ClevelandPeople.Com
Johnny Kilbane Statue in Cleveland

Johnny Kilbane Statue Unveiling
Battery Park - Cleveland Ohio
September 28, 2014

John "Johnny" Patrick Kilbane (April 9, 1889 May 31, 1957) was a featherweight boxer who held the world featherweight title from 1912 to 1923, the longest period in the division's history. He was the second longest world title holder in boxing history, behind only Joe Louis.

Kilbane was born to John and Mary (Gallagher) Kilbane in Cleveland, Ohio on April 9th, 1889. His mother died when he was 3 years old and his father went blind when he was 6. He attended school until the sixth grade when he dropped out to help support his family.

A crowd of almost 100 family and friends gathered at Kilbane's former house at 7413 Herman on Cleveland's West Side for a special ceremony in 2012.

A crowd of more than double that size congregated at Battery Park in Cleveland for the unveiling of a statue of Johnny Kilbane by world-class sculptor Rowan Gillespie.

There was a large crowd of local Irish-Americans as well as visitors from other states, Canada and Ireland who were on hand for the 2014 World Convention of Mayo Societies which was held in Cleveland.

As people gathered at Battery Park, Gerry Quinn entertained with music and noteworthy guests on Gerry's radio show from 10-noon.

Gerry Quinn radio at Battery Park

Gerry Quinn

Tom Corrigan, President of the Irish American Archives Society, served as MC.

Tom Corrigan, President of the Irish American Archives Society

Tom Corrigan


Irish American Club East Side Pipe Major Bruce Grieg began the ceremony as he marched in playing A Nation Once Again, God Bless America and other songs on the bagpipes.

Irish American Club East Side Pipe Major Bruce Grieg

Bruce Grieg

Irish American Club East Side Pipe Major Bruce Grieg



Irish American Club East Side Pipe Major Bruce Grieg


James Kilbane from County Mayo in Ireland sang and played guitar for the Irish National Anthem and then the Star Spangled Banner.

James Kilbane singing anthems

James Kilbane



James Kilbane


Father Jim O'Donnell told of the life of boxing champion Johnny Kilbane and the lessons we can learn from it. Father Jim later blessed the statue.

Father Jim O'Donnell

Father Jim O'Donnell



Tom Corrigan, President of the Irish American Archives Society, told the story of the Johnny Kilbane statue that began when a great grandson who found some 1912 film footage of Johnny Kilbane in his grandmother's attic. He spoke of the pride of the Irish community and pointed out what can be accomplished if you have a fighting heart.

Tom Corrigan

Tom Corrigan

Tom Corrigan then recognized some of the major supporters of the statue of boxing champion Johnny Kilbane at Cleveland's Battery Park.

***

Stay informed about the local Irish community by signing up for the free Irish eNews mailings. You can select other groups as well. It's easy and free. Fill out the form for the free Irish eNews.


***

Next, Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone spoke and told of his own family's immigrant experience from Italy.

Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone

Matt Zone

Then Cleveland City Councilmen Matt Zone and Martin Sweeney and Council President Kevin Kelley presented a proclamation to Irish American Archives Society Executive Director Margaret Lynch for her work to get the statue of boxing champion Johnny Kilbane at Cleveland's Battery Park.

Matt Zone, Martin Sweeney, Margaret Lynch and Kevin Kelley

Matt Zone, Martin Sweeney,
Margaret Lynch and Kevin Kelley


Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley then presented a proclamation to Johnny Kilbane statue sculptor Rowan Gillespie and sculptor Rowan Gillespie gave a few remarks.

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie receiving proclamation

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie receiving proclamation



Sculptor Rowan Gillespie and City Council reps

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie and City Council members

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie

Then Irish American Archives Society Executive Director Margaret Lynch spoke and told the story of how the Johnny Kilbane statue came to fruition.

Irish American Archives Society Executive Director Margaret Lynch

Irish American Archives Society
Executive Director Margaret Lynch




***

If it's Irish in Cleveland it's on ClevelandPeople.Com.


***


Kevin O'Toole is the Great Grandson of Johnny Kilbane. He was the one who found some 1912 film footage of Johnny Kilbane in his grandmother's attic. His efforts to get the film restored led to the Johnny Kilbane project. He spoke and represented his family at the ceremony.

Kevin O'Toole

Kevin O'Toole

Kevin O'Toole, great grandson of Johnny Kilbane, and other members of the O'Toole family then unveiled the new statue and Father Jim O'Donnell then blessed it.

Members of the O'Toole family, descendants of boxer Johnny Kilbane, were the first to pose with the new statue of their ancestor that was unveiled in Cleveland's Battery Park.

Video and more photos of the unveiling of the Johnny Kilbane statue in Battery Park

Johnny Kilbane statue in Battery Park in Cleveland



Video and more photos of the unveiling of the Johnny Kilbane statue in Battery Park

Photos of the Johnny Kilbane Statue

Photos of the people at the event and posing with Johnny Kilbane




Back to Top

Back to Cleveland Irish

Please support the Irish pages
of ClevelandPeople.Com

For sponsorship opportunities,
please contact us.

Your message could be HERE!

***

Stay informed about the local Irish community by signing up for the free Irish eNews mailings. You can select other groups as well. It's easy and free. Fill out the form for the free Irish eNews.


***











If you want to reach the Irish community in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, please contact us.




Visit our on-line
Irish Store

Books, Music, DVDs, Clothes, Flags and More




Stay informed about the news and special events of the Cleveland Irish community and any other Group(s) you choose by signing up for the free ClevelandPeople.Com e-newsletter



Contact us for high-resolution photos from this or any other page

















































































For sponsorship opportunities, please contact us.
Your message could be HERE!





ShopIrish.com!

Get ready for St. Paddy's with Shopirish.com



Get ready for St. Paddy's with Shopirish.com



ShopIrish.com - One destination for Irish Gifts
 Copyright 2014
      Magnum Computers Inc.