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Black and Amber on red alert



by Eamonn Fitzgerald

Senior Club Championship

Dr Crokes v Austin Stacks

Sunday at 2.30pm

Lewis Road

The prospect of relegation will once again be staring Dr Crokes in the face if they lose to three-in-a-row champions Austin Stacks on Sunday.

Crokes have home venue and they will certainly need that advantage following two defeats at the hands of Templenoe and Kerins O’Rahillys in Rounds 1 and 2.

They were beaten by four points by Rahillys and lost out narrowly by a single point at a balmy Templenoe on Saturday last (1-6 to 0-10). Both sides kicked some dreadful wides and the county players were largely anonymous - obviously still drained after their All-Ireland win/celebrations.

The only two Kerry players who really shone were Gavin Crowley and Micheál Burns.

The outstanding footballer on the field was Templenoe’s Pat Clifford, who is not long back from England.

Crokes have now suffered four defeats in a row. Along with Stacks, the Killarney club are the most successful club team in Kerry. Crokes won seven Kerry SFC titles between 2010 and 2018. Now they are rebuilding a new team with a cohort of young players to be blooded.

However, that does not provide the total reason for their losses. They were close to a full team versus Templenoe, except for key player Gavin White who is out with a knee injury which could keep him out of football for the rest of the season if he needs surgery.

Micheál Burns and debutants Neil O’Shea and Cian McMahon kept Crokes in the game the last day. Fionn Fitzgerald also showed that he hasn’t lost the defensive skills he has honed in Croke Park and elsewhere. He confined Killian Spillane, Templenoe’s most dangerous player, to just one point from play. Burns did very well also.

The Rock also had a dreadful start to this year’s championship as they were hammered by Templenoe and just about got out of dodge on Sunday last against Strand Road.

This match at Connolly Park was a repeat of the 2021 Kerry SFC final. After their mishaps of losing their two top players at the start of last year’s county final, Rahillys put in a big effort to win the bragging rights. David Moran was unlucky to be injured last year but he made amends for it this time around.

As expected, Jack Savage scored from frees. Mush O’Brien scored their goal and Tommy Walsh popped up for three points, which included two marks.

Stacks battled on, however, and some of their younger players did well. The Stacks natives told me that Star Donaghy will not be playing this year “because he is nearly 40”.

Gearóid Fitzgerald’s goal got the Rock going and it was nip and tuck to the end with Stacks eventually winning by a single point.

Now Stacks are back in the mix for a semi-final berth, although they could still face the drop if their trip to Killarney is unsuccessful. Group leaders Templenoe (4 points) face Rahillys (2 points) at the same time in Strand Road.

Stacks (2 points) will secure a top two finish if they win and Rahillys lose.

If Rahillys and Stacks both win, the top three teams will be separated by points difference.

If Stacks lose on Sunday and Rahillys win, Stacks will finish joint bottom with Crokes, at which point their head-to-head record against Crokes will sentence them to the relegation playoff. However, if Stacks lose and Rahillys also lose, they and Crokes will be joint bottom and the fourth placed team will be decided by points difference.

One thing is certain: a further loss for Crokes will put them into a relegation battle, as happened last year. They won that game against Legion.

Brian McMahon will be looking for a big step-up in performance from the Crokes in this all black and amber clash at Lewis Road.



Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]





Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.


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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally



Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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