Dan Donnelly
 

 

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Dan Donnelly 1788-1820

Born in Dublin. He was Boxing Champion of Ireland and his biggest fight was with the English Champion, Cooper, at a place near the Curragh Camp known as Donnelly’s Hollow. He won in the 11th round. His death was followed by quite astonishing scenes of national mourning. On the day of his funeral, shops, business and theatres shut their doors, a gun salute was fired. It was said that over eighty-thousand people lined the streets. At his funeral some of his supporters unyoked the horse and pulled the hearse to Kilmainham. Although a legend states that he was buried in the same grave as Prince Murrough, son of Brian Boru, his grave is further away. Initially a table shaped tomb was erected over his grave but this was destroyed by soldiers of a Scottish regiment. It is also said that his body was exhumed by grave robbers and when the locals heard about it, they demanded it back, and it was later reburied minus an arm that was on display, until a few years ago, in the Hideout Bar in Kilcullen. According to Patrick Myler (Dan Donnelly His Life and Legends)  his grave is marked now by a huge flat stone with no discernible inscription.