as to why the centre closed until November 7.”
Last year, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, who owns Mounttown Community Facility, voted to approve the submission of planning permission for the development of a dedicated boxing hall.
However, progress on the centre has been slow and members say the current situation is damaging the club’s development.
Pauly Kinsella, a coach with Monkstown Boxing Club said that due the members being “denied access” to the facility, high-level boxers have had their training hampered.
“Monkstown boxers are preparing for upcoming Irish Elites/ Olympic qualifiers,” he says.
“European U22 Gold Medalist Jack Marley, recent Elite Multi Nations Gold Medalist Sean Mari and many more boxers who are getting ready for Dublin Leagues and other tournaments have no club to currently train in,” he said last week.
Deputy Boyd Barrett says club members and himself plan to meet with county officials in an effort to plead their case for a new clubhouse.
“There is a commitment from the council for a new centre but nothing has happened yet,” he says.
“This club pre-dates the Mounttown centre and they are currently being treated intolerably.”
“It really is outrageous,” he says. “The council should intervene.”
Local People Before Profit councillor Melisa Halpin first tabled a motion calling for a new hall for the club in 2019 and says the members have waited a long time for the facility.
“What this club does for the county is second to none,” she says.
“What powers does the council have in this scenario? Why can’t it step in and give the keys to facility to the club?”
When contacted, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council refused to comment on the matter and the management of Mounttown Community Facility did not reply by the time of publication.