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A very different Killarney Races on the cards

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Races will go ahead in July but without spectators and on alternative days to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

However, plans for the August meeting remain on target and the postponed May meeting could get the go-ahead to run in October.

Horse Racing Ireland announced this week that the sport would resume, in a restricted capacity, in Ireland on June 8. Phase Four of the Government’s reopening plan comes into effect on July 20 - which is too late for the traditional July 13 to 17 summer meeting.

Management at Killarney Racecourse have revealed to the Killarney Advertiser that the July meeting will go ahead - but with several conditions attached.

These include the banning of spectators and the general public and the deep cleaning of course facilities after each day of racing.

The latter requirement will force the meeting to take place over alternative dates with the down time used to deep clean contact points on the course.

“We will fulfil the July days but the meeting will be broken up to allow deep cleaning – we simply would not have the time to do it properly every day,” manager Phillip O’Brien told the Killarney Advertiser. “There are two ways of looking at this, Killarney Races is all about the day out, the social aspect and the roar of the crowd, but for jockeys and trainers, it is their livelihoods – it is their bread and butter.”

Irish racing will resume at Naas on June 8. The Irish 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas, the country’s first Classics in 2020, will be staged at The Curragh on June 12-13, Horse Racing Ireland said this week. The Irish Derby, meanwhile, will remain in its traditional slot on the last weekend in June.

O’Brien will be watching these meetings closely and will apply lessons learned at his July event.

“By the time it comes around to us, it will be a well-oiled machine,” he added. “It is important to get something back and if Horse Racing gets it right it will give confidence to other sports.”

Meanwhile, O’Brien has applied to Horse Racing Ireland to transfer his May dates to an alternative date in October, but this move remains unconfirmed and is dependent on the available slots in what could be an already congested calendar.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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