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39th Rally of the Lakes officially launched

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Killarney and District Motor Club held the official launch to the Cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes 2018 last Sunday at the Brehon Hotel. There were some beautiful rally cars on display and a large crowd in attendance.

Officials, organisers, sponsors, distinguished guest speakers such as TD brothers Michael and Danny Healy Rae, Councillor Michael Gleeson, WRC co-driver Paul Nagle and dignitaries of Killarney town were on hand to support the event. The MC on the night was non-other than Mike Marshall, event COC of 25 years, and he introduced Paul O’Neill of Killarney’s Chamber of Tourism and Commerce who spoke of how important the Rally of the Lakes is to Killarney Town, bringing a welcomed boost to the local economy.

The Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, also spoke on the commitment and dedication of the voluntary club members involved and their ability to host an event of this magnitude every year. Other guest speakers included John Byrne of Cartell.ie, Brian McArdle of Ordnance Survey Ireland, Kieran Healy of KC Print/Killarney Advertiser and Patrick O’Donoghue of the Gleneagle Hotel Group who have been involved since the rally’s first inception in 1979.

Killarney & District Motor Club, organisers of the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes, have announced details of this year’s event which will take place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, May 4-6.

The 39th Rally of the Lakes will be counting rounds of the:

  • Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.
  • ie Southern 4 Rally Championship
  • Kingdom of Kerry Rally Championship.

Killarney businessman Dermot Healy has taken on the role of COC for his sixth year. Dermot, who is very much respected in the town of Killarney for his incredible voluntary and charity work, has put together a strong organising committee and operations are well under way.

Heading the international entry list is last year’s winner, Sam Moffett, who is likely to start the event in the top slot. Local co-driver Noel O’Sullivan takes up the hot seat alongside Sam for the first time and will be hopeful for his first overall win. Behind him comes a host of WRC machinery with two times Lakes winner Donagh Kelly, along with Roy White and Declan Boyle who have led this event in the past.

Donegal man Manus Kelly has shown interest in this year’s event and he will be a great addition to the line up. Irish Tarmac Championship leader Josh Moffett arrives in Killarney on top form with recent back to back wins on both the West Cork and Easter Stages rallies. Other Top R5 competitors include Robert Barrable, who was second overall last year, five-time Irish Tarmac champion Eugene Donnelly in his Hyundai I20 R5, Stephen Wright and Jonny Greer, both in their Ford Fiestas, along with Desi Henry in his new Skoda Fabia R5.

Top Local crew Daniel Cronin/Shane Buckley have had a great start to their Irish Tarmac Championship campaign having recently acquired the ultimate Ford Fiesta from M-Sport and he will be anxious to make his mark on the home event. The field will also include Killarney regulars Joe Connolly and Keith Lyons amongst the R5 cars.

In the National Rally, all the big Escort brigade come out to play but perhaps the person who will cause them most bother is from Donegal, as last year’s Modified winner Kevin Eves returns in his Toyota Corolla 2.5. He has put in such an incredible drive and category win on both the West Cork and Easter Stages rallies to lead the championship heading for Killarney. Local man Rob Duggan, fresh from a win in the Killarney Historic Rally in December, has hired an ultimate 2.5 Escort and will be hard to beat over the classic stages. Barry Meade is a previous Modified winner and will be incredibly quick also. Past winner Wesley Patterson will be a strong contender, as will the legendary Phil Collins who makes the trip from Herefordshire to the stages he loves so well and where he has enjoyed considerable success over the past 32 years. Other top entries include Vincent McSweeney, Jack Newman, Gary Kiernan, Liam Howlett, John O’Donnell, Enda O’Brien and Eugene Megan.

The battle for the John Mullane Cup for the highest placed driver from Co. Kerry will be as closely contested as it has been since the award was first introduced in the very early days of the Rally of the Lakes. Top crews include Charlie Hickey, Kevin O’Donoghue, Denis Hickey, Tadgh O’Sullivan, Fergus O’Meara, John Hickey, Ed Murphy, Con Lucey,  Noel O’Sullivan and Vincent O’Shea.

A strong Historic & Junior Entry has already been received. The Historics will contest the whole event, while the juniors will contest the rally on Saturday.

The May Bank Holiday weekend is near and the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes is the place to be. Are you ready?  

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Future Kerry railway plans revealed

By Sean Moriarty Elected members of Kerry County Council have led calls for Iarnród Éireann’s timetable to fall into line with airline schedule at Kerry Airport. On Monday of this week Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann gave a presentation to elected members of the council. During the meeting he outlined some of the railway company’s plans […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Elected members of Kerry County Council have led calls for Iarnród Éireann’s timetable to fall into line with airline schedule at Kerry Airport.

On Monday of this week Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann gave a presentation to elected members of the council.

During the meeting he outlined some of the railway company’s plans and ambitions from now until 2027.

These include an increase in frequency on the Tralee to Mallow line.

It is hoped to have one train an hour operating on the line at peak times and two-hourly off-peak.

In a perfect world, the rail station at Farranfore would be placed across the road from the airport and not a 1km walk away but such a move is not likely to happen.

Cllr Norma Moriarty, of the Kenmare Municipal District explained how she was on trip to Yorkshire a few years ago.

“I flew from Kerry to Manchester and was able to get a connecting train to Yorkshire without ever leaving the airport building,” she said. “The people I was visiting were very surprised to hear me talk about this so much – it is normal to them.”

Under the Strategy 2027 plan Killarney rail station will get repainted and new signs will be put in place during 2022.

Additional parking spaces will be created at Farranfore Railway station and this lead to calls for a similar expansion at Rathmore.

“A lot of people from South Kerry use Rathmore railway station,” said local councillor Niall Kelleher. “They drive up from Kenmare and cut across by Glenflesk.”

Mr Kenny said he would take the Rathmore comments back to the Iarnród Éireann engineer in charge of parking strategy.

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Walking and cycling projects set for upgrade 

Commuters and nature enthusiasts will benefit from €4.13m in funding allocated to Kerry County Council for walking and cycling projects. €350,000 has been allocated for Transport/Mobility Plans for Killarney, Tralee and Listowel. Locally €704,835 is being given towards an interconnected network of cycleways on Rock Road, while there’s €70,000 funding for the Deerpark Road/Gealscoil Junction to include […]

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Commuters and nature enthusiasts will benefit from €4.13m in funding allocated to Kerry County Council for walking and cycling projects.

€350,000 has been allocated for Transport/Mobility Plans for Killarney, Tralee and Listowel.

Locally €704,835 is being given towards an interconnected network of cycleways on Rock Road, while there’s €70,000 funding for the Deerpark Road/Gealscoil Junction to include an interconnected network of cycleways. €300,000 is planned for an interconnected network of cycleways for the Gaelscoil Road/Chestnut Drive area, while The Flesk Walkway and Cycleway, Killarney is to get €123,866, as well as a further €186,527 for Rock Road.

Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said the funding from the National Transport Authority (NTA) will deliver high quality upgrades to walking and cycling infrastructure, with sustainable transport modes vital as the county emerges from the pandemic.

“I am pleased that Kerry County Council has been awarded funding which is part of an overall total of €289 million for approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects across the country,” Deputy Griffin said.

“Ensuring we have a good and efficient transport system in Kerry is essential for the future as we aim to make our communities and town centres more vibrant, in addition to making commuting to work and school safer and easier. Over the past two years we have spent more time enjoying our outdoor amenities and investing in active travel will also help us to meet our climate change obligations.”

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