HE MIGHT be older than Ireland but 103-year-old Michael O’Connor from Killarney is still full of energy and continues to lead a hectic social schedule. He has been lined up to officially launch this year’s South Kerry Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show which has been scheduled for Fleming’s Farm, Grenagh, Fossa, for Sunday, September 11.
Despite his great age, Michael still drives and he remains an enthusiastic gardener, zipping around his garden on his drive-on mower every chance he gets. And he attributes his long and healthy life to a love of the land and a little bit of mini ploughing of his own. “If you only dug a hole in your back garden today and filled it in tomorrow, you’re doing yourself a good turn,” he said.
The ploughing event has already helped to generate in excess of €60,000 for local organisations and this year’s beneficiaries will be the Kerry branch of the Irish Kidney Association, Down Syndrome Kerry, the Irish Pilgrimage Trust and the Kerry-Cork Health Link Bus.
It is organised by the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club and there will be several celebrities in attendance on the day, mingling with the thousands of people expected to flock to the venue on the main Killarney to Killorglin road.
The event will feature close on 200 trade stands, traditional and modern method ploughing demonstrations, sheep dog trials, sheep shearing competitions, harvesting demos, machinery showcases and traditional farm practice exhibitions – and that’s only for starters.
There will be two fashion shows on the day with sensational prizes on offer for the most stylish lady and the best-dressed man. Two fun zones with rollercoasters and a hugely popular Maze in the Maize will be on site to keep children – and the young at heart – amused and novelty sideshow events this year will include an all-breed dog show, a model farm show, a children’s baking competition and live bands to create a real party atmosphere.
Several food zones will be on site at this year’s South Kerry Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show and there will be activities and novelties on the day for people of all ages and interests, including vintage and classic vehicle displays, stationary engines, competitions for fabulous prizes and so much more.
One lucky person could win a wonderful vintage Ford Anglia and five-star weekend breaks will also be up for grabs.
A major traffic management plan will be enforced with 60-acres of land set aside for free parking while the Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show will take place in an adjoining 60 acres of land owned by the Fleming family.
The gates will open at 11am and patrons are advised to arrive early as there will be so much to see and do on the day. Admission will be €10 for adults and €5 for students over 14 years of age and OAPs while under 14s will be admitted free of charge.
Michael O'Connor, 103, at the wheel of a vintage Ford car which will be raffled at the South Kerry Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show which will take place on Fleming's Farm, Fossa, Killarney, on September 11 in aid of the Killarney Branch of the Irish Kidney Association. Also in photo are from left, Connie and Karen Brosnan, Killarney Brance of the Irish Kidney Association and Tom Leslie, Chairman, SKP. The event is in aid of local charities has raised over €60,000 in the past two years.
PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE
Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna
By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]
By Sean Moriarty
They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.
Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.
On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.
“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.
Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.
Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.
Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.
Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.
“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.
He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.
“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”
Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s
By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]
By Sean Moriarty
Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.
Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.
The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.
Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.
His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.
“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.
Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.
The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.
“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.
The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.
The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.
“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.
The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.
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