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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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