Ennis came to a standstill this afternoon with the arrival of Muhammad Ali for a host of events organised in his honour.
At a civic reception in the Co Clare town, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion was made the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis.
The 67-year-old was visiting the birthplace of his great grandfather, Abe Grady, who left the town in the 1860s.
As an overwhelmed Ali accepted the honour, his wife Yolanda 'Lonnie' revealed his celebrated defiance with a declaration to return, despite medical advice against travelling.
'Now that we know Muhammad is an Ennis man, we will be back,' she said.
Thousands of fans, spanning generations, had packed into the town's main square for hours before the civic reception was broadcast on a huge screen.
Lonnie announced that her husband, who has been battling Parkinson's Disease for 25 years and had never before visited Ennis, was overwhelmed by the experience.
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