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Ballyfinnane Hillclimb was deemed a massive success

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Kerry Motor Club and the Ballyfinnane Community Hall Association created motorsport history in the mid-Kerry village on Sunday.

Connor Ashe and his dad Shane from Firies had fun at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Teresa Daly and Robin (5) from Ballyfinnane got a chance to see the rally cars up close at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Sylvia and Emma Walsh pictured taking time out from the rain in the Ballyfinnane Community Hall during the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Sarah Morris Abbey Kelliher Brendan Kelliher and Sophie Kelliher from Cromane pictured enjoying the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed in the rain on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Natalia McDermott from Ballymac had fun with her twin brothers Oscar (left) and Ollie (right) at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Mossie Costello (Tarbert) Cyril and Ronan Clohessy (Clare) took part in the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Lillyrose Cronin and Sheila Vaughan were busy keeping everyone fed at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Ken O’Neill (Milltown) George Edwards (Camp) Martin Quirke (Camp) and Dave Curran (Tralee) has some shelter from the showers during Sunday’s Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Having the craic while taking a break at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

David McCarthy (Moyvane) Sophie Kelliher (Cromane) Siobhan and Cian McCarthy (Moyvane) pictured at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Connor Ashe and his dad Shane from Firies had fun at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

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Brian O’Connor Cian O’Mahony Stephen O’Connell and Jay O’Rourke took a break from marshalling at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Ann and Carla Ann Flynn from Croughmore Ballyfinnane pictured at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Andrew Boyle Patrick Clifford Jack Clifford and Liam Pigott from Castlemaine at the Ballyfinnane Festival of Speed on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

Driver John Kennedy. Photo: Michelle Breen Crean Photography

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The two groups marked the 120th anniversary of the first motorsport event in Kerry by running a hillclimb event in the area.

Modern safety rules prevented the use of the original hill but Kerry Motor Club and Motorsport Ireland officials identified a new section of road in the area that allowed the local club to run its first hillclimb in Kerry since the mid-1980s.

Huge crowds descended on the village where a range of sideshows like a classic car display and a motorcycle exhibition added to the occasion.

The 1.41km course ran from Aubee Bridge to the Ballyfinnane Community Hall, winner John Donnely from Tyrone cleared the course in an incredible 44.29 seconds in his Pilbeam single-seater racing car.

He set the time on his first of five passes over the course.

Limerick’s Ben O’Brien was second in his Gould GR 37 racing car. His best time over the distance came 46.79 seconds, coming on the fifth and final run.

Ed Synan from Shanagolden was the best of the rally car drivers, he finished third overall in his Escort.

Firies-based West Cork man Vince McSweeney was the best of the local drivers. The rules stated that a driver must have a Kerry address to qualify for the award. The Mitsubishi Lancer E7 driver finished fourth overall.

Several Kerry drivers took home class awards. Killarney’s David Maes won class 2 for Modified Production Saloons in his BMW Mini. This was his first-ever motorsport award of any description.

Billy Burke, who usually races in Mondello Park, contested his first closed road event and won Class 3A in his Honda Civic.

The event also permitted rally cars and local drivers took the opportunity to take their cars for a run.

PJ O’Dowd double-drove Ken McKenna’s Peugeot 205 and beat the car’s owner for the Class 8A win. David Griffin was third in this class, Declan O’Sullivan fourth and London-based Killarney man Mick Smith fifth.

Mark O’Leary won class 8B. Local man Keith O’Connor, a member of the organising team was fourth in the same class.

Cyril Wharton, one of the sponsors of the event won class 9B and despite clutch issues motorcycle racer Anthony O’Carroll was fourth.
Killarney and District Motor Club members Brian Hickey was third in class 10, John Hickey fifth and Tom O’Sullivan seventh.

Kerry Motor Club officials praised the support they got from the local community to get the event off the ground and sponsors Brian O’Neill Garden Equipment and Trailers, Cyril Wharton Tool Hire and Moriarty’s Central Cars Sales for their support.

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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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