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Champagne Football author was “flabbergasted” by Healy-Rae’s praise for Delaney

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Champagne Football co-author Paul Rowan says he was “flabbergasted” by Michael Healy-Rae’s infamous defence of John Delaney at the Oireachtas Committee for Sport in April of last year.

Delaney, who was the Executive Vice President of the FAI at the time, was appearing before the committee to answer questions about serious allegations of financial mismanagement. However, the Kerry TD instead used his three minutes to praise the embattled administrator, assuring Delaney that he would get “the mother of all welcomes” in Kerry.

“If you’re guilty of anything,” Healy-Rae added, “you’re guilty of trying to help an Association in the best way you saw it at that time.”

Delaney was subsequently forced to resign from the FAI as the allegations against him continued to mount.

Rowan addressed the Kilgarvan politician’s remarks at a virtual launch for Champagne Football, an explosive new book which explores Delaney's ill-fated 15-year reign at the FAI.

“I was flabbergasted, frankly, by Michael Healy-Rae’s whole performance,” Rowan told launch co-hosts Eoin McDevitt and Ken Early.

“I’ve been living in London so I don’t really know that much about the Healy-Rae family, but they are obviously a colourful bunch of people.

“And John O’Regan (Secretary of the Kerry District League), I was just speaking to him last week and he’s as pro-Delaney as ever. He was pointing out that they wouldn’t have grounds there [in Kerry] if it wasn’t for John. You hear a lot of that.

“So, what do I think about those two gentlemen? John O’Regan is obviously immersed in football. [But] I’m not too sure how much interest Michael Healy-Rae has in football.

“I would say that of all the people I know in Kerry, they would be two individuals who I would find particularly funny in this particular case.”

Both Healy-Rae and O’Regan are mentioned in Champagne Football. The book, which Rowan co-wrote with his Sunday Times colleague Mark Tighe, is out today.

Listen to the virtual book launch on the Second Captains website.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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