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Muhammad Ali To Visit Clare

 

Updated : Aug 7, 2009

The greatest boxer of all time Muhammad Ali has been invited by Ennis Town Council to visit his ancestral Irish home.

The former world heavyweight champion, now 67, is expected to visit the Clare County capital during a trip to Ireland later this month. Ali will walk in the steps of his great grandfather Abe Grady, who emigrated from his home on the Turnpike Road in Ennis to the United States in the 1860s.

Grady sailed from Cappa Harbour in Kilrush, eventually settling in Kentucky, where he married an African-American woman. Their son also married an African-American and one of the daughters of that union was Ali’s mother, named Odessa Lee Grady. She married Cassius Clay, senior, and they settled in Louisville, where their son was initially given his father’s name on his birth in 1942. He later changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to the Nation of Islam after winning the world title in 1964.

Mayor of Ennis Frankie Neylon said that details of Ali’s visit would be finalised this weekend when Council officials met with the former boxer’s representatives. The Mayor confirmed that Ali, who is fighting Parkinson’s disease, had expressed his desire to travel to Ennis.

Mayor Neylon stated: “The people of Ennis and County Clare will welcome Mohammad Ali with open arms. His visit will serve as a huge boost to the local economy including its bars and hotels, which have experienced a huge downturn in business over the last year. Furthermore, Clare’s international profile will be raised by the extensive media coverage arising from this event.”

Mayor of Clare Tony Mulcahy said a visit by such a high profile personality would help lift spirits throughout the entire region.

 

 

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