Myler tells Donnelly’s tale

20 May 2010 – Press Release

Patrick Mylers take on the story of Dan Donnelly tells the remarkable story of an Irishman whose exploits in the bare-knuckle ring made him into an early 19th century folk hero.

His victories over highly regarded English opponents came in the wake of several armed rebellions and were seen as symbolizing his countrys fight for freedom from Westminster rule. One of the many legends about Donnelly claimed that he so impressed the Prince Regent (later King George the Fourth) that he was granted a knighthood. On being greeted by the Regent as the best fighting man in Ireland, Donnelly is said to have replied, I am not that, your royal highness, but I am the best in England.

Donnellys life was less than exemplary outside the ring: a heavy drinker, he never made any profit from his four Dublin pubs and his sexual adventures led to him paying the price for chasing petticoats while supposedly training for a fight in England.

Author Myler is a boxing writer and Dublin historian, author of The Fighting Irish: Irelands Role in World Boxing History and A Century of Boxing Greats. He worked as a journalist in England before taking the post of chief sub-editor of the Sunday News in Belfast. On returning to his native Dublin, he served as chief sub-editor and then as an assistant editor of the Evening Herald for 30 years. He now writes a weekly boxing column for that paper.

Dan Donnelly 1788-1820, Pugilist, Publican, Playboy will be released in June 2010.

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