An Irishman Abroad

How Boxing Brought Hope In The Troubles - Donald McRae: Episode 305

July 20, 2019

Donald McRae’s new book in Sunshine Or In Shadow is an insight into Northern Ireland during the troubles that you won’t find in any history book or archive news footage. It explains how, through sport of boxing, two of the most historically fraught communities somehow agreed an unwritten peace deal long before the Good Friday Agreement. In a wide ranging discussion Jarlath and Don unravel this incredible collection of tales, the central character, coach Gerry Storey and the challenges Don himself faced in creating the piece. Jarlath quizzes Don on how Storey was able to create a gym where all the boxers attending were given free passes by paramilitary forces on both Republican and Loyalist sides. 

Don goes into detail on some of the most moving aspects of the book and how invested he became in the story on a personal level. Barry McGuigan’s world title winning fight offers the climax to the book but Don explains to Jarlath how Barry came close to quitting the game after one horrendous incident. Later Don goes into detail on his encounters with sporting giants such as Lebron James and what he regards as the essential components of good interviewing in journalism and in a taxi. (Patreon Full Length Version Only).

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