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120th anniversary of Ballyfinnane Hillclimb to be celebrated with motorsport festival

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Kerry Motor Club has announced details of the running of a Hillclimb on Sunday, July 16 in the Ballyfinnane area outside Tralee which will mark a very special occasion in the county.

Charles Rolls racing in Ireland in 1903. Photo: Royal Irish Automobile Club archive

The club will mark the 120th anniversary of first motorsport event in Kerry

On July 15, 1903 the very first closed-road motorsport event in the county took place on the hillside in Ballyfinnane, 120 years ago this summer.

That event was won by Charles Rolls, who later went on to become to founder of the Rolls Royce Motor Company

To celebrate the historic occasion, Kerry Motor Club will run a Hillclimb in the same location, 120 years to the weekend that Charles Rolls took home the Kerry Cup from Ballyfinnane.

Hillclimb racing is one of the oldest forms of motorsport disciplines in the country. While similar to rally stages, a Hillclimb course is relatively short, usually between 1 and 1.5km in length with multiple quick runs over the same course across a day.

While there will be some regular faces in rally cars on the day, single seater cars (in a similar style to a Formula One car) are normally the fastest over the quick course and some of single seater formula races are expected at the event.

The hillclimb will be run under Motorsport Ireland regulations and safety visits to the course are now at an advanced stage.

The first planning meeting took place on Monday last, May 8 in the Shanty Bar, Ballyfinnane with some 50 motorsport enthusiasts getting to work on what will be a historic occasion in the county.

Events will get underway on the afternoon July 15 with car safety inspection, drivers meetings and drivers parades.

Sean Moriarty, Clerk of the Course said: “The event, which will be run by Kerry Motor Club in association with the Ballyfinnane Community Association, is at an advanced stage of planning with a fantastic first official meeting in the Shanty Bar on Monday night. We are very much looking forward to bringing the sport of Hillclimb Racing back to Kerry and to celebrate this important milestone in Kerry motorsport history.”

Mr Moriarty thanked Kerry County Council officials who are currently process the road closure requests.

More details will be announced in due course including a classic car show and a a host of family entertainment.

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Massive increase in numbers using local bus services

Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin. This is the highest […]

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Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin.

This is the highest increase nationally and is due to the investment by the Department of Transport during this government term.

“This service was lacking in former times, especially in rural areas and is a welcome addition to the countryside and villages of Kerry.’ says Green Party Candidate for Killarney,” said Griffin.

“While in the past, a taxi was the only option for those not cycling or driving. Now a service to Killarney is available every Friday morning from my townland of Barleymount. This is just one example of the network of bus routes criss-crossing the county thanks to local link.”

“This project is a notable success as the figures show. Investment in public transport helps alleviate congestion, increases community cohesion and reduces rural isolation. This is all welcome news for the locality,”

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Two weeks to go to Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’There is less than two weeks to show time for the cast of Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’

Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena. The launch was […]

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Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena.

The launch was followed by a full rehearsal and director Oliver Hurley was also there to lend a hand.

“We were delighted to introduce our lead characters to you. We had Abbey Theatre players Brigid Delia and Michael, who are the narrators throughout the musical drama. Eamonn De Valera , Harry Boland, Joe Emmett, Arthur Griffith, Cathal Brugha, volunteers and of course the beautiful Kitty Kieran were in full costume,” said KMS PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

“Mother Ireland and her five graceful dancers were fabulous. Our director and choreographer Oliver, our musical director Michael Young and the full cast of 64 were there. The singing was powerful. The music in ‘Michael Collins – A Musical Drama’ is distinctly Irish. People will definitely enjoy it.”

TICKETS
Get your tickets in the INEC box office, online at universe.com or at the pop-up ticket office in the Laurel’s Pub, Market Cross from 12 pm to 4 pm between February 29 and March 2.

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