Daniel Donnelly

Life
1788-1820; b. Townsend Street, Dublin; carpenter’s son, lived in Ringsend; became a prize-fighter, having been ‘discovered’ by a Captain Kelly, a horse trainer from Maddenstown; trained [‘dried out’] at premisses of Kelly’s br. at Calverstown, near Kilcullen, and matched with Englishman Hall, whom he beat at the Curragh, 14 Sept. 1814, for a purse of 110 in a fight that ran 17 rounds and was attended by 40,000; defeated English Champion Cooper, at ‘Donnelly’s Hollow’, Curragh; failed as a publican in Capel St. and later Poolbeg St.; went to England and beat Oliver in 32 rounds, 1819; returned to Dublin and opened public house in Pill Lane, off Greek St., Dublin; d. of a chill; there is a life by T. G. Hazard (Dublin 1820); there is a commemorative obelisk at Donnelly’s hollow. DIB

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Criticism
Patrick Myler, Dan Donnelly 1788-1820: Pugilist, Publican, Playboy (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2009), 168pp.

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Reference
Co. Kildare Heritage
web site has page on Donnelly, with the following: ‘He was introduced to the Prince Regent (later George IV) who, on meeting Donnelly remarked, “I am glad to meet the best man in Ireland to which Donnelly replied, “I’m not, your Royal Highness, but I’m the best in England.”’ This meeting led  to a strong friendship, and Dan was later knighted, the last man so honoured during the Regency. [&c.; online]

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