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Man treated in hospital after incident at boxing event

A man is being treated at University Hospital Galway for injuries sustained during a violent incident at a boxing tournament in Co Roscommon.

Emergency services were called to The Hub venue in Castlerea yesterday evening during the quarter-finals of the under-14 National Championships.

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association has condemned the incident and cancelled the event.

In a statement the IABA said that it was “aware of a serious incident during the final stages of the 2024 National Boy 4 Championship quarter finals in Castlerea”.

“That such an incident could occur at a children’s sporting event is abhorrent, and is roundly condemned by every member of the Irish boxing family. Gardaí are investigating.

“IABA, its officials, host club Castlerea BC, and streaming partners, StreamSport, are ready to assist gardaí with their inquiries in any way possible.”

Minister of State for Sport Thomas Byrne has said: “I am horrified to learn of this incident.

“Every child and every participant in sport should be able to enjoy their sport without fear for their safety.

“I understand that the gardaí are now investigating this matter and it’s important for us to allow them to do their work in finding those responsible.”

Meanwhile, the senior coach with Olympic Boxing Club in Westside said the scenes in Castlerea were horrific.

John Mongan said the Hub was a fantastic venue and this was the first time the under-14 national championships were outside Dublin.

“This was pure evil to see these four guys come armed with machetes and [wearing] balaclavas. It looks like to me it was some kind of a feud, and it was horrific to watch and everyone was shocked.

“I couldn’t believe what was going on and it happened so fast.

“My own club, the Olympic Boxing Club had three lads there yesterday in that competition. They should be boxing again today in a semi-final but that won’t happen because everything has been cancelled,” he said.

John Mongan is a member of the central council of the IABA representing Connacht

Mr Mongan shook his head and his eyes filled with tears as he spoke of his devastation for the 60 boys and girls who witnessed the violent scenes along with their families and officials from around Ireland.

“This was not a good day for boxing and yet it has nothing to do with the sport. This is a feud between two families and the venue was targetted because they were after people attending”.

Mr Mongan is a member of the central council of the IABA representing Connacht. He said there will be a meeting of directors in Dublin later in the week to discuss last night’s incident and look at a plan of action going forward.

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