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Celebrating ‘The Greatest’

THE people of Clare are being urged to come out in force to enjoy ‘The Greatest’ celebration as details of Tuesday’s open  air event to mark the visit of Muhammad Ali to the town were unveiled this week.

Sports Academy International, the Clare-based sports event management company, are expecting thousands to turn up on Tuesday to participate in an open-air concert which will feature some of the biggest names in music.

Clare hurler Tony Griffin keeps Oisin Griffin and Michael Meaney apart at the launch of 'Celebrating The Greatest'. Also pictured are event sponsors Thomas Madigan of Sports Academy International, John Dillane, Banner Motor Factors, Finbar Brohan, Shannon Development, Siobhan Hassett, Temple Gate Hotel and Siobhan King from Shannon Development. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

Also at the event, members of the public will be able to view the civic reception on a big screen and be able witness Ali receiving his Honorary Freeman of Ennis award.

Along with enjoying live music from renowned Irish musical artists, Sharon Shannon and band, Mundy and the world-renowned Kilfenora Céilí Band. Irish sports personalities both past and present are due to be on stage to share their Ali memories and honour the man with their attendance.

Speaking at the launch of Celebrating the Greatest – Open Air Celebration of Muhammad Ali’s Visit to Ennis in Ennis, Sports Academy Director and Clare hurling All-Star Tony Griffin stressed the importance of Ali’s visit to the Clare town.

“To have an iconic athlete and humanitarian such as Muhammad Ali visit County Clare cannot be underestimated. It is an event that has no comparison, apart from maybe Liam McCarthy visiting Clare in 1995. We are delighted as a Clare-based business to consult with and support Ennis Town Council on this historic event to make it a day for the people.”

There was widespread delight in Ennis when the 67-year-old former world heavyweight champion announced he would visit the birthplace of his great grandfather next week.

A civic reception, the highest honour that a local authority can give, will take place in the Ennis Civic Chamber, at 3pm before the Ali embarks on a drive throughout county capital, the birthplace of Abe Grady.

Tasked by Ennis Town Council to build an event for the people to honour a man of the people, Sports Academy director Tom?s Madigan stated, “It has been a wonderful experience, as a company that works in sport, to plan a celebration of the people to honour ‘The Greatest’ athlete of all time.

Timetable of events

MUHAMMAD Ali, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion, will visit Ennis, County Clare, on Tuesday.
All Day – Muhammad Ali Exhibition, at Glór Irish Music Centre
1pm -3.30pm – Public event at Abbey Street Car Park with Sports Academy International including live feed of civic reception and music from Sharon Shannon and band, Mundy and the Kilfenora Céilí Band along with Irish sports personalities
3pm – civic reception at Waterpark House, Drumbiggle (Muhammad Ali will embark on drive through Ennis town following this event). The civic reception is a closed event.
3pm-4.30pm – Street entertainment at O’Connell Square, Abbey Street and O’Connell Street.
3.15-4.30pm – Live entertainment, Temple Gate Plaza.
3.15-4.30pm – Live entertainment, Turnpike.
3pm (free admission), 8pm (tickets only) – Showing of When We Were Kings at Glór Irish Music Centre. Proceeds in aid of The Parkinson’s Association of Ireland.

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