Galway boxer Gabriel Dossen receives a heroic welcome

The newly crowned European middleweight boxing champion of Ireland returned to a heroic welcome at his local club in the city of Galway.

Gabriel Dossen, 22, was joined by recent World Champion Lisa O’Rourke and her sister Aoife, who competed in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Mr Dossen said his gold medal victory in Armenia still felt “unrealistic” and he paid tribute to his local club and head coach Mike Mongan for trusting him and leading to his success at the European Championships.

His win over England’s Lewis Richardson in the middleweight final ensured Team Ireland returned home with a gold medal.

He also paid tribute to his mother, Meserk Moti, whom he said he believed in enough to put on his university education.

Mr. Dossen was born on the Ivory Coast and came to Galway with his family as a baby.

His mother, who is from Ethiopia, described her son’s achievement as “amazing”.

She said he had a dream and never stopped training, and his ultimate goal is the Paris Olympics.

All three boxers were trained at the Olympic Boxing Club in Galway’s Westside, where their outstanding achievements today were honored as world champion, European champion, and Multi Nations champion.

Gabriel Dossen congratulated by John Mongan of Olympic Boxing Club

Mr. Dossen and Lisa and Aoife O’Rourke sprinkled some gold on young boys and girls who are now flocking to the club for boxing.

Autographed photos and encouraging words were freely given to joyful fans like six-year-old Darragh Williams.

“I love boxing. I train hard and I love Gabriel Dossen. I want to be a world champion someday,” he said.

The Olympic Boxing Club is beating its weight in what has been an extraordinary success story.

Elite boxers have been nurtured and trained to gold by a powerful team of coaches from the Mongan family, while Mr. Mongan admits that it is still a bit surreal.

“We have three elite boxers competing at the highest level but we have always had a huge influx of talent back to Francie Barrett, our flag bearer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

“We have a strong work ethic here and a lot of natural talent. It’s a winning combination,” he said.

Francis (Francie) Barrett (Credit: Rollingnews.ie)

The three boxing champions were presented with crystal awards by Galway County Board Secretary Sean Clancy.

Mayor Colette Connolly congratulated the boxers and spoke about how inspiring they are and how proud they are of Ireland.

Colette Connolly (right) with the boxers

The O’Rourke sisters had previously boxed with Castlerea Boxing Club, before joining the Olympic Club.

They deserve their coach Paddy Sharkey for putting them on their early boxing trip.

The boxers continue to train at their local club as well as high-performance units nationally and abroad with World Championships, European Games and the Paris Olympics all within their sights.

Mr Dossen said he was delighted that more funding would be allocated to him by Sport Ireland after his victory and that he could devote more time to boxing.

While today is all about the boxing, tomorrow Lisa O’Rourke will be wearing spring and blue as she plays for Roscommon in the All-Ireland ladies football clash against Kildare.

Lisa (right) with her mother Ann and sister Aoife O’Rourke

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