Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



I bumped into Kate Winslet at a party in the Hollywood Hills. And I yawned. Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips took me aside in a trailer full of enormous animal costumes to offer some fatherly advice. And I sniggered in the man’s face… Hell, I once even had Fr Dougal Maguire call and say, Hello, how are you doing?, is this Eoin? and I managed not to drive into the Liffey.

But on Thursday, I met a legend. Myself and Richie Gilligan were in Dundalk to meet former Traveller bareknuckle boxing champion, turned Evangelical Christian preacher Dan Rooney. He’d already cancelled one meeting with us and, on the second attempt, he was almost an hour late. But he didn’t disappoint. The first glimpse I caught of him, he was carrying a Bible and an enormous wooden cross. He could have stepped straight out of the Old Testament, or a Johnny Cash song, or something.

I’m not being facetious in saying that he was as impressive a guy as I’ve ever met: intelligent, articulate and humble. There’s a big feature in the works. We just have to track down Aney McGinley now. Watch this space.

August 15th, 2009.


  1. Savros Says:

    If Carlsberg did photographs? Well, what can i say. This photo was destined to be etched into a moment in my life. Not to go over board now, but apart from growing up with Butler, we also grew up with Rooney, he wasn’t a physical precence but he was there. He was the man, the fighting man Dan Rooney.

    You only have one more task Mr. Butler to become the most respected man in the country,(well in my eyes anyway) promote a rematch between Rooney and McGinley for next summer, in the square in Ballyhaunis. 20 year anniversary rematch

  2. El Kid Says:

    Fucking size of the guy!!

  3. Jayo Says:

    He’s only a queer and a shitarse (ducks!)

  4. Shakey Says:

    Jes Butler, ya look like a slip of a lad beside him.
    Do ya think he’d take the cross with him if he was to step back into the ring?

  5. Eoin Says:

    @ Savros – cheers you man for helping me set it up. The Ballyhaunis rematch might be a tall order – he seems fairly adamant about being a man of peace. But I definitely owe you (and Rebecca) a pint for your efforts!

    @ Jayo – You wouldn’t say that to his face.

    Although I must admit, when Dan cancelled on me the first time, I was telling Savros that I was tempted to call him out on YouTube: “I am the king of all journalists… Dan Rooney is too a-feared to do interview with me… Dan Rooney is a-feared of my hard hitting questions etc. etc.” and maybe hurl some more colourful epithets too.

    Very glad now I didn’t. He’s an absolute gentleman.

    @ Shakey – I’d say the “fair play” men would have sometghing to say about that -it’s bareknuckle boxing, not WWF!

  6. Colin Says:

    They’re some broad shoulders on Rooney, could build a decent two bedroom house on them. It’d be a bungalow, but still decent.

    Look forward to the feature.

  7. bren Says:

    Woah deadly, can’t wait to read the feature.

  8. Eoin Says:

    Cheers, Brendan & Colin. The feature might be a while tho – thinking of holding it back until the 20th aniversary of the original fight, which will be next summer.

  9. Darragh Says:

    where did he get the shirt? now that i am bench pressing 250 I might need Richie to recommend a tailor

  10. Eoin Says:

    Haha… Shortly after that pic was taken, Dan actually benchpressed me!

    Incidentally, Richie is the photographer, Dan is… Well, Dan is the man.

  11. Conal Says:

    Ok I don’t care what you say Eoin this dude is your doppelganger:


    uday hussein eat your heart out.

  12. Eoin Says:

    Not very flattering but, hey, he has hair… So I won’t complain.

  13. albincus Says:

    I knew a guy from Ballyhaunis, he moved to Castlebar and was in my class. He was the size of Dan the Man at 16, c.1996. Alas, it was more flab then muscle but talk about being a big school boy/man. A scouser too to boot.

  14. Eoin Says:

    Albincus, I’m 99% sure I know the guy you’re on about – he had a brother a year or two older than him as well, didn’t he?

    If Savros reads that you compared that guy to Dan Rooney… Well, lets just hope he doesn’t!

  15. Savros Says:

    Dans the man.

  16. Adrian Russell · Another season blooms… Says:

    […] And in other news, Eoin Butler meets Traveller bareknuckle boxing champion, turned Evangelical Christian preacher Dan Rooney. […]

  17. paul Says:

    He did indeed. In retrospect comparing him to Dan the Man was rash considering I watched him get pummeled by a lad half his weight but twice his height. It was an incredibly funny fight as he had his t-shirt pulled over his head and resembled a mouse trying to fight his way out of a bowl of jelly

  18. albinicus Says:


    sorry forgot to use my alias..oops!

  19. Eoin Says:

    Paul/Albinicus… I just emailed you there.

  20. NO JACKET REQUIRED | Tripping Along The Ledge Says:

    […] [P.S. Does anyone else think that Jim James is the doppelganger of photographer Richie Gilligan (who accompanied me to meet Dan Rooney last month)??] […]

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