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Anger and confusion as fans prevented from attending matches



LOCKED OUT: Michael Cronin (Chairman of Spa GAA) and Fergal Moynihan (Chairman of Legion GAA) are furious over the latest Government proposals for sport. Photo: Michelle Crean


By Sean Moriarty


Local GAA clubs have reacted with shock and disappointment following the Government’s decision to ban spectators from matches until at least September 13.


Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced a range of new measures on Tuesday in an effort to contain the second spread of COVID-19.

One of the biggest restrictions is the complete banning of spectators from all sporting events. This came as a huge blow to local GAA clubs. The 2020 Garvey’s Senior Football Championship gets underway this weekend.

“The general view is that Government took the soft option having failed to agree on more unpopular decisions,” Spa GAA Club Chairman Michael Cronin said. “People are fairly fed up both with the Government and even the GAA itself as people paid up full membership and the club paid full insurance, but the club was closed for four months and people are still unable to see games.”

It was hoped that the number of attendees at games would increase from the previously allowed 200 people to 500 - but Tuesday’s decision went the opposite way.

“We are very disappointed with the decision. Totally unexpected. We were expecting the exact opposite. People were looking forward to seeing County Championship and quarter finals of the club championships," Michael added.

Legion Chairman Fergal Moynihan told the Killarney Advertiser that “it is a big blow for people".

“For club games it is a family thing, parents, partners, children want to go and support their players and it is the main part for them to be physically there. It was very difficult on club secretaries who had to turn people away and it was hoped that the increase to 500 would take the pressure off – it is gone the other way.”

GAA clubs in Killarney say this is unfair after they followed all guidelines in place since June 29. These included the extra work load of ticket issuing and the management of same. They are also baffled by the decision as there is no evidence that fans who attended matches since June 29 are contributing to the virus spread.

“Club fixtures are going to be very important this year,” Fergal added. “It is still emerging what is going to happen. The chances of inter-county games seem slim right now and the club championship will become even more important."

Clubs have warned too that they face financial difficulties in the future. The lack of spectators attending matches is having a negative impact on club’s balance sheets, Lotto income is reduced too due to pub closures but expenditure is increased due to new COVID-19 safety protocols.

“There won’t be a single club in the county that will be impacted by this,” added Fergal. “Even the County Board will be impacted.”

Policing the new rules will be difficult too.

“Clubs are working hard to keep all players training and involved in games. If parents alone can attend games the impact of this decision may not be as severe,” added Michael. “We can’t see any club turning people away from a gate at a club game at any level. The clubs will be expecting those same people to support their Lotto and other events.”



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 […]




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 […]




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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