The United Irish Cultural Center squats in a tan brick building on 45th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, adjacent to a Days Inn Motel and within earshot of screeching monkeys at the San Francisco Zoo. Its exterior is windowless and imposing, interrupted only by Gaelic crests and massive green doors. On a dark, quiet Wednesday evening near the end of October, the only guy in the bar -- the first room, dim and cozy, off the main entrance -- chats lazily with the bartender, his brogue growing more exaggerated with every swig of beer. The bartender, half-watching a basketball game on television and wiping his rag across the counter, bristles when his peace is interrupted by the noisy... More >>>
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As admiring youngsters look on, Patrick Mullen gets
taped up before donning gloves and entering the ring.