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Celebrations for Killarney’s latest centenarian

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CELEBRATIONS: 100-year-old John Coffey, Lewis Road Killarney, with his daughters Noreen Coffey and Mary O'Rourke and extended family members at the 100th birthday celebrations at the Dr Crokes GAA Clubhouse on Monday evening. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

By Sean Moriarty

The county’s latest centenarian, Lewis Road resident John Coffey, was surrounded by family and friends from all over Ireland, Australia and America who gathered for an enormous party in Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, to celebrate his 100 birthday on Saturday.

Over 200 family members and friends attended the party where members of the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club’s male choir provided the entertainment.

“It was great that he was able to catch up and reminisce about old times,” his daughter Mary O’Rourke told the Killarney Advertiser. “He sang with the choir, ‘Goodbye from the Musical White Horse Inn’, a song he would have performed when he was involved in the ‘Tops of the Town’. He felt the whole night was an affirmation of his life. He gave a great speech, it lasted 13 minutes, and he had no problem facing the 200 audience. It gave him the confidence to look ahead to many more years. His grandson Liam is getting married in October 2020 and that is the next big milestone for him.”

Continuing the celebrations, neighbours and friends organised a Mass for him at Dr Crokes Clubhouse on Monday – the day of his actual birthday.

Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, also presented the President’s cheque to him.

“That was a very proud moment for him,” Mary added. “Michael Gleason spoke in a very personal way on how he first met my father around Beaufort. He had two great loyalties, Dr Crokes and Beaufort GAA, and it was a source of great pride for him that both teams won All-Ireland finals in recent years.”

Ahead of his two parties, he asked that people would not give him presents, instead donations to two local charities, Down Syndrome Kerry and the Killarney Cardiac Response Unit.

Over €4,000 euros was raised this way.

“He was blown away by the generosity of the people who donated and gave cash gifts.”

His first job was when he took over the role as a Cottage Rent Collector from his father from 1939 to 1948, cycling from Beaufort back to west Kerry on a daily basis - which he now attributes to his good health and long life.

He then took a job in Killarney Town Council as a Community Welfare Officer and built the family home on Lewis Road with his wife Kitty O’Shea from Brandon, who he met on his travels. They had five children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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John Coffey celebrating his 100th birthday with members of the extended Coffey family at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, Killarney on Saturday.

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Sinead is queen of the court

By Con Dennehy With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport. Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater […]

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By Con Dennehy

With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport.

Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater Killarney region.

One of the most impressive performances on the night was in the Beginners Category where local star Sinead Moriarty secured a number of electrifying victories to win the overall title.

“This was a very competitive competition. In the opening games Neill Horgan was defeated by Rosin King from Glenbeigh 13-15 with Sinead Moriarty getting the better of exchanges with Bríd Horgan (Spa) 15-8. In the other game Niamh Faulds from Glenflesk lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-10 despite a very brave effort from Niamh,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of Spa Killarney Handball Club.

In the semi-finals Sheila Kelliher lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-11 with Sinead Moriarty defeating Rosin King 15-12.

“In a pulsating final Sinead saw off the dogged challenge of Elena O’Donoghue 15-11. While Sinead dominated this game, she looked in control and played a brilliant tournament throughout and was a deserving overall winner.”

In the Advanced category there were wins for Evan Enright and Eoin O’Donoghue in the opening games.

In the quarter finals Even Enright saw off the challenge of Brendan O’Donoghue 15-8 while Eoghan Daly defeated Eoin O’Donoghue 15-11, Aoife Walsh (Currow) defeated Maggie Quirke (Glenbeigh) 15-7 and Brian McEvoy beat Michael Clifford 15-6.

Semi-final success for Evan Enright and Eoghan Daly saw them battle it out in a pulsating final with Daly taking the title on a 15-12 scoreline.

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Soroptimists fundraising efforts not “hampered” by COVID

By Michelle Crean COVID didn’t “hamper” their efforts this year as members of the Killarney Soroptimist Club came together and gave generously to charity. Members of the group couldn’t hold normal meetings this year due to the ongoing restrictions but pulled together to continue supporting a women’s aid countywide service. Along with family and friends […]

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By Michelle Crean

COVID didn’t “hamper” their efforts this year as members of the Killarney Soroptimist Club came together and gave generously to charity.

Members of the group couldn’t hold normal meetings this year due to the ongoing restrictions but pulled together to continue supporting a women’s aid countywide service.

Along with family and friends they created Christmas hampers for the third year running and donated them to the ADAPT Centre in Tralee on Tuesday.

There, they presented them to Catherine Casey, who is the Manager of ADAPT Women’s Refuge Centre.

“It is wonderful to be in a position to donate these Christmas hampers to ADAPT once again this year,” Killarney Soroptimist Club President, Teresa Irwin, said.

“Due to COVID and not being able to hold normal club meetings we were unsure what we could manage. We are thrilled with the response since we decided to go ahead and amazed at the generosity and the number of hampers. We wish to thank all those that donated. Hopefully the residents of ADAPT will enjoy them.”

Catherine said that they were once again very grateful to all the members of the Killarney Soroptimist Club.

“We recognise that there is a lot of organising and work done by the Club President Teresa Irwin and all the members in collecting and putting the hampers together. It is heartwarming to see the support and generosity of the club. ADAPT Kerry and the Killarney Soroptimists have built a very good relationship over the last number of years and they have lead many campaigns to highlight our service in the Killarney area, including taking part in the ‘Safe Homes, Safe Communities’ initiatives. There is no doubt that their work raises awareness of our service and has contributed to many more women making contact with us for support by phone, through our outreach service and availing of refuge.”

If you would like to talk to ADAPT Kerry please ring 066 7129100 anytime.

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