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Celtic players enjoy trip of a lifetime

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A total of 42 young Killarney Celtic players enjoyed the experience of a lifetime during a trip to Italy last week.

A party was held in the town square in Verrés.

Club stalwarts Mikey Lyne and Paul Sherry fly the Celtic flag in Italy.

Some of the Killarney contingent at the AS Roma v Torino Serie A game.

The Killarney contingent on a sightseeing tour.

The young Celtic players with Italian soccer legend Moreno Torricelli.

They participated in a friendship tournament in Verrés, a beautiful Aosta Valley village, located to the north-west of Turin in Italy and also enjoyed the culture and friendship.

Flying from Dublin to Milan Malpensa before completing the journey to Verrés by bus, they were accompanied by 21 adult club members and coaches with two Celtic teams competing – with successful outcomes – against the locals in Under 13 and Under 14 blitz-style tournaments.

As well as daily training sessions, they also had an exciting coaching clinic and a questions and answers session with legendary Italian soccer star Moreno Torricelli, who won three Italian titles, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League with Juventus and was man-of-the-match in the 1996 Champions League final. He also played for Fiorentina and was part of the Italy squad for Euro '96 and the 1998 World Cup.

The Killarney contingent also took in a Serie A clash between José Mourinho’s AS Roma and Torino in the Olimpico di Torino which the visitors won 1-0.

As the Alpine province of Verrés is very close to the Italy-France border, and many of the travelling party are studying French in secondary school in Killarney, a full hour of French lessons was organised on each of the five days.

One of the most entertaining events of the visit was a seven-a-side clash between the visiting Killarney Celtic coaches and parents and a local team, starring the Mayor of Verrés, and despite romping into a 3-0 lead, the Celtic representatives were eventually hauled back and the game ended 3-3.

GREAT EXPERIENCE

The visiting party from Killarney also enjoyed sightseeing tours to ski resorts and cable car rides in the Alps and, to mark their visit, they were afforded the full VIP treatment when the town square was closed off and a street party and open air disco were held in their honour with souvenir medals presented to the Celtic players by the mayor.

The travelling party was accommodated, free of charge, in campus-style chalets and the visit was supported by a generous €700 donation to Celtic by Kerry County Council under the Community Support Fund.

The club also organised a number of fundraising initiatives ­– including a quiz night, a cake sale, collecting acorns in the National Park and stewarding for an adventure race – to help offset some of the flight costs and expenses.

The main organiser of the trip was Killarney architect Davide Mosca who is a native of Verrés, and he was joined by Celtic vice chairman Paul Sherry and long-time club official Mikey Lyne in an advance party which travelled out to ensure everything was ready for the Celtic visitors when they arrived.

“It was a very positive experience and all the Celtic party enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We were treated like royalty,” Paul Sherry explained.

“We hope to arrange an Erasmus-style educational exchange between the two locations and it certainly helped to create great new friendships and bonds for the kids which will stand to them going forward,” he said.

Celtic officials intend to reciprocate the visit by hosting children from Verrés in Killarney next year and, hopefully, start an annual trip experience for different age groups for boys and girls in the coming years.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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