Rocky jpg

The Irish Rocky comes to town

Sean Mannion


By Irish Echo Staff

In October 1984, a packed Madison Square Garden played host to Irish boxer Sean Mannion, fighting for the WBA World Junior Middleweight title.

The Galway man was fighting against Mike “the body snatcher” McCallum.

It was an era when the middleweight divisions were packed full of some of the sport’s greatest ever stars.

That night in New York a sold out Madison Square Garden, a TV audience of millions and the Irish around the world cheered on Sean Mannion in his world title bid.

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Now, 33 years on from that night in Madison Square Garden, the forgotten fighter, Seán Mannion returns to New York City, this time to the big screen, in a new feature documentary entitled “Rocky Ros Muc.”

The award-winning, said a release, film tells the gripping story of a world-class boxer who left Galway for Boston in the 1970s.

Said the release: “From humble beginnings, to challenging the world title crown; from the quiet Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc in County Galway, to the criminal underworld of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and the mean streets of Boston.

“Rocky Ros Muc examines spirit inside the ring and troubles outside. It’s the story of the Irish in America, the reality of emigration and its impact on identity.”

Earlier this year the feature length documentary won the Best Documentary award at the Irish Film Festival, Boston and the Best Irish Feature Documentary award at the Galway Film Fleadh.

Speaking ahead of its U.S. release, Director Michael Fanning said: “We are delighted that audiences in America will get the chance to see Rocky Ros Muc in the cinema.

“With standing ovations and sold out screenings, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the film and delighted that Sean Mannion is getting the wider recognition he deserves. I’m sure audiences in America will have the same reaction.”

Sean Mannion said: “I’m so happy that the film will be shown in cinemas in America. I was never nervous ahead of a big fight but I’ll be nervous about people seeing this film. Things like this make me nervous”

This film makes its New York premiere on Friday October 6 in Cinema Village, New York ( and will screen all week.

Audiences in Boston and LA will also get a chance to see the film in the Regal Fenway 13 cinema in Boston and Laemmle Music Hall Theatre, Beverly Hills.