One night in Millstreet created decades of memories

It was a sporting occasion that became the stuff of legend – and Killarney had a central role to play in it.

Billed as a real David v Goliath affair, close on 30 years have now passed since Steve Collins inflicted a first ever defeat on Chris Eubank on a glorious night in the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet.

Three decades may have since passed but that marvellous occasion will now live on through a major new documentary film which goes behind the scenes to get the full story on that sensational sporting clash in March 1995.

A report on the event penned in 1995 with Valerie O’Sullivan’s photograph

One Night in Millstreet, now being shown in cinemas nationwide, recalls how Dubliner Collins – The Celtic Warrior – had Eubank on his backside and the crowd on their feet during the pulsating 12-round contest which saw him clinch the WBO Super Middleweight title in some style.

Just as had happened when the Green Glens hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993, Killarney became the main focal and social point for the big fight with Collins and his entourage staying in the Great Southern Hotel and the Eubank party based just around the corner in the five-star Killarney Park Hotel.

The pubs in the town were packed to capacity as fans tuned into Sky TV’s coverage of the glamour bout and the tills were ringing in Killarney 100,000 times and more often faster than the ringside bell in Millstreet.

One Night in Millstreet: Now on general release

Once Collins has been presented with the bulky champion’s belt, all roads headed back to Killarney for the thousands that had flocked to Millstreet and the Collins camp celebrated long into the night in the Great Southern where they chanced upon a stylish Great Gatsby Ball held as part of the Roaring 20’s Festival.

It was a rare sight as gangsters in trilby hats and spats and their molls in flapper dresses and colourful boas joined boxing fans singing Ole, Oel, Ole and Molly Malone as Collins pressed the flesh, signed autographs and celebrated becoming the world’s number one.

All roads from the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet led back to Killarney after the fight

A report in The Kingdom at the time noted that Collins, still dehydrated following the Rocky Balboa style bout, was slugging water rather than the small ocean of champagne that was being quaffed all around him and he downed three jugs of H20 in as many minutes on his return to the hotel.

The new world champion eventually retired to bed at 4.30am in the knowledge that he had a much tougher assignment than Chris Eubank a few hours later – a photo-shoot with photographer Valerie O’Sullivan on the lawns of the hotel.

Noel C Duggan: Feared for Collins

Collins enjoyed a full Irish served in his room by waiter John Fitzgerald – who is still on the staff at the Great Southern – and he caught up with the reports of his big win in the daily papers.

Nursing his wounds in the nearby Killarney Park, meanwhile, the flambuoyant Eubank woke up in the penthouse suite and enjoyed a hearty breakfast before taking a stroll around Killarney to get some shopping done.

Directed by Andrew Gallimore with super footage from the dramatic fight itself, One Night in Millstreet also features detailed interviews with Collins and Eubank as they reflect on their power-packed clash 29 years ago while Barry McGuigan, promoter Barry Hearne and Green Glens Arena owner, Noel C Duggan, also recall their memories of the big occasion.

“The only worry that we had was that Collins would get killed,” Duggan reflected.

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