Clodagh sets sights on Italian spot after picking up fourth Irish title

On behalf of Shoefair Sports, Anne McVeigh presented All Ireland National Boxing Champion Clodagh McComiskey (Gilford ABC) with the Achiever of the Month Award, included is District Sports Association Secretary Gillian Dewart � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-211EB
On behalf of Shoefair Sports, Anne McVeigh presented All Ireland National Boxing Champion Clodagh McComiskey (Gilford ABC) with the Achiever of the Month Award, included is District Sports Association Secretary Gillian Dewart � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-211EB

If there was a battle of the sexes at New-Bridge Integrated College, you’re probably best to side with the females.

If you don’t, you’ll have a four-times Irish boxing champion to answer to.

Clodagh McComiskey last month picked up her fourth successive Irish title in Dublin and is hoping to secure her spot in the European Championships for the first time this weekend.

The finals will be held in Assissi, Italy from 19 July but before the Gilford ABC girl makes it that far, she has to win the right to represent Ireland by winning the qualifications tournament in the National Stadium, Dublin.

Her father Bernard set up the Gilford club 13 years ago, originally in Derrytrasna before moving to Gilford in 2007.

He’s seeing the fruits of his labour right under his own roof and is hoping Clodagh can earn her place on the plane to Italy this weekend.

“She has been sparring with the girls she’s going to be up against and I think she just has the edge on them but it could be different on the day,” he said.

“There’s been a whole mix-up with the dates. It was supposed to be a couple of weeks ago but now it’s been put back to this weekend. Clodagh can only box on Friday and Saturday so hopefully they can accomodate us.”

Bernard is used to seeing his daughter punch her way to success.

He said: “Words can’t explain it. It’s absolutely brilliant to be there with her. In the Irish finals in the national stadium when I hear Clodagh’s name being called out, it’s just fantastic to be there.

“After boxing as a young lad myself, for my daughter to take into it is great.

“I try to help her as best I can and go out running but she’s over-taking me now. You have to have something to be a boxer, a bit of steel and guts but Clodagh does a lot of training too.”

The New-Bridge pupil is certainly committed to her sport but says she owes a lot to Gilford ABC.

“It’s a brilliant achievement to hold the Ireland title, not just for me but for the club,” she said.

“I put in a lot of hard work, along with my dad and Justin.

“I train a lot and dedicate most of my time to boxing and making sure I keep fit.

“I had no interest when I was younger but it’s in the family and so I tried it out.

“I really enjoyed it and have been boxing for about six years now.”

Clodagh was beaten in the final to miss out on a place in last year’s Euopean Championships and will be hoping to go one better in Dublin this weekend.