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World boxing champion the star of Geesala Festival
The highlight of the 2011 Geesala Festival, which was part-sponsored by Shell, was undoubtedly the victory of well-known local boxer Henry Coyle in the IBF light-middle weight world championship contest. The fight for the vacant title against Italian Elio Catena, which took place before a packed house at the TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar, provided a clear-cut victory for Coyle and sparked off scenes of great jubilation throughout Erris and Mayo.
His homecoming to Geesala with the coveted belt turned out to be the centrepiece of the festival, which also included the by-now traditional horse racing and greyhound racing on Doolough beach which provides one of the most spectacular backdrops to any racing meeting in the country.
Other events included deep sea angling, clay pigeon shooting, sponsored walks, show-jumping, dog, sheep and horse and pony shows, karting, cycling, vintage car and tractor displays, a heritage and sports day, a 10k road race, children’s entertainment and music, song and dance.
Committee member John Munnelly said the organisers were extremely satisfied with the way the festival went. “Henry Coyle’s great win in his world title fight set the mood for the crowd. Also, we were blessed with good weather which is vital for the enjoyment of the greyhound and horse racing events,” said John.