Ennis Honours Muhammad Ali

Ennis came to a standstill in September 2009 with the arrival of Muhammad Ali for a host of events organised in his honour. The 67 year old was visiting the birthplace of his great grandfather, Abe Grady, who left the town in the 1860s.

Muhammad Ali’s mother Odessa Clay was the granddaughter of Abe Grady, from the Turnpike, Ennis. Grady had emigrated to theUSin the civil war era and married a free coloured woman. At a civic reception in Ennis, the three times World Heavyweight Champion was made the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis. Now we know that the Greatest was filled not just with Louisville lip but also with the mystical Atlantic lyrics of Clare.

Amongst other famed celebrities with Clare ancestry are Gene Kelly and Russell Crowe. It was also a Clare man by the name of Blackwell who was one of the leaders of the storming of the Bastille in France and it was a Clare man who, as one of the earliest European explorers, first recorded the famed Amazonian female tribes.