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Faha man’s vehicle the star of classic car run

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CLASSIC CARS: Brian Glover of BG Motors Killarney event sponsor of the Ballymac Classic Car Run with members of the Kingdom Veteran Vintage and Classic Car Club Johnny Cahillane Cian O'Connor George Glover and Tony Hehir. Photo: Joe Hanley

Tony Darmody of Faha had the honour of driving of the oldest car in the 11th annual Ballymac Classic Car Run on Sunday last.

Over one hundred cars took part in the event to raise funds for ‘Help Rose Bloom’ a local charity set up to help Rose O’Flaherty who suffers from Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA1) a severe genetic condition that weakens muscles and causes problems with movement.

The oldest car in the fleet was a 1953 Austin A40 Somerset owned by Tony Darmody who is better known for his role as Chairman of Listry Community Council.

Tony has owned the car since 2015. He bought the 67-year-old car at the request of his daughter Aisling who decided this was the one she wanted to be driven to Fossa Church on the day of her wedding in August 2017.

Tony completed a full restoration of the vehicle ahead of his daughter’s big day.

He has the full history of the car kept in a neat folder in the glove box. He is ready to answer any question that enthusiasts might throw at him at events like the one held on Sunday.

“It was manufactured on December 18, 1953,” Tony said.

“Aisling picked out this car, including the colour. It was in a sorry state when I got it, but it was fully restored in time for her wedding to Daniel O’Sullivan. It was a ground-up restoration.”

After a ‘Cars n' Coffee’ event at O’Riada’s Bar on Sunday, the 107 cars and 16 Honda 50s set off for a tour of West Kerry.

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Johnny Hickey to be remembered at the Rally of the Lakes

The late Johnny Hickey will be remembered by his motor club colleagues at his beloved Assess Ireland Rally of the Lakes this weekend. The hugely popular Killarney and District Motor […]

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The late Johnny Hickey will be remembered by his motor club colleagues at his beloved Assess Ireland Rally of the Lakes this weekend.

The hugely popular Killarney and District Motor Club (KDMC) member passed away two years ago.

He was one of the hardest-working volunteers within the ranks of KDMC and his contribution to the Rally of the Lakes is sorely missed in the two rallies that have run since his passing.

The accomplished rally navigator will be forever remembered by his family and friends within the sport after his daughter Alyson unveiled a new trophy in his name at the official launch of the 2023 event on Saturday night.

The Johnny Hickey Memorial Trophy will be presented annually to the highest-placed co-driver in a two-wheel drive car in the modified class – a category close to his heart.

Alyson (13), bravely spoke in front of a packed audience at the launch event, about her late father and what motorsport meant to him.

“My dad loved rallying from a very young age and his passion only grew stronger as he got older. He joined my granddad, Charlie Hickey, in the co-driver’s position when he was 16-year-old,” Alyson told those in attendance.

“For him, it was never just about the rally – it was about the people who shared his love for it. He believed that the spirit and friendship that comes with rallying was just as important as the thrill of the race.”

Alyson was accompanied by her granddad, rally driver Charlie, his grandmother Joan and his aunt Charlene when she unveiled the cup in the Gleneagle Hotel on Saturday.

She received a standing ovation for her powerful and tearful speech that remembered her late dad and rally legend Johnny.

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Three local competitors to watch in this weekend’s Rally of the Lakes

Three local competitors will start the 2023 Assess Ireland Rally of the Lakes in state-of-the-art rally cars capable of winning the event. Defending champion Callum Devine will start at number […]

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Three local competitors will start the 2023 Assess Ireland Rally of the Lakes in state-of-the-art rally cars capable of winning the event.

Defending champion Callum Devine will start at number one and he will have Muckross co-driver Noel O’Sullivan in a Volkswagen Polo Rally2 alongside.

They dramatically won the rally last year after chief rival Alistair Fisher crashed out in the final stage.

Two more local Volkswagens will start the rally in the hands of Rob Duggan and Alan Ring.

“It is an honour to carry number one on the doors,” said O’Sullivan. “The club have put on an incredible route, and it is great to see the two boys out in Polos. There is a very strong entry, and we will do our best to get a good result.”

Duggan is the defending modified category champion but has made a surprise step up to the top class.

“It has always been a dream since I was four or five-years-old to go up The Gap in a top machine,” he said.

“I have no idea what to expect, I will only see the car on Thursday morning, I have only done the rally in a modified car, so I guess this car won’t be as tail happy.”

He will be co-driven, as usual, by Ger Conway.

Duggan’s car will be run by Welsh outfit, Melvyn Evans Motorsport, the same team that will run Alan Ring who makes a welcome return to top-flight rallying after a few years contesting events in the historic category.

“The weekend should be good,” he said. “Myself and Rob will be teammates and it will be nice to have a proper car for the event.”

The rally gets underway with a ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday evening before two action-packed days across 16 stages.

The Saturday run returns to the challenging Beara Peninsula while Sunday morning’s action takes place in South Kerry ahead of the grand finale on East Kerry roads on Sunday evening.

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