New honour for Dan Donnelly

14 April 2011

Legendary Irish prizefighter Dan Donnelly (1788-1820) has been inducted into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame, based in Belfast, a town in Allegany County, New York.

The Dubliner is among three prominent pugilists joining the 2011 list, the others being Englishmen Jack Randall (1794-1828) and William Bendigo Thompson (1811-1880). The organisers are planning a weekend Irish Heritage Festival to coincide with the inductions ceremony on July 23. Further information can be obtained from

Three years ago Donnelly was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, based in Canastota, New York. Last year he was the subject of a TV documentary on TG4 by Andrew Gallimore for Fastnet Films.

Dans preserved right arm, cut off after by body-snatchers raided his grave in BullyAcre, Kilmainham, is among the items displayed in The Fighting Irishmen Exhibition which runs at the University of Limerick from April 4 to September 30. The exhibition, which drew large attendances to the GAA Museum at Croke Park last year after successful runs in New York, Boston and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Co Tyrone, contains an array of robes, gloves, punchbags, photos, prints, programmes and film footage of Celtic fighters from 1820 to the present day. It includes items from John L Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Barry McGuigan, Gerry Cooney, Billy Conn and John Duddy.

Patrick Mylers book, Dan Donnelly, Pugilist, Publican, Playboy is available from The Lilliput Press, Dublin. Email or phone (01) 6711647 for information.

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