“Watching two great fighters, evenly matched, is, for me, one of the great visual poems you will ever see.”
– Liam Neeson, Actor/Amateur Boxer

“Who was Dan Donnelly and why was he so important?  And more interesting still, why was his arm in Kilcullen?”
– James J. Houlihan, Curator of The Fighting Irishmen Exhibit

“Irish Arts Center is delighted to join with curator James J. Houlihan, honorary chairman Liam Neeson, and the GAA Museum in presenting this extraordinary exhibition at Croke Park.”
– Aidan Connolly, Executive Director, Irish Arts Center

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with the FIGHTING IRISHMEN curator James J. Houlihan in helping to bring these wonderful stories to life. I am grateful to our many friends who have lent their time and support especially our dear friends Liam Neeson, Barry McGuigan, John Duddy and all the institutions who have carried the torch further along the road and allowed us to share the inspirational stories behind the gloves with many more people, both in the U.S. and Ireland.”
 – Pauline Turley, Vice Chair, Irish Arts Center

“At Stillman’s there was a (perhaps) apocryphal story about the time that Lou Stillman, the owner, answered the wall phone.  ‘Kelly?’ he barked into the phone.  ‘You want the Jewish Kelly or the Italian Kelly?’ ”
– Pete Hamill, Author

“The Fighting Irishmen Exhibition is an idea of its time, and now with this website it can be expressed through a medium of its time and enjoyed by followers of the story of Irish boxing all around the world.  As Consul General of Ireland in New York from 2005-07, I learned at first hand the huge place of boxing in the story of Irish America, something frankly I had not been aware of before.  This exhibition brings all of that alive and in such a fascinating way.  A great job by Jim Houlihan and all involved in honouring the memory of such an amazing era.”
– Tim O’Connor, former Consul General of Ireland in New York and former Secretary General to the President of Ireland

“Boxing history would be much less colorful and interesting without the contribution of the thousands of Irish boxers who have graced the sport. ‘The Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of the Celtic Warrior’ is a magnificent multi-media exhibit that captures the romance, drama, excitement and pride of an era when the sons of Erin were kings of the ring.”
– Mike Silver, Author/Boxing Historian

“I feel like a part of me is gone.  As long as Gene was alive, I felt we shared a link with that wonderful period of the past.  Now I feel alone.”
– Jack Dempsey, on the death of his friend Gene Tunney

“Since most multi-page programs mention or highlight the promoter, you won’t see one for an illegal fight.”
– Don Scott, Editor and Publisher of Boxing Collectors’ News

“My father Gene Tunney said his ring career prepared him for life’s ups and downs. It was his will power that prepared him for his ring career; a will which overcame fear and obstacles and permitted his winning the world boxing crown. It was the underlying constant for his success in other endeavors–in reading, business, and the art of living on his own terms.”
– Jay R. Tunney, Author and son of Gene Tunney

In 1928, as the undefeated world heavyweight champion,  Gene announced his retirement in a speech in which he said: “There is no finer physical exercise or more engrossing science. There is something in it that appeals to all…The truck man sees the ‘sock’ on the jaw, the intellectual enjoys the duel of fighting brains, and the aesthetic appreciates the rhythm of the action.”
– Gene Tunney, Boxing Champion

“Having attended the first exhibition in New York at the Irish Arts Center in 2006, then again in County Tyrone, Ireland in 2009.  The exhibition continues to grow from strength to strength, with the addition of more memorabilia and artifacts with each exhibition.  If you are a fan of boxing then this is an exhibition not to be missed.”
– Patrick J. Killian, Sport & Celebrity Artist

“The exhibit expresses the true value of the Irish.  Surrounding you with their spectacular rise to extreme achievements, both past and present.  My applause to James Houlihan, for exhibiting such history of the Irish.”
 – Gabe Perillo Jr./NYC Golden Glove Champ/Son of the Artist Gabe Perillo Sr.

