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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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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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Investigation continues into New St fire

  Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week. The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7). It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting […]

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Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week.

The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7).

It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting and ducting on the first, second and third floors. There was heavy smoke throughout the hotel but all guests were evacuated safely.

The landmark hotel, which also houses the famous Danny Mann pub, has not yet reopened, and local Gardai are still investigating its cause.

“The investigation is ongoing,” a Killarney Gardai Station spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser. “We are establishing the full facts in relation to the fire.”

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