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Celtic experience best season in club’s history

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CELEBRATIONS: Senior A team manager Brian Spillane (left) with team captain John McDonagh and vice chairman and assistant manager Tim Jones celebrate a great season for the senior side. Photo: Marie Carroll O’Sullivan

 

All that glitters might not usually be gold - but the silverware currently on display at Celtic Park in Ballydribeen certainly reflects a truly golden season in the proud 44-year history of Killarney Celtic Football Club.

In what has been the most successful season in the club's history – which has just drawn to a close - in terms of dream achievements, it just couldn’t have got any bigger or better for the club at all levels with a haul of trophies and successes that was totally unprecedented in Kerry soccer.

Leading by example, the senior team won the Premier A Championship and the Greyhound Bar KO Cup double for an incredible third year in a row, once again proving absolutely invincible under the direction of astute manager Brian Spillane.

In addition to that remarkable achievement, Celtic clinched the Munster Champions League – having competed against some of the top sides in the province – and in a novel all-Celtic final, the club’s A team overcame the challenge of the B team in the Celsius Menswear Cup decider. And it didn’t end there.

Having won the Jimmy Falvey Memorial Cup and the keenly contested Denny Youths League in convincing fashion, the club’s swashbuckling youths team created their own wonderful chapter in the annals of Kerry and Irish soccer when they registered a dramatic FAI Youth Cup final victory over fancied Cork side Douglas Hall in a tension-filled penalty shootout.

This season will be remembered as the greatest ever in the history of Killarney Celtic with so many triumphs to celebrate, so many cups to hold aloft and so many achievements to be proud of.

Progressive club chairman, Paul Sherry, said the success story is due mainly to the priority given to the underage policy over the years with several hundred players, in all age groups, turning up for training.

“There is great dedication shown by everybody involved in the club, from the officials, the coaches, the backroom teams, the parents and, of course, the players and the enthusiasm shown week in and week out is just infectious,” he said.

“We have just completed a remarkably successful season and that is to be celebrated but we remain hugely ambitious and we still harbour a great desire to win the elusive FAI Junior Cup after coming so close in recent seasons,” Paul added.

​​​​​​​CLUB HISTORY

Amusing as it might seem now, the Celtic story started at a Wolfe Tones concert with the seeds for the birth of a new soccer club in Killarney sown to strains of ‘A Nation Once Again’ in a packed Gleneagle Hotel ballroom.

Pals Mikey Daly, from O’Connell’s Terrace, and Billy Healy, of Dalton’s Avenue, were enjoying a night on the town 44 years ago when the talk turned to the beautiful game.

“Billy was playing with Pretty Polly and I was with the Franciscan Youth Club and we decided over a few pints that we’d form a club,” Mikey, later recalled.

A common belief that the fledging club took its name and its colours from Glasgow Celtic are well wide of the mark, however.

“Killarney already had an Athletic and a Rangers so Celtic was the first name that came to mind,” Mikey said.
The first set of jerseys weren’t green and white hoops either, rather a fetching shade of yellow.

“We bought them in Jimmy O’Brien’s sports shop for 33 punts. We went for yellow simply because it was all he had,” Mikey said.

Renting playing space in local fields for years, Celtic eventually acquired its own base and Celtic Park is now one of the finest grounds in the south west, befitting of the most successful club in Kerry soccer.

And such is the progress that is being made, it’s safe to assume that the best has yet to come.

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Local soprano releases new single

Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday. ‘Before […]

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Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single.

Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday.

‘Before You Leave Me’ has a Jazz influence. Mary has been writing her own songs since March this year covering several different genres.

“Tony O’Flaherty of Sonas Studios has brought my songs to life and I am delighted with the production on the songs,” Mary told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town

The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30. Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in […]

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The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30.

Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in Ireland hope that this year’s event will inspire even more people than previous years and has funded multiple flagship as well as local events run by the Network of Local Sports Partnerships, including this ‘Family Street Orienteering Kerry’ event.

“This free event looks to offer everyone an opportunity the get out and be active and maybe try something new,” Gearóid O Doherty, the Coordinator of Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership said. 

“Urban Orienteering is an activity that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. You get to challenge yourself a little and still go at a pace that suits you – and what a beautiful location to do it all in, Killarney town!

“With many people possibly new to the Kerry region, be that through work, college or otherwise, this is an ideal way to get involved in the community and explore the streets and lanes of Killarney in a fun and active way.”

The Kerry Orienteers Club have designed the courses for this event and are looking forward to the excitement of it all and helping those new to the sport to continue taking part in the months and years that follow.

“We know that, for a lot of people, this will be their first time trying orienteering, but they can rest assured, as we will be there to talk them through it and help them out if needed,” Brendan O’Brien from Kerry Orienteers said.

“If it is something they want to try again, we can signpost them to other events, both locally here in Kerry and indeed nationally. Orienteering is a fantastic sport that allows you to build your skills and confidence, with all events having a variety of routes to cater for all levels.”

To cater for physical distancing and government guidelines, there are several staggered start times for participants to choose from, beginning at 6pm and the last group heading off at 7.30pm. With free t-shirts for all who sign up and additional workshops onsite, from the likes of Leave No Trace Ireland, it is sure to be a fun and vibrant evening, all stemming from the start point at ANAM – Killarney’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Places are limited for this event. Free online registration is available and those looking to attend are encouraged to book their place early to avoid disappointment.

For more information, you can visit any of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership social media accounts or go to www.sportireland.ie.

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