Daina Moorehouse and Cole Byrne in flying form
FRESH from winning their latest Irish boxing titles, two Enniskerry Boxing Club members will don the Irish bib in the coming weeks as they go to represent their country in Georgia and Budapest in the European Schoolboy/girl Championships in Tbilisi and in the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Daina Moorehouse collected her seventh Irish boxing crown in a row last weekend by way of walk-over while her club colleague Cole Byrne secured his third national crown in recent weeks and both will now undertake separate European adventures.
For Daina Moorehouse, the European journey won’t be unfamiliar given that she has already achieved two European titles in her impressively successful boxing career to date. For Cole Byrne, this will be his first foray into European competition but given his progress under the guidance of club coach Paul O’Toole it is very likely that he will hit the ground running this weekend when his competition kicks off in Tbilisi.
‘I won my seventh title in a row,’ said Daina when she sat down with the Wicklow People last week. ‘I won my first Irish (title) when I was 14 and I haven’t lost one since. This was my first time getting it with a walk-over.
‘I’m just training twice a day. Up in the morning, training, then off to work with my mother, and then training or sparring. I get the odd day off. That’s the way it will be until the Europeans. We’ll have a training camp with the Irish team as well.
‘Running in the morning. It depends, really. Every Saturday my coach collects me a 6am and we go to the seafront and we do sprinting and running. I only train once on a Saturday. Then I have Sundays off. The rest of the week is twice a day.
‘We’re flying on September 2 and they’re on until the 11th. I’ve nothing between then and now except training and the camp with the Irish team,’ she added.
Daina has been boxing since she was 11 and after a somewhat slow start she soon fell in love with the sport and has never looked bac
‘I started when I was 11. My brother got me into it. Well, actually, my mother kind of got me up there. I wasn’t really interested in it to be honest. I just went up and tried it out. I didn’t think it all had to do with weigh ins and all this training. I thought you just boxed. I started, and I started to like it. I think the first thing I won was a Michael Andrews Leinster title. I bet a girl that had beaten me twice before,’ said Daina.
Dain’s mother is Melissa O’Brien and she says that Daina and Cole are benefiting immensely from the training of Enniskerry Boxing Club head coach Paul O’Toole.
‘I knew Michael (Moorehouse) was doing it and she was sitting around doing nothing and I just said to myself that Michael is disciplined so I just get her up to do it and see how she gets on. She was actually good at it seeing as she was so young. And Paul was great. He had her out training with Michael and she began to really enjoy it. She wasn’t winning an awful lot and then when she got that bit older, she started winning and then she started to really enjoy it. It couldn’t be done without him (Paul). He is brilliant. He pushes them to the limit. Herself and Cole train together morning and evening, swimming, sparring each other, jogging and running. He’d be with them. In the morning they do their own thing, but in the evening, he’d be with them and then they’d have Sundays off. He is totally dedicated because he works a full-time job as well. Tough going,’ she added.
So, what’s the dream for Daina Moorehouse. What’s the pathway she sees mapped out in front of her?
‘The goal is to win these Europeans, step one, become world champion, then go to the Olympics and. Depending how I do as an amateur, go pro at some stage years and years away. That’s what I want to do. I hope so,’ she said with a voice filled with ambition and belief.
‘I think she is going down the right road; after winning two European golds and now going for her third. And she participated in the World Championships last year in Budapest, but she bowed out in the quarter-finals against an opponent from Thailand,’ said Melissa.
With Cole Byrne in training camp, it fell to Melissa, who is secretary of Enniskerry Boxing club to describe his recent activities.
‘Cole won his third Irish title about a month ago (54kg), and that was the qualification to go to the European Schoolboy/Girl Championships in Georgia and he’s flying out next Friday (August 2). He’s in training camp in Dundalk at the moment and from there he’ll fly out to Georgia and hopefully he’ll bring back a medal and I think he’s more than capable.
‘He’s training so hard. Him and Daina training together are the best,’ she added
‘He boxes the head off me. I used to kill him,’ quipped Daina.
‘They’re great for each other, they push each other to the limit,’ said Melissa.
Cole’s journey to his third All-Ireland crown was a trickier one than Daina’s but in claiming the crown he secured his trip to Georgia.
‘He had two fights. In his first fight he boxed Bobby Flood who had beaten Cole before. Flood is from Cabra BC.
‘In the final he boxed another lad from Cabra, John McDonagh. The semi-final was probably the tough one because Bobby was favourite to win it.
‘Two tough fights but he came out on top and won his third Irish title and now off to the Europeans,’ said Melissa.
Daina Moorehouse, Paul O’Toole and Cole Byrne.