With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, many having Irish ancestry will wear t-shirts or message buttons with clever sayings like “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” Well, you can include Muhammad Ali as one who can legitimately wear such items. His great-grandfather on his mother’s side of the family, Abe Grady, immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in the 1860’s, settling in Kentucky. He married a freed slave there, and one of their grandchildren was Muhammad Ali’s mother, Odessa Lee Grady Clay. In September of 2009, Ali traveled to Ennis, County Clare, the home of his great-grandfather and met with several of his distant relatives there. The town also bestowed upon him its highest honor. But that wasn’t his first trip to the land of his Irish ancestors. In 1972, he traveled to Dublin where he fought fellow heavyweight contender Al “Blue” Lewis in Croke Park. He also traveled to Ireland in 2003 to attend the Opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics. So, on St. Patrick’s Day, when raising a glass to fellow Irishmen everywhere don’t forget to wish “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” to Muhammad Ali.