Dan Donnelly Arm Arrives In NYC

New York, July 6— Jim Houlihan, curator of the Irish Arts Center holding the mummified arm of 19th century bare knuckle champion Dan Donnelly at Gallagher's Steakhouse in Midtown. The arm is part of the Irish Arts Center's "Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of the Celtic Warrior," exhibit opening in Manhattan next month.

Jim Houlihan, curator of “Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of the Celtic Warrior” set for the Irish Arts Center beginning on August 28, has collected many interesting artifacts for the exhibition from John L. Sullivan’s fur coat to Jack Demsey's blazer to Gerry Cooney’s robe to John Duddy’s trunks to the punching bag from Sullivan's final bare knuckle training camp.

But none more unique that the late, great Irish fighter Dan Donnelly’s mummified right arm, yes, that’s correct, arm, which has been flown in from Ireland today. Josephine Byrne, former owner of the Hideout Pub in Kilcullen, Ireland, and rightful owner of the arm, will accompany it to America..

“Dan Donnelly is a legend in Ireland – not only for his bare-knuckled boxing prowess, but for the macabre journey of his mummified right arm. Why anyone would want a grisly souvenir of Ireland’s first bare knuckle champion is a mystery, but the very fact remains the powerful arm that once felled great pugilists, would become a part of a traveling freak show.” – BCN, April 2006.

"Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of Celtic Warriors" is an eclectic collection of boxing photography and artifacts exhibit, and will be launched in mid-August at the Irish Arts Center, located at 553 West 51st Street. The Irish Arts Center has promoted Irish culture since its inception in 1972.

The exhibit, which will be open to the public, is a stroll down memory lane for fight fans and historians alike. Among the artifacts and pictures on display will be the legendary John L. Sullivan's fur coat; a blazer specially made for Jack Demsey; photographs from the archives of Sports Illustrated; Charlie Nash's Olympic Jersey when he was fighting for Ireland; photographs of the classic Micky Ward vs. Arturo Gatti trilogy; and historic photos of such memorable Irish fighters as John L. Sullivan, Jerry Quarry, Gerry Cooney, Barry McGuigan and Bobby Cassidy, just to name a few.

“Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of Celtic Warriors” will be launched prior to Labor Day, and will be on exhibit through November 30. Suggested contribution at the door is $10 per person, and all proceed will go to the Irish Arts Center. For more information call the Arts Center at 212-757-3318, ext. 203.

In addition, there will be a series of special events commemorating the Celtic warrior. The four nights scheduled are as follows: October 19 at the Arts Center, Writers and Fighters panel discussion; October 26 at Fordham University Lincoln Center, An Evening with Barry McGuigan and Friends; November 7 at the Arts Center, Irish Kings of the Ring on Film; and November 15 at Fordham Lincoln Center, Irish Champs and Contenders.

“Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of the Celtic Warrior”

Aug. 28th – Nov. 30th, 2006; Mon- Fri 10am-4pm at the Irish Arts

Center – 553 West 51st. NY. NY 10019; 212-757-3318

Round 1: October 19th at Irish Arts Center:

Tickets are $35 per person

An Examination of the role of Irish fighters and themes in print media, theatre and film. This lively discussion will feature New York Daily News’ noted sports writer and cartoonist Bill Gallo, and author Jay Tunney (son of Gene Tunney) whose biography of his father will be published in 2007, and Frank Deford, renowned journalist and author of “The Boxer and The Blade”, and Jeremy Schaap author of “Cinderella Man”, among others, in the discussion. Others to be added.

Round 2: October 26th at Pope Auditorium- Fordham Lincoln Center

Tickets are $50 for general admission per person and Premium tickets are a$150 per person

“An Evening with Barry McGuigan and Friends” – A spectacular evening with Ireland’s most popular champion, Barry McGuigan, and newest sensation, John Duddy. They will share the bill with others fighters and celebrities. The $150 ticket includes the Pope Auditorium event and a private reception/cocktail party after the even with Barry McGuigan.

Round 3: November 7th at the Irish Arts Center

Tickets are $35 per person

“Irish Kings of the Ring on Film” Steve Lott of Boxing Hall of Champions, Inc. takes us on a magical trip through the glorious history of the Irish in the fight game. Historian Mike Silver will assist. Come see old newsreels and clips from famous fights featuring James J. Corbett, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Jimmy McLarnin, James J. Braddock, Billy Conn, Micky Walker, John L. Sullivan, Barry McGuigan, Gerry Cooney, Jerry Quarry and the rest.

Round 4: November 15th at James B.M. McNally Amphitheater – Fordham Lincoln Center

Tickets are $50 per person

“Irish Champs, Contenders and Pretenders” – A nostalgic look at a number of great and not-so-greats. The evening will feature film, commentary and humorous anecdotes related to Irish fighters hosted by curator, James H. Houlihan. Gerry Cooney will be on hand together with Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. A panel of additional fighters, historians, and celebrities is currently being assembled

For more information, contact:

Bridin Murphy-Mitchell,Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019


Smarttix, 212-868-4444 – Reference “Fighting Irishmen,” – Type in search bar “Fighting Irishmen”

Article posted on 06.07.2006

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