Barry McGuigan, Keith Wood, Minister Jan O Sullivan TD and John King - Shannon Development , pictured looking at the Barry McGuigan boxing memorabilia, which forms part of the New York Art Centre's Fighting Irishmen Exhibition, celebrating Irish Prize Fighters based in the US from 1820 to the present day.
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As part of the European City of Sport programme for 2011, the Irish Arts Centre in New York has generously teamed up with Shannon Development and the University of Limerick to secure this unique exhibition of Irish boxing memorabilia for Limerick city. The Fighting Irishmen Exhibition, a celebration of Irish Prize-fighters based in the US from 1820 to the present, was officially opened at the University of Limerick Arena by Jan O'Sullivan T.D., Minister of State for Trade and Development.
Opening the Exhibition Minister O'Sullivan said: "The Fighting Irishmen Exhibition is an important part of Limerick European City of Sport 2011, as it showcases a unique aspect of Ireland's sporting heritage from the USA. With its passion for all sport, Limerick is the ideal location for this celebration of boxing. I can't over emphasis the positive benefits sport can have in society. You only have to look at world class fighters like Any Lee and Willie Casey who have become great role models for our young people to see its positive impact."
Shannon Development is showcasing Limerick internationally as a top quality location for sports related events and conferences. The Company has secured four new high profile events for Limerick which will generate €5 million in additional revenue spend for the city and county in 2011. These are: the European Duathlon Championships (15th-17th April); The EPC European Powerlifting Championship (2nd-5th June); The Single Speed World Championships cycling event (26th - 28th August); The World Powerlifting Championships (11th-19th November). Plans are also underway for an International Sport Conference to take place later in the year.
David Mahedy, Director of Sport at the University of Limerick said: "We are delighted to host this exhibition at the University Arena during the city's tenure as 2011 European City of Sport. It is an ideal location for this exhibition which is on display adjacent to another exciting sporting exhibition - 'the Hartman Sports Collection'. The Hartman Exhibition has been developed by Ger Hartmann, a leading sports injury therapists who attracts some of the world's greatest athletes to Limerick for treatment. We are very proud of his involvement in the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London."
James J. Houlihan is the curator of the Fighting Irishmen Exhibition which first opened to the public in 2006 at the Irish Arts Centre in New York. It will be on display at the University of Limerick Arena from April 11th through to September 30th 2011. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, and on Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.