Tommie Hearns

Old newspaper clipping, author and
publication date  unknown.
Thomas Vincent Hearns was born in May 1912.
[A Ballina man who holds a record for the fastest knock-out (13 seconds including the count) in an open boxing competition is at present on holidays in the district (writes "Sideline") He is 57 years old Tommie Hearns, formerly of Barrett St. and now residing in Swarcliffe Estate, Leeds.
He set up the knock-out record when boxing J. King from Carlow for a cruiser-weight title in Cork City in 1932.
Tommie, an Irish Army Cruiser champion, fought the renowned and fearless An Fear Mór for the Heavyweight title in 1932 in Portobello Barracks, Dublin but was beaten in a great contest.
Tommie later boxed as a professional in England and was sparring partner to such noted pugilists as Freddie Mills, Joey Maxim and Randolph Turpin.
Now a foreman builder in Leeds, he still maintains an interest in the ring. He trains youths at the Swarcliffe Social Catholic Club. "I just cannot keep away from the sport I love, " he told me.
His brother Dick, the former Garda boxing trainer, also distinguished himself at the sport. Dick boxed in the Golden Gloves and won numerous titles during his career. He is a prominent soccer trainer in Dublin.
Tommie, who has been away from his native Ballina for almost 40 years, sees major changes in the town. But he is disappointed with the transformation of the drained River Moy on which his father, the late Jim Hearns and the other members of the family, fished extensibly.
"The old river is the biggest change I see. I used to swim and fish at the Canal but it's all destroyed now," he said.
He is married to the former Colleen Ferguson of Ballina, who won a beauty title in Blackpool in 1925