About the film

WHEN ALI CAME TO IRELAND captures the madcap week when legendary boxer Muhammad Ali went to fight in Ireland at the height of his career.

Self proclaimed ‘World’s Strongest Publican’ Michael ‘Butty’ Sugrue pulled off a massive sporting coup in 1972 when he convinced Ali’s promoter that he was good for the $300k down-payment required to bring Ali to Ireland and then largely paid for proceedings in beer-stained bank notes. The trip had a huge impact on those Ali met and, some say, on the man himself. The documentary reveals that his trip to Ireland influenced how Ali viewed white people in the aftermath of his conversion to Islam and his declarations that white people were devils.

The documentary by Ross Whitaker and Aideen O’Sullivan combines a wealth of archival material with colourful reminiscences to tell an unlikely tale that is infused with great warmth and moments of real hilarity.

Running time: 50 min

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