Sunday, May 28, 2023  |



How we’re coping: Irish cop/boxer Niall Kennedy checks in with RING

The coronavirus scare hasn't been easy, Kennedy is a cop working 12 hour shifts, but he's seen the upside. Niall has come to appreciate more so what he has.
Fighters Network

The coronavirus outbreak has made it a bit more clear, for many, that we are more connected these days than ever before. Physically with ease of travel, and virtually, with social media apps, we now know that people on the other side of the world maybe have more in common with us than we’d previously thought, perhaps.

Communication in a time such as this is vital, because we can touch base with people in China, in Italy, and better understand what they are going through, and also how we can better respond, by using methods that have worked well for them.

In that spirit, I checked in with a friend in Ireland, boxer Niall Kennedy (age 35; 13-1-1), a heavyweight who fights for Murphys Boxing. I wanted to know how he and his family, and his region and nation are holding up during a trying time.

“Thankfully as I reply to you my wife, son and myself are all safe and well,” Kennedy told me. “It’s a scary time for everybody and thankfully our government has acted reasonably quickly in relation to shutting schools and trying to contain the pandemic. Public perception unfortunately is one of fear especially amongst the vulnerable groups, whether age or health, been the issue.”

So, where exactly does Kennedy live?

“I live in Gorey County, Wexford, the greatest town in Ireland and I live with my wife Niamh and my baby boy MJ,” he shared. “My parents are only a stone throw away from me and both my sister and brothers’ families are all within a mile so it’s good, we are all well, thank god, but we are not able to visit and have all maintained social distancing from all people. The region is embracing the advice given on the most part and as hard as it is everyone seems to be on the one page in relation to trying to curtail this pandemic and hopefully saving lives which unfortunately will be lost.”

So, the national leadership has been solid?

“I believe national leadership has been strong and only time will tell if it was timely enough but as a country we need to row in behind our health service and try and protect our country and our vulnerable communities. We need to adhere to the advice given and follow protocols from the powers that be together, and please God it will limit the devastation.”

Kennedy was originally slated to appear on this March 4 show in Boston. Fighters the world over are now adapting to this period of uncertainty.

Kennedy is a cop, so I wondered, is he still out an about, working?

“Yes, unfortunately I am in work and we as a police force in An Garda Siochana are still tasked with our role as front line responders. It’s scary, I won’t lie to you, we are worried for our families in the fear that we could pass on the infection without realising it but our bosses are trying to use best safety policies possible.”

As I’d have suspected, Kennedy seems to be proving to be a bright light, and is proving to be a solid leader to follow during this difficult period. “I’m very proud of the way the irish people have faced this scary pandemic and as scary as it is, it may have thought us the importance of kindness and make us enjoy our families and friends more when we are in a position to safely interact with them again. It’s also great to see people out running and walking and this virus may have thought us how to simplify life and enjoy the important things.”

But of course, he is a born fighter…and so he’s feeling emotions aalong the same lines as most all the other battlers we cover.

“As a fighter it’s a bleak period I’m looking at the uncertainty around fight dates, it’s scary. But life is more important than boxing and I’ll maintain my fitness and be ready to go as soon as it is safe. My priority in life is my little family, Niamh and my champion MJ are happy and healthy so I am blessed in life. I box to make our lives easier and because I love it but this virus is making me value what I have. Ì can’t wait to fight again but I’m working a 12 hour shift now and my priority is to get home to MJ! I will hope to be in the ring as soon as it’s safe to though. I hope you and your family are safe Michael!”