Fighting Irishmen Exhibition
Celebrating Celtic Prizefighters 1820-Present
Curated by Jim Houlihan, the exhibition will be on display in Croke Park from Tuesday 18 May through Sunday 29 August, in association with the Irish Arts Center in New York.
The exhibition offers all visitors, and boxing enthusiasts alike, a unique glimpse at the role that prize-fighting played in the history of Irish America and Ireland; it features an array of robes, gloves, boxing bags, prints, photographs, paintings and film footage of Celtic prizefighters from 1820 to the present day.
Intriguing objects on display include pieces from sporting greats such as John L. Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Barry McGuigan, Freddie Gilroy, Bobby Cassidy, Gerry Cooney, Wayne McCullough, Billy Conn, John Duddy, Bernard Dunne and many more.
The exhibition includes the Olympic medals won by Michael Carruth, Kenny Egan and Wayne McCullough as well as the European and World Medals won by Katie Taylor.
Perhaps the most unique item in the exhibition is the late, great Irish fighter Dan Donnelly’s mummified right arm. Actor Liam Neeson, Honorary Chair and long-time supporter of the Irish Arts Center, has also loaned personal items from his amateur boxing career to the exhibit, including the gloves given to him by Olympic boxer Freddie Gilroy.
Given the connection between Croke Park and Muhammad Ali, who famously fought Al Blue Lewis at the venue in 1972, it is fitting that the exhibition includes a signed glove and shorts worn by Ali that night.
The exhibition, which is hosted by the GAA Museum in Croke Park, was officially opened on Tuesday 18th May by the US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney. The event was also attend by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Martin, legendary boxing commentator Jimmy Magee and Irish boxing luminaries such as Barry McGuigan and Michael Carruth.