Irish boxer Deirdre Gogarty to be honoured with a statue in her hometown of Drogheda
Gogarty will be honoured in her hometown.
Ireland's first female professional boxer, Deirdre Gogarty, is set to be honoured by her hometown of Drogheda with a statue recognising her trailblazing legacy in the sport.
The campaign to erect the statue, which will seek to immortalise Drogheda's only boxing world champion, was first brought about by those behind the Deirdre Gogarty Legacy Committee. The committee have to date raised in excess of €16,000, with a GoFundMe set up for those wishing to aid in the commemoration of Gogarty.
Whilst the Louth boxer may not be a household name akin to her modern-day compatriots such as Katie Taylor and Kelly Harrington, Gogarty has perhaps had an even greater impact on not just boxing, but female sport in general within Ireland.
Making her debut in June 1991, Gogarty made history by taking part in and emerging victorious in the first boxing bout between two women in Ireland. Although the fight itself was unsanctioned at the time, it has become an iconic moment in Irish female boxing.
With a career which spanned almost a decade, the Drogheda boxer went on to fight a further 22 times, but never again in her homeland - owing to being unable to obtain a professional boxing license in Ireland. Moving to the United States in the hopes of fulfilling her professional boxing ambitions, Gogarty built up a formidable record and even managed to fight at one of the sport's most iconic venues, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
This sacrifice and dedication to her craft ultimately culminated in Gogarty becoming the female World Featherweight Boxing Champion. In defeating Bonnie Canino that night in 1997, Ireland's first female professional boxer cemented her place in the pantheon of not only Irish boxing, but Irish sport too.
Gogarty's legacy in women's boxing can still be seen to this day, with former Olympic Champion Katie Taylor just last year describing the Louth native as a "true pioneer" within the sport, as she pledged her support to the campaign to have the statue built in Gogarty's honour.
Since her retirement from professional boxing in 1998, Gogarty has not just been recognised by her local community in Drogheda, but on the global stage too, as she was inducted into the International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
The definition of a trailblazer, the erection of Gogarty's statue in her hometown of Drogheda will be just rewards for one of Irish sport's most iconic figures.
Feature image via Her Sport.