This day two weeks ago on Friday 2nd February, the very sad news emerged with the passing of Ollie O’Neill following an illness bravely borne.

Ollie was best known in Boxing circles for been head coach of his native Paulstown, while he was such a hugely influential and well respected figure both locally and nationwide.

Several members of Paulstown Boxing Club who were coached by Ollie went onto become All-Ireland Champions, and many of those would go on to represent Ireland in various International competitions.

Among those who represented Ireland was Ollie’s son Darren who gave tremendous to the sport having won Gold and Silver Medals in the EU Championships and a Silver Medal in The European Championships in 2010, while he was also Captain of the Ireland Squad at the 2012 Olympics in London as The Irish won 4 Medals including a historic Gold Medal for Katie Taylor.

Darren also had the honour of carrying The Irish flag in the Closing Ceremony at The London Olympics.

Ollie’s two other sons Aidan and Daniel also won National titles and between them and Darren, the trio won a combined total of over 20 All-Irelands.

In recognition of his sterling work, dedication and committment to the sport, Ollie was a most popular and deserving winner of the IABA Lifetime acheivement award in 2022.

The award was extra special as it was the 50th anniversary of Paulstown Boxing Club since it was first found in 1972.

In particular, Ollie was so generous and encouraging especially towards the juveniles who benefited so greatly from his coaching, advise and words of wisdom.

Several of the new generation of IABA coaches would have been coached by Ollie, and without a doubt they learned an awful lot about his guidance and knowledge that he passed on to them.

Also, so many well known Boxers who represented Ireland would have come to Paulstown for sparring in preparation for major competitions, including Katie Taylor who got to know the O’Neill family very well.

Ollie was a highly well known and respected figure in GAA circles as a referee in both Hurling and Camogie and he served his Club Barrow Rangers both as a player and coach with Darren, Aidan and Daniel all playing with the Paulstown/Barrow Rangers Club at various stages over the years.

The trio often helped out their Dad on umpire duty while he was refereeing.

Ollie was also a long serving employee with Connollys Red Mills and he will most certainly be remembered and in the thoughts of many on Red Mills Day tomorrow (Saturday).

Sadly, Ollie was diagnosed with MND in 2022 but he continued to remain centrally involved with Paulstown Boxing Club up until very recently, and he remained busy with all the actitivies that were happening within The Club.

Just before Christmas, Ollie was ringside as Paulstown hosted their annual Christmas Tournament while their was also an underage Tournament that took place within the Club, as both Tournaments brought about fighters from around the County and South East Region.

Ollie was always obliging in his dealings with the local media, and he always spoke of opposition fighters with great respect and dignity that highlights the high respect and esteem that he was held throughout in Boxing circles.

He will never ever be forgotten for his love and dedication to the sport and while he will be irreplaceable especially in Paulstown, he will always be remembered.

His legacy and inspiration will live on, particularly for future generations who will attempt to live up to the high standards and respect that he so successfully acheived, and so many of those that he coached acheived the dreams that he aspired them to.

Paulstown Boxing Club along with the other Clubs around the County will try and honour him in the best way possible, by giving 100% in trying to be the best they can possibly be.


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