29/05/2009

Knock-Out Exhibition Opens In Omagh

The Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh is hosting a new exhibition telling the story of Celtic prizefighters, from 1820 to the present.

It is the first time that the dispaly, Fighting Irishmen, has left the American continent, where it was originally developed and shown at the Irish Arts Centre in New York by James Houlihan.

Mr Houlihan said they had tried to design the exhibition "along the lines of Irish storytelling and make it interesting to everyone, not just people who are Irish or who are interested in sport."
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Barry McGuigan, former world featherweight champion, said yesterday at the launch of the exhibition: "The Irish emigrated to America and boxing was very basic way of generating respect and pride.

"And of course in terms of the Olympics, the greatest success Ireland has had is in boxing," he added.

Pat O'Donnell, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Ulster-American Folk Park said that it "fits in with the whole story of the Folk Park by telling the story of emigration, but looking at in a different way."

Fighting Irishmen also pays tribute to boxing legends such as Liam Neeson and Jack L Sullivan.

It also examines the most recent boxing export, Derry fighter John Duddy,on the local youth boxing club, Omagh Boys and Girls.

The exhibition will be displayed at the Ulster-American Folk Park until the 29th November.

(AC/BMcC)

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