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21 May 2022

Petition launched to update engraving on famous Kildare monument

Petition launched to update engraving on famous Kildare monument

File Pic: Donnelly's Hollow

A petition has been launched to update the engraving on a famous monument located in The Curragh, County Kildare.

It is titled: "Correct the date on the Dan Donnelly Monument, Donnelly's Hollow, the Curragh, Co. Kildare."

The monument details a famous 1815 fight between Irish boxer Dan Donnelly and English boxer George Cooper.

The petition was started by local historian and Senior Executive Librarian at Kildare County Council, Mario Corrigan.

Mr Corrigan explained: "The date recorded for the fight on the Dan Donnelly Monument is 13 December 1815 - the fight took place on 13 November 1815."

"Donnelly's Hollow is a landmark spot on the Curragh Plains and arguably Dan Donnelly was Ireland's First True Sporting Hero - let us honour him and that amazing victory by correcting a wrong."

"The date of the fight continues to be miscommunicated.. it needs to be resolved," he added.

Mr Corrigan also included two links pointing out the real date that the fight took place.

Both links show detail a copy of The Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, dated November 13 1815.

The entry reads as follows: "The battle between Donnelly and Cooper, which has, for such a length of time, excited so much interest in the pugilistic world, was to have taken place on the Curragh last Wednesday."

"The Magistrates, however, interfered as well as the Turf Club, and would not allow it to proceed ― to the no small disappointment of many thousands of spectators, who had collected from this city and the adjacent counties; and who could not be persuaded, until a late hour in the day, that the conflict would not take place."

"The battle, however, was fought this morning at eight o’clock, at the Curragh."

A follow-up article later said that the fight actually ended up taking place sometime shortly after 10:15am.

Donnelly notably ended up winning the famous fight.

A Brief History:

Dan Donnelly was born in March 1788 in Dublin.

In addition to being a boxer, he also became well-known as a publican.

According to author Patrick Myler in his 1976 book "Regency Rogue: Dan Donnelly, his life and legends," Donnelly was described as being something akin to a vigilante, and he apparently gained a reputation for keeping local criminals in check.

He was also more negatively alleged by others to have been a gambler, a womanizer and a drunkard.

Donnelly later died at the age of 31 on 18 February 1820, and has since become an urban hero, particularly among the people of Kildare.

His dominant arm was notably later stolen and eventually retrieved by his fans from a surgeon, who asked them to keep the arm and encase it in red lead paint.

They agreed, and it later ended up residing at The Hideout pub in Kilcullen for around 43 years until 1997.

Although it was briefly displaced for some years, it was rediscovered in 2005 and has featured at a number of museums.

The petition can be viewed here.

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