Limerick councillor Tom’s school of hard knocks


by Alan Jacques

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Cllr Tom Neville (left) with his fight night opponent Jimmy Dillane
Cllr Tom Neville (left) with his fight night opponent Jimmy Dillane

FINE Gael are taking a right pummelling in the polls at the minute, but no, that’s not why Adare-Rathkeale councillor Tom Neville is currently bobbing and weaving like a prizefighter.

Like the good sport he is, the 39-year-old public representative will be putting up his dukes in the Rathkeale House Hotel on December 27 to help raise much-needed funds for Kilfinny School Childcare.

And while Fine Gael might appear down for the count, Tom will be no easy knockout at the upcoming White Collar Boxing charity event in County Limerick this Christmas.

Kilfinny School Childcare community project opened its doors in August this year on the grounds of Kilfinny National School. Cllr Neville believes it serves an important childcare need in the local community and beyond.

“I was a pupil in Kilfinny National School and this event is all about recognising the vibrant work the local pre-school does in the community and about keeping that spirit alive. It is up to us to keep our community going and that’s what this event is about. It will be a bit of craic too,” Cllr Neville explained.

Politics is an ugly sport, where punches are seldom pulled, but the intensive training Cllr Neville has been undergoing for the past six weeks at Rathkeale Boxing Club, will see him ready for a clean fight when he steps into the ring next week.

“I would be fairly healthy. I believe in eating well and having a healthy body and mind. I’ve always been into sports and played a bit of soccer, but boxing is intense. The experience so far has been very rewarding and Rathkeale Boxing Club have been very good to us,” said Tom.

There’s no doubting the local politician was in fighting form when the Limerick Post sparred with him ahead of his charity bout. He even took our remarks about Fine Gael looking like being on the ropes, square on the chin.

So, Andy Lee be warned, the man they are calling Tom ‘Sonny’ Neville, is looking like a real contender, and could go the distance.

“I will be well padded in the ring and at the end of the day it’s a charity event for a very good cause. I always do my best to represent people in my area and if someone calls me with a problem I will always get back to them and do my very best for them,” he told the Limerick Post.

For more information on the White Collar Boxing event at the Rathkeale House Hotel on Saturday December 27 check out Kilfinny School Childcare’s facebook page.