McCarthy furious that boxing coach Zair Antia was overlooked by RTE for national award

THE President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association Derry McCarthy has launched a blistering attack on RTE Sport following their annual awards night which took place last Saturday night, at the RTE studios in Dublin.

The award ceremony had numerous categories, however McCarthy’s focus was on the manager of the year, which was presented to Vera Pauw following Ireland’s qualification for next year’s Ladies Soccer World Cup finals.

McCarthy made it very clear he had no issue with the recipient but he had great difficulty in coming to terms with how she was selected.

There were a further six other nominations for the award, amongst them were Zair Antia the Irish elite boxing head coach, according to McCarthy a good case could be made for most nominees and he felt Antia’s pedigree of international success was impeccable and a very compelling case could have been made in his favour.

McCarthy also expressed serious concern about the selection process and how transparent and accountable it was.

When RTE were contacted a spokesman said that they were happy that their judges had followed a pattern which had always been fair and impartial and had nothing further to add.

During the past year Zair Antia has coached and led Irish boxers to phenomenal success.

Under his leadership Ireland has become a power house in international boxing.

Cork Ex-Boxers chairman JJ Murphy introducing the new president of the CEBA Derry McCarthy at the Cork Leagues in the Northside Boxing Club. Picture: John Wiseman
Cork Ex-Boxers chairman JJ Murphy introducing the new president of the CEBA Derry McCarthy at the Cork Leagues in the Northside Boxing Club. Picture: John Wiseman

In 2022 Irish Elite Boxers have won two World Championship Gold Medals, four European Gold Medals, three European Silver and two European Bronze Medals.

Over many years now Zair Antia has developed one of the most successful high performance units in the world.

In addition to his World and European Championship success Antia was coach to Katie Taylor at the Olympics in London in 2012, and to Kellie Harrington in Tokyo last year.

Derry McCarthy said people throughout the entire Country were very disappointed last Saturday night when the winner was announced, he argued that while it was nice to see Ireland qualify for the Ladies World Cup Finals, that all it was in simple term we won nothing except a ticket to participate.

McCarthy said he was not satisfied with RTE response, he said the station had many questions to answer in respect of the selection process.

McCarthy said: “In my capacity as President of CEBA I want to know what the official criteria for selection is, and what parameters for analysis are required further more, I wish to know the names of those on the selection panel and what number of people were involved?”

In addition, Derry McCarthy said he wished to establish how often they met and whether their final choices unanimous or split decision.

“I wish to know the name of the chairperson and who appointed them.”

McCarthy said: “The stakeholders here are the people who pay the TV license.

“I also wish to know if the names of the various categories were leaked in advance.”

In conclusion McCarthy said: “RTE is a public service broadcaster and accordingly must fully adhere to this, currently I am very despondent with the station but I intend to have events such last Saturday night investigated.”

Elsewhere, as we come to the end of another year, a delightful evening of pontification from another era was enjoyed recently in a place of old world charm, conducive to a boxing wonderland.

The occasion afforded a group of seasoned boxing purists an opportunity to go back through the strands of time and stop off in 1962.

Sixty years ago in the distance you could hear the echo from the echo boy, selling the Hollybough in the streets, the harmonious melody of the famous Dunne brothers as they strut their dueling’s banjo’s, romance in the air is captured through the photographic lens of George and Val Healy on their pitch outside the mecca of a child’s delight ‘Woolworths’.

Douglas native Derry McCarthy
Douglas native Derry McCarthy

Further up the street Holy Joe is conversing with the great unwashed at the corner pitch and toss merchants are plying their trade tax free. Thompsons cakes are a big treat, black and white TV is in its pioneering days and you could watch it, aided by a public wired up sound if you stood outside Fitzgerald’s electric on the Grand Parade.

In 1962 boxing was booming Don Murray was Irish senior and junior champion.

Mick Barry the bowling king of the roads was a County and Muster boxing champion.

Glen Rovers Senior County Winning Captain Francie O’Regan was Cork and Munster boxing champion, and Harry Butt was about to win an Irish Title and boxing in Cork was magic sixty years ago.


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