“The rich history of the Celtic warrior truly comes to life in the Fighting Irishmen exhibit.  It is a must see for all boxing fans and lovers of Irish history.  The display of photos, memorabilia, and artifacts are fantastic and will be long remembered by anyone who is fortunate enough to view them.”
– Tim Conn, Son of Former Light Heavyweight Champion, Billy Conn

“Boxing was my crazy way to keep sane.” (From Confessions of a Fighter)
“Every successful fighter needs courage within his courage and faith within his faith.”
“When you fight a guy in the ring your souls kind of touch.” (From A Clenched Fist)
“Dreaming and boxing are the only places where you can go insane and get away with it.”
“If you can’t fight, don’t growl.”
 – “Irish” Pete Wood, Author/Boxer

“Visitors to Croke Park this summer are in for a real treat with the Fighting Irishmenexhibit. I am delighted to have been involved since the beginning and wish Jim Houlihan and everyone else involved a huge success. Never before has such a wonderful collection of Irish boxing memorabilia gone on display in one place. Callers will get a unique chance to accompany many of the great names in a virtual stroll through Irish boxing history via their personal mementos, as well as enjoying the success stories of the sons of Irish emigrants to the United States. They might even get a chance to shake the 190-year-old hand of Dan Donnelly, the legendary Irish bare-knuckle champion, whose mummified right arm is one of the fascinating items on show.”
– Patrick Myler, Author & Boxing Historian

“When the bell rang for round one in my title fight with Evander Holyfield, a lifetime of nerves hit me and I felt paralyzed.  So I did what any hot blooded Irishman would do, I raced across the ring and tried to knock-out one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time, and I don’t regret one moment of it.  I hurt him a few times and have one of the greatest boxing pictures of all time and I’m honored that Jim Houlihan, Kim McGoorty and Turlough McConnell have included it in this exhibit which has blessed my life and changed it for the better.  My father, Jim McDonagh was my first and best trainer and started Enfield Boxing Club along with Josie Davy, Ned Gillespie and a few others so my brother John, who was the Chicago Golden Gloves Champion, and I could learn the noble art.  Thanks also to my mother Rosaleen, Pauline Turley, and everyone at the New York Irish Arts Center, which will always be a special place to me.  So to end this quote I must mimic the great Billy Conn who I met in Chicago, after he saw me win a fight and apply the same playful remorse and say, “If I didn’t try to knock him out, I would have won easily.”
 – Seamus McDonagh B.S., Boxer/Trainer, Actor, Writer
http://www.theshoeshine.com/

“The Fighting Irishmen exhibit was one of the most popular exhibits ever hosted by the Burns Library at Boston College. What made it especially gratifying to me was to see so many people visit Burns who might never have associated a rare books and special collections library with a sports theme. We added a New England touch to the exhibit, and this made it even more popular with visitors. The exhibit offered something for everyone, and visitors were effusive in their praise. I cannot thank enough Turlough McConnell of “Irish America Magazine,” who brought this exhibit to my attention, and exhibit creator and curator Jim Houlihan, who made it all possible and who has worked tirelessly and unselfishly to keep the exhibit alive. I wish to thank also the good people at the New York Irish Arts Center for their splendid cooperation and support.”
 – Dr. Robert O’Neill, Burns Librarian, Boston College

“The history of prizefighting in America begins with the history of Irish immigration and in the days when ‘No Irish Need Apply’ notices were pasted on shop windows, factory gates and workshop doors, boxing was one way to a better life for men who were handy with their fists. Up to the early decades of the twentieth century the majority of those who participated in and attended prizefights were Irish.  Europe’s poorest, the Famine-era Irish had inundated America’s cities and they spent a long time climbing out of what William H. Williams described as “the worst slums in American history”. They were despised for their religion and pinned down with poverty and social dislocation. But climb out they did and the Fighting Irishmen exhibition is a more than worthy tribute to this extraordinary story.”
– Andrew Gallimore, D4 Films