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Centenary of Headford Ambush set for March 2021

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DESIGN: The proposed design for the site of the Headford Ambush.

 

By Sean Moriarty

There are calls for a permanent outdoor museum to be built on the site of the Headford Ambush.
The centenary of the event, which marked Kerry’s arrival in the War of Independence, will take place on March 21 next year.

 

It was one of the key local events in the 1921 War of Independence, carried out by the Irish Republican Army on March 21.

An IRA brigade intercepted a train carrying British troops who were travelling between Kenmare and Killarney. The subsequent gunfight left 14 men dead; nine British soldiers, two IRA volunteers and three civilians.
Local man Dan Allman was one of the leaders of the ambush, but he and his colleague Jimmy Baily were the two IRA men killed in the attack.
A monument stands at the site of the ambush - but this has fallen into disrepair.
The site is also significant in the history of railway transport in the county. Headford Junction linked Kenmare and Kilgarvan with the rest of the country including Great Southern Railway branch lines to Mallow and Killarney.

Killarney Advertiser owners Cormac and Noelle Casey now live in the house that served as the station’s tea rooms up until the 1960s.

In recent years, Irish Rail replaced the manual level crossing at the junction with an automated crossing but the former site has also fallen into disrepair.

Mr Casey believes with the centenary fast approaching that the time is right to repair the monument and to also mark the significance of the railway industry in the area.

 

DESIGN

To that end, staff at KC Print, the Killarney Advertiser’s parent company, have come up with a design for an outdoor museum that would mark the event and, at the same time, honour Kerry’s contribution to the Civil War effort and the railway heritage of the county.

“Up to this point in the war, Kerry’s effort was considered weak and that we were not playing our part, but the Headford Ambush was very significant as it was central to the start of the Kerry effort,” he said. “Headford Junction is also very important in the railway history in the country. One of the longest serving steam engines ran on this line up until the 1960s. Our proposal is to develop a low maintenance outdoor museum that can be visited at any time.”

[caption id="attachment_34405" align="alignleft" width="340"] DERELICT: The site of the ambush has fallen into disrepair.[/caption]

Paving from the now derelict Headford railway platform could be used to construct the museum that would also feature steel artworks as a direct link to the railway industry.

Kerry County Council officials lodged an application for funding to the Department of Culture, Arts and Gaeltacht and money to the tune of €10,000 was confirmed this week.

The funding was welcomed by local politicians including Deputy Danny Healy-Rae, Cllr Maura Healy-Rae, Niall Kelleher, Mayor of Killarney Brendan Cronin, and Kerry Mayor Michael Connor-Scarteen.

“Myself and Maura thank the committee for their great efforts and works and wish them all the best with the works,” said Danny Healy-Rae. “Cllr Maura Healy-Rae had a motion before Kerry County Council requesting them to apply to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for funding and I also made a submission to the Department about this.”

Cllr Kelleher lives very close to the monument.

“I welcome this news for the locality, it is important to mark this occasion,” he said.

Killarney Mayor Brendan Cronin was another local councillor who pushed for funding for this project both at Municipal and county level.

 

FAMILY LINK

County Mayor Connor-Scarteen has a direct family link to the ambush.

[caption id="attachment_34406" align="alignleft" width="341"] HISTORIC: Mayor Patrick Connor-Scarteen and his father Michael with one of the actual rifles used in the ambush 100 years ago.[/caption]

"I grew up hearing so much about the Headford Ambush which took place in March 1921, it was undoubtedly one of the most significant military engagements in Ireland during the War of Independence,” he said. "I'm proud of the integral part played by Tom O'Connor-Scarteen, my grand-uncle who was the last of the IRA to leave the ambush site. I want to thank the local committee and fellow councillors who also pushed for funding.”

Local committee members include Derry Healy, Tina Healy (who is a grand-niece of Allman), Jimmy Casey, Seamus Moynihan, Liz Spillane and Mike Scannell.

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Can you talk your way to fitness?

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing. If we can’t get them to […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing.

If we can’t get them to sit down with us, we’ll at least touch base via Zoom or phone. Text messages aren’t adequate to really understand how someone is doing and progressing as we help them towards their health goals, so we don’t count those.

What’s interesting is how difficult it can be sometimes to track down and set up a time to catch up with clients. In passing, it’s simple, but those conversations aren’t as focused and usually don’t allow us to get into why someone is or is not seeing the progress they need. So many times it’s something we all know we need to do, but to sit down and have a real conversation with someone about how they are doing can be tough, or even intimidating depending on the situation.

People start with us knowing we want to provide accountability, guidance, education, and motivation to help them accomplish their goals. But, when it comes down to the accountability portion, it can be difficult to want to talk about things that may not be going as planned.

However, when we look back at our most successful clients – those who have accomplished or are accomplishing what they set out to do when they started with us – they are the ones who actually seek us out to sit down and get help. When we ask them about their goals or if they have time, they are excited to catch up and see what they can improve. Or, they are asking us to help even before we reach out to them.

Those clients have not always had it easy either. Post lockdowns there were a lot of people re-orienting their schedule and lives and trying to make sense of what their goals needed to be. I personally had quite a few heavier conversations with people as we stepped through a plan to “reset” and get into a habit that fit their adjusted goals and schedules. Without those conversations, we may not have been able to help people as much as we are able to (thankfully).

ACCOUNTABILITY

For every area of your life; family, marriage, friendships, work; having accountability, a source of quality guidance, and motivation is as absolute must if you want to improve or progress. We can do some things alone, but we can do most of those things far better with others who have been there before or who can walk with us as we step through our journey towards our goals.

If you are looking to improve at anything in life, be it professionally, or with your health and fitness, the first step is to acknowledge where you are and then seek out a trusted source of information to help you clarify and align the moving parts to ensure you can get to where you want in the timeframe you want.

It’s why we start every member at Activate with a free consultation and why we continue to talk to our members. If we don’t know where you want to go, how can we help you get there? “Going to a gym” is fantastic and will be of huge benefit to your health, going to a gym that is invested in your journey multiplies this power exponentially.

So, no, you can’t “talk your way to fitness”, it takes many hours of work and consistency, but starting your journey with a good honest talk and someone in “your corner” will ensure you start – and continue – in the right direction.

To have a chat about your health and fitness goals, visit www.activate.ie and find out more.

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Former footballer to launch new book

By Sean Moriarty Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book. The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017. In January 2017, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book.

The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017.

In January 2017, O’Mahony won the RTÉ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ series with professional dancer, Estonian Valeria Milova.

His new book ‘Unbroken’ is an account of the discipline it takes to be part of one of the country’s most successful Gaelic football teams. It is also a story of managing external and internal expectations and pressure, and of the importance of knowing when to ask for help.

“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone next Saturday, great to finally release my book and I hope people enjoy it,” he told Killarney Advertiser.

O’Mahony’s Killarney book signing will be the first of many around the country in the run up to Christmas.

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