It has been announced that Muhammad Ali will visit Ennis in September this year.

Ali, 67, was invited to visit Ennis, the home of the his great grandfather, by Ennis Town Council.

The former boxing world champion is due to visit Dublin for a charity event on 31 August and will visit Ennis the following day, 1 September.

Ali, has fought Parkinson’s syndrome since 1984. His link to the Ennis is via Abe Grady, who emigrated from the town to Kentucky in the 1860s and married an African American woman.

Councillor Frankie Neylon, the Mayor of Ennis, said: ‘This is a very exciting event for the people of Ennis and Co Clare who will get to see the boxing legend when he embarks on a drive throughout the town and the birthplace of his great grandfather.

Nealon also confirmed that Ali is likely to receive a number of civic honours.

‘I will be proposing at the Town Council meeting that a Civic Reception, the highest honour that this town can give, be held in Muhammad Ali’s honour. I will also be proposing that he be named the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis Town.’

Ennis Town Council also expects Ali’s visit to lead to large numbers visiting the region.

Mr Nealon added: 'The public interest in this planned visit has been immense and I believe that the publicity surrounding it will result in thousands of additional visitors to the town.'

With the south-west having experienced significant job losses of late, Councillor Nealon also said he hoped Ali's visit would help the local businesses.

He said: ‘The visit will serve as a huge boost to the local economy including its bars and hotels, which have experienced a huge downturn in business over the last year.

'I have no doubt that the people of Clare will turn out in huge numbers to welcome Muhammad Ali and that the boxer himself will thoroughly enjoy his visit to the Ireland’s Banner County.’