When Ali Came to Ireland
|When Ali Came to Ireland|
|Directed by||Ross Whitaker|
|Produced by||Aideen O'Sullivan|
When Ali Came to Ireland is a 2012 Irish documentary film directed by Ross Whitaker. It tells the story of how Killorglin-born circus strongman and publican, Michael "Butty" Sugrue, put up £300,000 and persuaded the renowned American boxing champion Muhammad Ali to make his first visit to Ireland to fight against Alvin Lewis in Croke Park on 19 July 1972.
Ali went to Ireland with an entourage on 11 July 1972 to spend time training for the fight. While there, he was interviewed for RTÉ Television by Cathal O'Shannon and was taught the rudiments of hurling by Eddie Keher.
Ali returned to Ireland twice in later years. He took part in the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Dublin in 2003, 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.
- Muhammad Ali
- Butty Sugrue
- Alvin Lewis
- Cathal O'Shannon
- Jimmy Magee
- Rock Brynner
- Eddie Keher
- Dave Hannigan
- George Kimball
When Ali Came to Ireland won the Best Sports Programme award at the 10th Irish Film & Television Awards.
- New year's treat as Ali's Dublin date relived on the box Irish Examiner, 2012-12-17.
- "The Big Fight: Muhammad Ali v Al 'Blue' Lewis", Dave Hannigan (2002). ISBN 978-0-224-06306-7.
- How a circus strongman lured the ringmaster Muhammad Ali to Dublin Irish Independent, 2012-12-22.
- End of the long road to get Ali's visit on film Irish Times, 2012-12-31.
- New documentary focuses on "When Ali Came to Ireland" - VIDEO Irish Central, 2012-12-18.
- When Ali Came to Ireland RTÉ Press Centre, 2012-12-20.
- Glove story: the day the lord of the ring bewitched Ireland Irish Independent, 2013-01-05.
- Legend of Ali-Lewis fight in Dublin grows with each year ESPN, 2008-07-18.
- "Muhammad Ali to attend Olympics", Sunday Mirror, 2003-06-15.
- Ennis honours Muhammad Ali RTÉ News, 2009-09-02.