Exibition move to Limerick

25 February 2011

James J. Houlihan, curator of the Fighting Irishmen, an exhibition developed and premiered at Irish Arts Center in New York City in 2006, is pleased to announce that the exhibition will continue its international tour, next appearing at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland in 2011.

The exhibit will open on April 11, and run through September 30, and will be one of the highlights of Limerick European City of Sport celebrations in 2011. The University of Limerick will host the Fighting Irishmen exhibit at the University Arena. The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9am-9pm and on Sunday from 11am-6pm. For visiting information please call the reception at the University Arena at (011) 353 61-213555.

The exhibition features as its central piece, the late, great Irish fighter Dan Donnellys mummified right arm and an array of robes, gloves, boxing bags, prints, photographs, paintings, and film footage of Celtic prize-fighters from 1820 to the present day. Intriguing objects on display will include pieces from sporting greats such as John L. Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Barry McGuigan, Freddie Gilroy, Bobby Cassidy, Gerry Cooney, Billy Graham, Billy Conn, John Duddy, Maureen Shea and many more. Ballymena-born actor Liam Neeson, Honorary Chair and long-time supporter of the Irish Arts Center, has also loaned personal items from his amateur boxing career to the exhibit including the gloves given to him by Olympic boxer Freddie Gilroy.

David Mahedy, Director of Sport at the University of Limerick, is delighted to host this exhibition at the University during the citys tenure as 2011 European City of Sport, helping to raise Limericks profile as a sporting city and a venue for major international events and exhibitions.

Kevin OConnor of Shannon Development, who helped secure this exhibition for Limerick and is one of the main drivers behind the Limerick City of Sport event, feels this event will be a major boost to business and tourism in Limerick this year. It will highlight the sporting links between Limerick, Ireland and the United States over many decades with an eye to developing further opportunities with the Irish Arts Center in future.

The exhibit first opened in 2006 at the Irish Arts Center in New York to great acclaim. Thereafter it was the feature exhibit at the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan (2007), the Burns Library at Boston College (2008), the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Ireland (2009) and at Croke Park at the GAA Museum in Dublin, Ireland (2010). Following its exhibition in Limerick, the Fighting Irishmen plans to continue its tour in Europe, and the United States.

Since it was first opened in 1972 the University of Limerick has hosted many important sports events and in 2010 was the main venue for the Special Olympic Ireland Games which attracted over 3,000 athletes from all parts of Ireland. More recently, the Arena in the University has hosted a number of important professional boxing fight nights, firstly with Andy Lee also where Willie Big Bang Casey secured the European title.

To view articles, press coverage, and pictures regarding the exhibition, visit www.fightingirishmen.com.

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