Olympics 2016

Gary Keegan to leave his post with Sport Ireland

Olympics 2016By Sean McGoldrick
Gary Keegan
Gary Keegan

Dubliner Gary Keegan, who master-minded the revival of Irish amateur boxing, is leaving his current post with Sport Ireland to start up a new business venture.

Keegan, was the first director of Irish boxing’s High Performance Unit, and he recruited coaches Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia.

Under the direction of this trio, the fortunes of Irish boxing at international level were transformed.

It went from a situation where Ireland qualified one boxer for both the Sydney and Athens Olympics to a point where five Irish boxers competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 with Kenny Egan (silver), Paddy Barnes (bronze) and the late Darren Sutherland (bronze) all securing podium finishes.

Following the Beijing Olympics, where he was infamously excluded from the Olympic village as he wasn’t appointed the official team manager, Keegan left the IABA to take up a position with the then newly established Irish Institute of Sport.

Under his direction the Institute became a leading light in the development of high performance athletes and coaches.

The High Performance Unit he established in boxing continued to thrive and even though Billy Walsh departed late last year to join US Boxing, Ireland will have a record eight boxers in action to the Rio Olympics.