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Knuckle – digs, dags and bad teeth

Do you remember the old Atari  game Pit Fighter? Well this is a bit like a real life version of that, only instead of iffy pixelly cage fighters in tight pants we have large greasy irish men grappling and swinging wildly at each other like tattooed, shaven headed bull elephant seals in heat.

Does that turn you on? Well then let’s pop that bulging fly and get to grips with some meaty violence perpetuated by members of one of society’s less fashionable subcultures. You probably seen some youtube action of these rather unsophisticated primates indulging in some rather ponderous bare-knuckle fisticuffs…It’s well known that when our traveller chums are not stealing dogs or being shot by farmers they are not adverse to a bit of the auld intra-family ultraviolence.

This documentary – apparently over a decade in the making – charts the aggro between two of the clans, the Quinn McDonaghs and the Joyces. The main protagonist is shaven headed monolith James Quinn McDonagh, undefeated patriarch of the Quinn McDonaghs. The fights have a vague set of rules…no biting or headbutting..and the salad-dodging carriage of most of the participants mean the fights don’t tend to last too long. As always it’s interesting to watch these strange folk go about their parallel tax-free universe of violence, tacky weddings and incest but 90 minutes stretches it a bit. At least they aren’t fighting in the nude a la Women in Love..the world isn’t ready for that kind of tinker-on-tinker action. Rumour has it HBO are putting together a drama series based on it too.  It’ll be like The Sopranos in a Caravan. Mighty.

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