By Regan Kelly
Much of the former Columb Barracks in Mullingar has been a quiet and disused site since its closure in 2012.
However, just in front of the old courtyard is a relatively new gym which is now the home of the Olympic Boxing Club. On training days, though, it is far from quiet. Training usually takes place five days a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
The founder and European Champion boxer – John Joe Joyce – traces its beginnings to 2014 when he began coaching members in his converted shed and back garden.
John Joe is well-established figure in the sport, and he believes that his experience can help bring out the most in his members. “I’m 34 now, and I’ve been involved in this sport since I was seven years of age, with 15 All-Ireland titles, representing Ireland in the Beijing Olympics and four European medals under my belt.”
Opening a gym was something that John Joe had always wanted to do, and he has now become “addicted to it”.