'Knuckle' is the story of Irish traveller, clan head and champion bare-knuckle boxer James Quinn McDonagh. It's a journey from his grandfather's barrel-top caravan to the modern life of the travellers, a brutal story of threats, guns, and fists - an antidote to the cleaned-up portrayal of travellers in the media.
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James Quinn McDonagh was born in Ireland in 1967. He spent the early years of his life living the traditional way of Irish Travellers, in a horse-drawn barrel-top wagon, sleeping in a tent by the side of the road. To combat bullying both inside and outside the travelling community, he took up boxing. The traveller's life took priority though and at the age of sixteen he left Dublin for England with his family, interrupting a promising career in the ring before it had taken off. Forced to flee London after a confrontation that led to a man's death, the family returned to Ireland but the feud followed. The feud has left James himself shot, men dead, houses burned out and lives destroyed. James no longer lives in Ireland, and has moved abroad to escape the violence. He is married, with two sons and a grandchild.Review:
* Books about Travellers and Gypsies have been successful this year - Mikey Walsh's 'Gypsy Boy' has sold 65k in all editions. Knuckle offers this insight into the life of the travelling community, but also crosses over into true crime, in the vein of Lenny McLean (372k) and Dave Courtney (132k). * James Quinn McDonagh, the author, is the subject of a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary filmed over the course of 12 years, which will air on the BBC in 2012
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Knuckle, James Quinn McDonagh, Irish travellers live in a closed community. What we think we know about them is based on hearsay, rumour and stereotype. But not any more. Knuckle is the true story of James Quinn McDonagh - clan head and champion bare-knuckle fighter. It's a journey from his grandfather's horse-drawn caravan at the side of the road to the country lanes of Ireland where he stood, fists bloodied and bandaged, fighting a clan war that he never asked for. Two men, two neutral referees, a country lane. No gloves, no biting, no rests. The last man standing wins, takes home the money, and more importantly, the bragging rights. Caught in a brutal cycle of violence that has left men dead, houses burned and lives destroyed, James tells a story that opens up a hidden world - revealing why history repeats itself, and why he can never go home. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007448265