Not maybe, it’s definitely for the Gallagher brothersSeconds Out
By Eamonn O’Hara & Thomas Hawkins
Boxing, rugby, gaelic games, whatever
the sport you can count the Gallagher brothers in – and
count on them to excel. Patrick, Dominic, Charles, Owen and
James Gallagher have been making quite a name for themselves
in boxing circles over the past few seasons.
County, provincial, national and international awards have all found their way back to the Gallagher household.
Throw in some highly impressive performances on the rugby and gaelic fields and a clutch of French national boxing titles and you get the picture.
Combining the demands of a successful sporting career with the pressures of studies at Rathmore Grammar School in Belfast isn’t easy, but the Gallaghers relish the challenge.
Tommy Quinn, their coach at the new Townland ABC in Glenavy and at the Saints ABC in Twinbrook before that, marvels at their ability and believes they will go far in whatever sporting code they choose to pursue.
And there’s more good news for sport, another brace of boxing Gallaghers are about to enter the St Clare’s Hall, Glenavy gym.
“I reckon there’s another Gallagher success story about to unfold, the older boys have all boxed and the two youngest, Thomas and Anthony, are starting with us in Glenavy this season,’’ said Quinn.
“They are an exceptional family. Their parents, Owen and Catherine, are both doctors and big supporters of the kids in sports.
“Charles has a bagful of titles including six Irish titles, a Four Nations title and a bronze in the European Juniors.
“Dominic has four Irish titles, a Four Nations title, and he actually has a French title too and a European bronze.
“Some years back the whole family moved to France for a year and Dominic picked up the title then.
“That’s the type of kids the Gallaghers are, dedicated and focused on sport.’’
Quinn went on to list the highlights to date of the younger Gallaghers, Owen and James, and predicts big things ahead for the pair.
“Owen has a batch of Ulster titles and he’s back this season after a bit of time out,’’ said Quinn.
“He’s another kid with class as he showed when he won a French title too.
“James was good enough to get through to the Irish finals and anyone who knows anything about Irish boxing knows just how difficult that can be. He’s another exciting prospect.’’
Another Gallagher brother, former winner Patrick is assisting Quinn with the coaching schedule at the St Clare’s Hall gym.
And the Gallaghers’ sporting talents don’t stop there.
“Some of the Gallagher boys also play gaelic games for Glenavy,’’ said Quinn.
“They’re all-rounders, no matter what they turn their hand to they do well at it.
“Dominic was boxing at around 81kg and a while back he came to me and said he wanted to try out rugby.
“A rugby club in Belfast had approached him and he wanted to give it a go to see how it would go.
“He gave it a go alright and he was good enough to be drafted into the Ulster panel and, after that, Ireland came calling.
“He’s only a teenager, just 17, with a big sporting career ahead and thankfully for boxing, he’s back this year.
“His muscles are all the wrong shape for boxing at the minute as you can imagine after the rugby.
“It’s all bulk muscle for rugby, boxing muscle is a bit more defined.
“We’ll look at him over the next few weeks, see how he develops and take it from there.’’
Further down the Gallagher family tree come Thomas and Anthony.
“Thomas Gallagher is around 10 and Anthony under him again,’’ added coach Quinn.
“They’ll be coming into the gym this season, we’ll introduce them slowly, show them the ropes.’’
Alongside the Gallagher boys in Glenavy will be a group of talented young boxers including Irish Cadet champion Ryan Quinn, son of coach Tommy and two “great young prospects’’ the Loney brothers, Kieran and Michael.
And coach Quinn is eager to attract many more.
“My own son Ryan is Irish Cadet champion at 60kg, Boy 3,’’ added Quinn.
“That was one of the hardest titles we’ve ever got and naturally one of the proudest for me.’’
A student at Crumlin High, Ryan is also a three-time Ulster champion.
“There’s another couple of good young lads, good promising kids, Kieran and Michael Loney,’’ explained Quinn, who honed his coaching trade at the Immaculata and Saints gyms.
“You know when they walk in to the gym for the first time and you watch them, you know you’ve got decent wee boxers and the Loneys fit that bill.
“Kieran’s a bit like Paddy Barnes, he got a few losses early in his career but he persevered and we got him a couple of club show contests and he started winning.
“You could see his confidence lifting, he’s a lovely wee mover, light on his feet, a snappy jab and willing to learn.
“It’s great to see lads coming on like that, it gives you a real buzz to get as many new recruits in the gym, to see them grow in maturity and forge ahead in a sporting career.’’
Glenavy ABC is open for boxing business every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6pm start.