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Corona knock you out Outrage after packed crowd gathered at indoor venue for bare-knuckle boxing fight in north Dublin

Crowds cram into shed to watch well-known fighters slug it out for huge bounty


Paddy Collins and Michael James Quinn McDonagh aquare off before the contest

Paddy Collins and Michael James Quinn McDonagh aquare off before the contest

Paddy Collins and Michael James Quinn McDonagh aquare off before the contest

A packed crowd gathered at an indoor venue with no social distancing for a €10,000 bare-knuckle boxing fight in north Dublin last weekend.

The fight between 'Missy's' Paddy Collins, from Avilla Park in Finglas, and Michael James Quinn McDonagh, son of 'Curly' Paddy Quinn McDonagh from Dundalk, took place at a shed in Dunsink last Saturday following months of call-out videos between the two rival families.

Dozens of supporters of the two men crowded into the shed with no masks on or social distancing as the fighters went toe-to-toe in a bout that lasted for 20 minutes before ending in a draw.

The large crowd at the event far exceeded the six-person limit for indoor gatherings and the 15-person limit for outdoor gatherings. Medical experts have warned such gatherings can become "super-spreader" events as recently happened in the US at the unveiling at the White House of President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.


Martin O’Donnell, who made a claim in the Circuit Court

Martin O’Donnell, who made a claim in the Circuit Court

Martin O’Donnell, who made a claim in the Circuit Court

While those attending the Collins v Quinn McDonagh fight won't face any prosecution, gardaí can submit a file to the DPP in relation to the organisers of the event.

Local Independent Councillor Noeleen Reilly said the fight should not have taken place.

"It's very concerning that this sort of activity is happening, particularly given the Finglas area has one the highest rates of Covid in the country. It's really important that people do adhere to the public safety guidelines. If we're to get out of Level 3 we need everybody to work together. It's not acceptable that that type of thing is happening so I'd encourage people to listen to the experts and follow the guidelines."

Collins, who has been a well-known bare-knuckle fighter for years, announced his retirement the day after the fight.

"I'm here having a beer. I've been off it for 12 weeks. Had an auld scrap yesterday. It's only a sport at the end of the day…I'm not fighting no more. I'm 37 years of age, I've proved my point and I've nothing more to prove."

There had been a series of call-out videos between the families ahead of the fight, with a long history of bad blood between them. 'Curly' Paddy said the winner of the fight would win a €10,000 purse.

"The fight is for €10,000. It's not worth fight you for nothing…we're f***ing fed up of you Paddy. We're sick of you mouthing off there for the last four or five years."

'Missy's' Paddy had insulted 'Curly' Paddy's father in a video in the run-up to the fight but later apologised for the comments, saying he had been drinking that day and shouldn't have said what he said.

The Collins and Quinn McDonagh families are both well-known for bare-knuckle boxing and have clashed with each other on a number of occasions over the years.

There had been low-level conflict between the two families for a long time but things escalated following an assault on a pregnant woman in Finglas in 2011.

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She later made a statement to gardaí and was burned out of her house, which led to shootings, pipe bomb and petrol bomb attacks while armed and masked men making threats were posted online.

Things spilled over into a mass brawl at a cemetery in Mullingar during a blessing of the graves back in 2013 with members of the Collins family blaming 'Curly' Paddy for kicking things off that day.

It is not the first feud 'Curly' Paddy has been linked to. He was blamed for escalating a feud with the Joyces after stabbing Brian Joyce to death at a pub in London in 1992.

He was jailed over the stabbing which led to a series of bare-knuckle fights involving Curly's brother James Quinn McDonagh - who became one of Ireland's best-known bare-knuckle boxers and featured heavily in the documentary Knuckle.

Their brother, Michael Quinn McDonagh, also one of the main fighters featured in Knuckle, was sentenced to life in 2015 after murdering his wife in a horrendous assault.

Michael Quinn McDonagh, of College Manor, Hoey's Lane, Dundalk, had been out drinking on August 29, 2012, before returning home and brutally beating his wife Jacqueline to death.

One of the 'fair play' men at last weekend's fight was Martin O'Donnell, who had a €60,000 insurance claim dismissed in the Circuit Court last month.

The court heard the car in which he was a passenger had been in a high-speed chase with gardaí through Blanchardstown ending in a head-on collision with a Range Rover.

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