Shankill scuplture captures boxing spirit

Belfast's Lord Mayor Brian Kingston unveils a statue to honour boxers from the Shankill area of the city in Woodpile Park.  Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Belfast's Lord Mayor Brian Kingston unveils a statue to honour boxers from the Shankill area of the city in Woodpile Park. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

A boxing sculpture unveiled in Belfast at the weekend commemorates a community of successful boxing heroes from the greater Shankill area.

Erected in Woodvale Park in the north of the city, the sculpture aims to highlight the contribution of boxing as a sport and to celebrate its many heroes within and outside the ring.

It is part of Belfast City Council’s boxing strategy, which has also seen sculptures of boxers Rinty Monaghan and John Campbell unveiled in Cathedral Gardens and Dunville Park.

But discussions with the Shankill community and Belfast Boxing Ring, which has been working with the council to create the sculptures, highlighted there were so many successful boxers in the Shankill it was considered unfair to single out just one.

Instead an anonymous figure was chosen to capture the spirit of all the boxers.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Brian Kingston, said: “It is the people of Belfast who make the city so special and it is sporting heroes like our successful boxers that inspire many others to succeed not just in sport but in daily life.

“I am delighted to be honouring the local boxing community for the pleasure, pride and inspiration they have given to the wider community.

Boxing Ring member, Davy Larmour, a former British Bantamweight Champion, Commonwealth Gold medallist and Olympian, who was born and bred in the Shankill area said: “The sculptor has captured the strength of boxing and the community spirit that the Shankill maintains. I hope that strength will continue as we move forward in life and in sport.”