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A case of mistaken identity at Killarney Races




The final festival of the season, AutumnFest took place at Killarney Races last weekend, Delivering a fun-filled programme with increased crowds, top-class racing and a superb atmosphere.

Despite a rocky start on the weather front on Saturday, it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance. With no less than a dozen individual hen and stag parties raring to go at the track, the bars were full, the bookies were busy and the craic was mighty.

Thankfully, the sun shone for punters for the National Hunt card on Sunday which was a fantastic day of racing action, although not without plenty of drama and media headlines too.

Over the weekend, Tote very generously sponsored 11 races and EBF sponsored 3 races, attracting a good entry with all the top yards represented. Trainer Jessica Harrington enjoyed a double on Saturday with the O’Brien brothers Donnacha and Joseph each on the winners board with Navel Force and Gamble Veloci obliging for the pair respectively.

Bang Po ridden by Donagh O’Connor and trained by Ross O’Sullivan was promoted to winner status, following a case of mistaken identity and subsequent disqualification.

A handling mix up meant a stable with two horses on the card ran the wrong horse in the wrong race which in turn duly went on to win. On inspection the mix-up was identified and the horse was disqualified by the stewards.

The unusual occurrence was witnessed by bumper crowds at the meeting with many guests in attendance from Ireland and the UK.

The trainer involved, John Feane, was fined €3,000 by the stewards and held his hands up over the incident. He told Racing TV: "It's human error. I was unfortunately delayed getting to the races. I was stuck in traffic and got here ten minutes late.

"I have apologised to the owners, this has cost everyone money.

The wrong horse was tacked up and I noticed the error immediately when I arrived in the stable yard. It's history now, but people study history to discover where things go wrong. At point-to-points we scan every horse before they go into the parade ring. Maybe in the future it might help trainers and stable staff if that was brought in at race meetings instead of just scanning the winner after the race.

"But on saying that, I'm not blaming anyone bar myself. I've accepted the fine. I have the right to appeal but I'm not going to. I would like to apologise as sincerely as I can to the punters and the owners. I will put this behind me and go forward."

Sunday was a national hunt race day with seven exciting races over jumps.

Dual purpose trainer Joseph O’Brien got on the board again with Goodie Two Shoes winning the first race of the day. Enda Bolger’s Solidary Man won the Novice Hurdle in impressive fashion with Darragh O’Keeffe on board.

Much to the delight of punters, strong favourite in the market ‘Londonofficeiscalling’ obliged at 5/2 in the 4th race for father and son combination Eric and Conor McNamara, covering the expenses of the day for many in attendance. Tony Martin’s Read to Return ridden by Philip Enright took the Tote Fantacy Beginners Chase to bring down the curtain on the festival and indeed the season at Killarney Races.

Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Billy O’Sullivan commented “What a lovely meeting AutumnFest turned out to be, it was a great two-day meeting that was thoroughly enjoyed by all with some fantastic winners. I would like to thank all our patrons, supporters and sponsors and the horse-racing industry without whom racing would not be possible. We truly had a wonderful 2023 season and can’t wait to do it all again next year!”

Next year, Killarney Races will bring you four festivals to enjoy over the months of May, July, August and October.



Kerry International Film Festival to celebrate 25th anniversary 

Kerry International Film Festival has announced that Amy-Louise O’Callaghan has been appointed Programming Director for 2024. She will curate a special programme to celebrate 25 years of the festival, which […]




Kerry International Film Festival has announced that Amy-Louise O’Callaghan has been appointed Programming Director for 2024.

She will curate a special programme to celebrate 25 years of the festival, which takes place from October 17 to 20, across a variety of venues in Killarney.
As part of its commitment to reach as many people as possible, KIFF also hosts county-wide film events throughout the year. In this capacity, Amy-Louise was thrilled to present a selection of award-winning KIFF films to a full house in Dingle as part of the brilliant Feile Na Bealtaine festival.
Another outreach event sees Amy-Louise host a KIFF/ Cruinniú na nÓg collaboration in Killarney on June 15.
This event offers a free programme of short animations from Ireland and beyond, followed by an interactive stop-motion workshop.
Amy Louise is a film programmer and illustrator who has spent the last few years working in the Irish Film Institute on its annual schools programme, delivering an extensive selection of Irish and international films to young people throughout Ireland.
“I am delighted to be appointed the Festival Programming Director for 2024. Coming from North Cork, access to arts and culture in rural areas has always been very important to me. Local film festivals like KIFF offer the opportunity to experience a huge variety of cultures and experiences, and everyone of all ages should feel welcome to come in and enjoy what’s on offer. I’m very excited to join such a great team to deliver a dynamic programme next October,” she said.
KIFF is immensely grateful to their title sponsors, Kerry Airport, as well as their key partners, including Kerry County Council, Screen Ireland, the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA), Tower Records Ireland, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Randles Hotel, the Plaza Hotel, the Great Southern Hotel Killarney, Fáilte Ireland and Kerry Broadband as well as a wealth of local businesses, individuals and supporters.


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Top 10 Essential tips for Leaving Cert Students in lead up to June 5

The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting […]




The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting year.

The natural anxiety felt by students is often heightened by the annual media hype around the state exams and it is really important that you do your best to manage that stress effectively, so that you are ready to perform to the best of your ability once the exams start. The following tips may help to keep you focused and a little calmer in the lead up to June 5.

1. Review, don’t cram – Focus on summary notes, flashcards, or mind maps. This reinforces what you’ve already studied. Prioritise areas where you feel less confident, but don’t try to learn new material.

2. Practise past papers – Review marking schemes and time allocation for each question you will need to answer on each paper. Practise a sample of questions against the clock. This will maximise your scoring potential.

3. Organise your materials – Check the exam timetable and highlight your own exams. Prepare the stationary that you need, gather pens, pencils, calculators, and so on. Pack your bag the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

4. Maintain a healthy balance – Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is crucial for memory, concentration and stamina. Eat well, include proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your meals to maintain energy levels. Drink plenty of water, hydration is essential.

5. Try to manage stress – Schedule short breaks during study sessions and do something enjoyable and relaxing, like a short walk, playing or listening to music. Get fresh air and some light exercise. Use relaxation techniques like breathing exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

6. Focus on a positive mindset – Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your preparation. Concentrate on what you know and not on what you think you don’t! Try to avoid negative self-talk and steer clear of discussions that heighten anxiety, such as comparing how much you’ve studied with friends.

7. Plan your weekend – Create a realistic timetable for the weekend, balancing study sessions with breaks and relaxation and don’t overdo the study. You need plenty of energy for the exams.

8. Stay connected – Talk to friends and family, if you are feeling overwhelmed reach out and get support from loved ones. If it’s helpful, have a short, focused study session with friends to clarify doubts.

9. Keep things in perspective – The Leaving Cert is important but won’t define you and regardless of what happens you have several options open to you. Try to reframe the media hype as the whole country getting behind you, for what they know to be a tough time for you.

10. Get Set for exam day – Double-check the venue, seating arrangements, and required materials for the day of the exam. On the evening before the exam, do a light review of key concepts but avoid heavy studying. Ensure you know how to get to the exam venue and plan to arrive early (at least 30 mins on the first day). Decide what you’ll wear to avoid rushing in the morning and have your water and snacks ready to go.

Above all else, give the exams your best shot! Once they are over you have a lovely ‘study-free’ summer and bright future to look forward to. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!


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