Knuckle (film)

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Directed by Ian Palmer
Running time
96 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English

Knuckle is a 2011 film about the secretive world of Irish Traveller bare-knuckle boxing. The film was made in stages over 12 years.[1]


This film follows 12 years in the lives of three Irish Traveller families (Joyces, Nevins, and Quinn-McDonaghs) and their bitter feuds and fights. The film explores the reasons why they hold these fights and explores in-depth these families' secret life, which is barely known to outsiders of the Traveller community. The real reason for the feud among the families is never revealed, as they will not talk about it to outsiders. The film shows the savagery, lack of education and respect for the rule of law that is endemic in the travelling community.


  • James Quinn
  • Michael Quinn McDonagh (later sentenced to life imprisonment for beating his wife to death)
  • Paddy Quinn McDonagh
  • Christy (Ditsy) Walford
  • Thomas (Spike) Nevin
  • Ian Palmer
  • Davey Nevin
  • Joe (Wee Joe) Joyce


The movie received a mostly positive response from critics.[2][3][4][5] It has a 95 percent ranking on Rotten Tomatoes.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Corrigan, Joanna (2011-08-25). "The real-life Snatch: Gypsy bare-knuckle boxers go toe to toe in battle for family pride". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  2. ^ Dargis, Manohla (2011-12-08). "Brawling for Money, Clan and Just Because". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  3. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (2011-08-04). "Knuckle". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  4. ^ Sharkey, Betsy (2011-12-09). "Movie review: 'Knuckle'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  5. ^ "Review: Understated & Powerful Documentary 'Knuckle' Is A Knockout". Indie Wire. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  6. ^ "Knuckle (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. 

External links[edit]