When Ali Came to Ireland

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When Ali Came to Ireland
When Ali Came to Ireland (screenshot).jpg
Muhammad Ali during a 1972 interview in Ireland
Directed by Ross Whitaker
Produced by Aideen O'Sullivan
Starring
Production
company
True Films
Release dates
  • 2012 (2012)
Running time 50 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English

When Ali Came to Ireland is a 2012 Irish documentary film directed by Ross Whitaker.[1] It tells the story of how Killorglin-born circus strongman and publican, Michael "Butty" Sugrue, put up £300,000 and persuaded Muhammad Ali to make his first visit to Ireland to fight against Alvin Lewis in Croke Park on 19 July 1972.[2]

Ali went to Ireland with an entourage on 11 July 1972 to spend time training for the fight.[3] While there, he was interviewed for RTÉ Television by Cathal O'Shannon and was taught the rudiments of hurling by Eddie Keher.[4][5]

Ali won the Lewis fight with a technical knockout in the 11th round, and Sugrue lost a lot of money bankrolling it. The documentary was first broadcast on RTÉ One on 1 January 2013.[6][7][8]

Ali returned to Ireland twice in later years. He took part in the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Dublin in 2003,[9][10][11] and he visited the birthplace of his great grandfather, Abe Grady, in Ennis in 2009, where he was made an Honorary Freeman of the town.[12]

Cast[edit]

Awards[edit]

When Ali Came to Ireland won the Best Sports Programme award at the 10th Irish Film & Television Awards.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "When Ali Came to Ireland" Internet Movie Database. Retrieved: 2013-05-07.
  2. ^ New year’s treat as Ali’s Dublin date relived on the box Irish Examiner, 2012-12-17.
  3. ^ "The Big Fight: Muhammad Ali v Al 'Blue' Lewis", Dave Hannigan (2002). ISBN 978-0-224-06306-7.
  4. ^ How a circus strongman lured the ringmaster Muhammad Ali to Dublin Irish Independent, 2012-12-22.
  5. ^ End of the long road to get Ali's visit on film Irish Times, 2012-12-31.
  6. ^ New documentary focuses on "When Ali Came to Ireland" - VIDEO Irish Central, 2012-12-18.
  7. ^ When Ali Came to Ireland RTÉ Press Centre, 2012-12-20.
  8. ^ Glove story: the day the lord of the ring bewitched Ireland Irish Independent, 2013-01-05.
  9. ^ Legend of Ali-Lewis fight in Dublin grows with each year ESPN, 2008-07-18.
  10. ^ Special Olympics open in Dublin Daily Mail. Retrieved: 2013-05-08.
  11. ^ "Muhammad Ali to attend Olympics", Sunday Mirror, 2003-06-15.
  12. ^ Ennis honours Muhammad Ali RTÉ News, 2009-09-02.

External links[edit]