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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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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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Businesses face closure due to staff shortages

Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages. Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality […]

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Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages.

Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality and tourism roles, where it is estimated that there is as much as a 40,000 shortage in such roles for the peak summer season.

Damien McCarthy of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, founded in Killarney but now based in the RDI Hub in Killorglin, said that workers are losing out due to a more cashless society.

“Hospitality businesses may have to consider shutting their doors or decreasing their operational hours during the peak summer season as many businesses such as bars, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are struggling to find staff for the demand. The industry is suffering over these few current weeks in particular as many part-time student workers are not available due to college and Leaving Cert exams. This shows how dependant the industry has become on young student workers,” he said.

“Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically. The worker is losing out and this key attraction tool that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times, is now gone.”

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