Dick Hearns/Garda Memorial Tournament

Left to right: Supt. Joe Doherty, Ballina; Jamie Conroy, Ballina Boxing Club and 6-season champion boxer, Joe Lavelle, Treasurer/PRO Ballina Boxing Club; Johnny O'Malley, Mayor, Ballina Town Council; Darren Conlon, Garda Boxing Club, Templemore; Ciaran Sweeney club boxer; Brian O'Donnell, Ballina senior club coach and Sarah Walker, Ballina club coach

Ballina Boxing Club, operating in Dick Hearns Gym, Ballina, welcomed the Garda Boxing club to the town in November 2014 for a new event held in honour of Dick Hearns, a native of Ballina in County Mayo who was both a garda and a multi-talented and much-loved sportsman. This new collaboration between Garda Boxing Club, Templemore; and Ballina Boxing Club, will be hosted in alternate years in Ballina and Templemore. This annual event was presided over by tournament inspector, Tommy Byrne (Swinford Boxing Club) and his team of officials from the Mayo county board and had both male and female boxers taking part from all over Ireland. The Garda Boxing Club, winning more contests on the night,  was the winner of the Dick Hearns Shield which was presented to Darren Conlon by Joe Lavelle of Ballina Boxing Club and sponsor of the event.

Sergeant Richard (Dick) Hearns was a founding member of the Ballina Boxing Club in 1927. He was only 21 when recruited by the Gardaí, having already served in the Irish Army as a qualified physical training instructor. However it was his love of boxing that caught the eye of Garda Commissioner Eoin O’ Duffy. The Commissioner saw the potential in him and wanted to promote sports within the Gardaí. Dick went on to be a boxer in the Garda from 1928 until 1939 during which time he held successive Leinster and Irish light heavyweight champion titles and became British Open Amateur Champion and European Police Light Heavyweight Champion. Dick held the position of physical trainer at the Garda Training College, Phoenix Park, Dublin until retirement.


Brian Rocky O'Donnell, Joe Lavelle and Vince Hearns with the Dick Hearns Shield, won by Ballina Boxing Club on Sunday 26th February 2017.

  2017 Dick Hearns/Garda Memorial Tournament

A Ballina Boxing Club selection travelled to the Abbey Hotel, Donegal town on 26th February 2017 to compete against a Garda selection for the Dick Hearns Memorial Shield.

It was Ballina's better performance on the night which brought the shield back home once more.

The 2018 tournament will be held in Ballina.