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Can anyone stop the Crokes?



Dr Crokes v St Kieran’s

Saturday, August 25 at 4pm

(Lewis Road)

The above headline is getting a bit repetitive but, unfortunately for 16 of the 17 teams in contention, so too is the Kerry County Championship. Dr Crokes are on the hunt for three-in-a-row and Pat O’Shea’s team are odds-on favourites to prevail once again in 2018.

The Killarney club retained their Club Championship crown with a comprehensive victory over Kenmare in April and they remained unbeaten throughout their County League campaign, winning 10 of their 11 games and drawing one. Untimely injuries to key men Gavin White and Tony Brosnan may open the door for their rivals just a bit but if any squad can absorb the blow of losing such an influential pair, it’s the Crokes’.

St Kieran’s forced a replay with Austin Stacks in Round 1 last year before being eliminated by West Kerry in the loser’s round. They couldn’t have been handed a more difficult opener this time out, but they might take heart from their showing against the same opposition in 2016 when they lost by a single point. Having said that, anything other than a comfortable Crokes victory would be a major shock.

Verdict: Crokes by eleven.

Dr Crokes

Last year: Champions (beat South Kerry)

Winners: 12 times (1901, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1991, 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017)

Current form: WWWWW

Tournament odds: 5/6 

St Kieran’s

Last year: Round 2B (lost to West Kerry)

Winners: Once (1988)

Clubs: Ballymacelligott, Brosna, Castleisland Desmonds, Cordal, Currow, Knocknagoshel, Scartaglin

Tournament odds: 40/1


Legion and Rathmore know each other well

Rathmore v Killarney Legion

Saturday, August 25 at 6pm


These two groups of players have met so many times in recent years they must be sick of the sight of each other. The sides are fairly evenly matched but Rathmore have had the upper hand of late, defeating Legion in last year’s O’Donoghue Cup final and also coming out on top when they met in the County League at the end of June.

Led by high calibre players like Paul Murphy, Mark Reen and Shane Ryan, and with two-time All-Star Aidan O’Mahony rumoured to be back and ready for action, Rathmore will be a formidable championship team as always.

As a Legion player it would probably be unwise of me to predict the outcome of this one.

Verdict: Too close to call.


Last year: Quarter-final (lost to South Kerry)

Winners: Never

Current form: WLWLW

Tournament odds: 22/1

Killarney Legion

Last year: Round 2A (lost to Austin Stacks)

Winners: Once (1946)

Current form: LLWWL

Tournament odds: 25/1


Can the Shamrocks rock the South?

South Kerry v Kenmare Shamrocks

Saturday, August 25 at 6pm


Last year’s beaten finalists begin their 2018 campaign with a home fixture against Kenmare Shamrocks in Caherciveen. Having pushed the Crokes reasonably close in 2017, the men from the south will be hoping to go one step further this year and they still have enough talent in their squad to be considered one of the highest ranked contenders.

It has been a mixed year for Kenmare. They reached the final of the Club Championship but lost to the Crokes and last weekend they avoided relegation to Division 3 of the County League with victory on the final day over Kilcummin. With Kerry stars Stephen O’Brien and Seán O’Shea pulling the strings in their forward division, the 2016 Intermediate champs have what it takes to make life difficult for any team in the county.

Verdict: South Kerry by three.

South Kerry

Last year: Runners-up (lost to Dr Crokes)

Winners: 10 times (1955, 1956, 1958, 1981, 1982, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2015)

Clubs: Derrynane, Dromid Pearses, Renard, Skellig Rangers, Sneem, St. Mary’s, St. Michael’s/Foilmore, Valentia, Waterville

Tournament odds: 9/1

Kenmare Shamrocks

Last year: Quarter-final (lost to Dr Crokes)

Winners: Never

Current form: LLLWW

Tournament odds: 25/1


An Ghaeltacht back in the big time

Mid Kerry v An Ghaeltacht

Saturday, August 25 at 6pm


The glory days of the early 2000s seem like a lifetime away but, after a spell out of the spotlight, An Ghaeltacht will once again have a chance to prove themselves at the top table of Kerry football. The Intermediate champions brought the Bishop Moynihan Cup back to Gallarus in 2001 and 2003 and starting this weekend they’ll be hoping to get back to winning ways at senior level.

They’ll fancy their chances of getting a positive result in Round 1; opponents Mid Kerry lost both of their ties in last year’s championship and they’ve only won two championship games in the past three years.

Verdict: An Ghaeltacht by one.

Mid Kerry

Last year: Round 2B (lost to East Kerry)

Winners: 4 times (1967, 1971, 1992, 2008)

Clubs: Beaufort, Cromane, Glenbeigh-Glencar, Keel, Laune Rangers, Milltown/Castlemaine

Tournament odds: 16/1

An Ghaeltacht

Last year: Intermediate champions (beat Templenoe)

Winners: 2 times (2001, 2003)


Tournament odds: 16/1


St Brendan’s could cause some upsets

Qualification Round

St Brendan’s v West Kerry

Sunday, August 26 at 6.30pm

(Austin Stack Park)

Their record in the County Championship might tell a different tale but St Brendan’s are a team on the up. With up-and-coming talent like Jack Barry, Ivan Parker and Stefan Okunbor in their ranks, the divisional outfit have the potential to cause one or two upsets in this year’s competition.

You would certainly expect them to advance past last year’s semi-finalists West Kerry, who will probably struggle to cope with the loss of their players from An Ghaeltacht.

The winners of this game will play East Kerry in the first round proper next weekend.

Verdict: St Brendan’s by five.

St Brendan’s

Last year: Round 3 (lost to East Kerry)

Winners: Never

Clubs: Ardfert, Churchill, John Mitchels, Na Gaeil, St Pat’s Blennerville

Tournament odds: 25/1

West Kerry

Last year: Semi-final (lost to Dr Crokes)

Winners: Three times (1984, 1985, 1990)

Clubs: Annascaul, Castlegregory, Lispole

Tournament odds: 66/1


Possible return to campus for college students



By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.

This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.

From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.


A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.


I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1. 

To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on 

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Deadline for health and well-being fest fast approaching

Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching. This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10. Organised by an interagency […]




Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching.

This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.

Organised by an interagency steering group, the key focus of the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events.

“The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active – as well as raising awareness of the available supports and services in the county,” Chair of the Steering Committee, Donagh Hennebry, said.

“The Fest has a wide reach across Kerry and we want to continue to build on its success in 2021. But we can’t do this without you! We are inviting anyone who is interested in helping us achieve our goal, by hosting an event(s) during #KerryMHWFest, to register online as soon as possible.”

The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.

To register your interest to host an event for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, visit before close of business on Friday, June 25.

For more information about registration, promotion, or the Fest in general, please contact the interagency steering group at:

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Free and subsidised higher education courses for Kerry

  11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry. The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in […]





11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry.

The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in Retail Food Service Operations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business.

Over 10,000 places are available across both programmes nationwide in 2021.

Springboard+ provides free courses for people who are unemployed, people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones, or people who want to upskill. Now in its 10th year, over 75,000 people have benefited from Springboard+ to date.

Courses under the HCI Pillar 1 programme are aimed at graduates and offer incentivised places for them to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.

For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course. The programmes are managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

Launching the programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to ensure that people have the skills they need”.


Candidates who wish to participate will find full details on the approved courses on Experienced guidance counsellors will be available to advise potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 participants on their options on the freephone Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.


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