Boxing Film Draws Controversy

Nenagh Arts Centre is screening the controversial boxing documentary ‘Knuckle’ on Thursday 2nd February.

Nenagh Arts Centre is screening the controversial boxing documentary ‘Knuckle’ on Thursday 2nd February.

The film charts the brutal business of bare-fist fighting in the Irish traveller community. Director Ian Palmer gives an insight into how two Irish traveller families resort to fisticuffs to settle a long-standing dispute. In the film, the Quinn McDonagh and Joyce clans are equally ready to give their side of a feud that has been rumbling since the early ’90s. But it’s the footage of past bouts and the anger emanating from the challenge videos that might enthrall the viewer.

The main focus falls on undefeated James Quinn McDonagh and rival Paddy ‘The Lurcher’ Joyce, men related by blood, but now separated by the feud. As the heads of rival families they train to represent their clan and what is revealed on screen is a hard-edged portrait of male culture, the bond of loyalty and the pressure to fight to maintain and restore a family’s pride.

The film has not been without its critics but interest in the documentary has been intense, with American TV Company HBO now looking into making a television series based on the film.