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Celtic youngsters ready for Alpine adventure

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40 Killarney Celtic players are excited for their upcoming trip to Italy in what will be a cultural exchange and a chance to make new friendships.

Davide Mosca

The players, aged 12-14, will visit the Italian Alpine province of Aosta Valley from April 4 to 9.

Accompanied by coaches and volunteer chaperones, they will travel to the town of Verrés in Northern Italy for what is hoped to be the first running of a programme the organisers have called Calcio - Culture - Cairdeas which translates to Football, Culture, Friendship.

The programme, the brainchild of Killarney architect Davide Mosca who hails from the host town, features French classes each morning as the Aosta Valley is a bilingual region where Italian and French are spoken.

The club's U13 and U14 teams will train with their counterparts from local team PDHAE, before taking part in a tournament with the other clubs from the province which borders both France and Switzerland. 

Davide Mosca

The boys will visit one of the Aosta Valleys ski resorts and enjoy a final night celebration with medals, pizza and a DJ in the town's historical main square. The lads are especially looking forward to a trip to the city of Turin and in particular, the Serie A match between Torino and José Mourinho's AS Roma. The most important part of the trip is to create a cultural exchange with the Italian kids and make new friendships.

The organisers intend to reciprocate the visit of the kids from Verrés to Killarney next year and hopefully start a yearly trip experience for different age groups for boys and girls in the coming years, from Killarney's most progressive and inclusive club.

"We really hope that this will be more than just a tournament, but will be the opportunity for the lads to enjoy a unique experience and hopefully to come back to this area in the future and make enduring international friendships," Davide Mosca said.

Paul Sherry, club Vice Chair and Killarney Chambers activist paid tribute to local sponsors and fundraisers.

"We would like to thank all the people that helped us to organise this event which we believe will be a unique experience for the lads, especially all the sponsors, the club officers of Killarney Celtic, and all the parents that took part in fundraising activities since October."

Member of the organising committee and coach of the club's U14 teams, Brian Looney, paid a special thanks to the Mayor of Verres, Alessandro and all the host town officials and to Luca Laura e Pino from the Committee of the partner club PDHAE for the support and partnership in organising accommodation and activities.

"Through Davide's Italian connections a real relationship has been developing between Killarney and Aosta. Groups of Killarney locals have enjoyed Verres' historical Carnevale festival over the last few years and now the relationship is moving to the next generation of Kerry and Valdostana youth. It will be an amazing trip for our young players. While a number of individuals have worked to bring this together - Davide and Linda Mosca have put huge effort into organising the trip and fundraising activities, and Philip O'Callaghan has done massive logistics and travel organisation and their work is appreciated by all at the club."

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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