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Crokes and Corofin set for dream club final

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It’s the match-up that all the football purists wanted.

Dr Crokes and Corofin, two of the modern era’s finest proponents of attacking football, will go head-to-head in the All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final on March 17. Forget about defence, this promises to be a straight shoot-out for the biggest prize in club football.

Crokes were comfortable enough against Mullinalaghta, save for a shaky period in the first half when they conceded a second goal and had a man sent off in a matter of minutes.

No one in the entire world - apart from one umpire behind the Crokes goal - seems to have seen the incident that resulted in Johnny Buckley receiving his marching orders in the 18th minute of play. None of TG4’s cameras picked up on the apparent flashpoint, but the referee’s match report later confirmed that Buckley was dismissed for striking his opponent.

My understanding is that Dr Crokes have their own footage and they are adamant that there is no clear evidence of a striking motion. Club officials have described it as a “coming together” and indications are that they will be appealing the decision.

The experienced midfielder will be a massive loss to Crokes if he is unavailable for the decider. As strong Pat O’Shea’s squad is, you simply can’t replace a player of Buckley’s calibre. If the officials really did get it wrong then you would naturally hope that the red gets rescinded and he’s free to participate.

David Shaw relocated to midfield in Buckley’s stead and he had a fine game, as did the typically accurate Tony Brosnan who kicked six points (four from play). Forwards Kieran O’Leary, Brian Looney and Gavin O’Shea also did well and in defence, athletic Kerry star Gavin White put in a Man of the Match performance from centre back.

The obvious worry for the Kerry champions is the dreaded high ball, a weakness that was exposed once again in Semple Stadium the last day. Corofin have very clever forwards, most notably Ian Burke and Gary Sice, so the Crokes rearguard will need to be on high alert from start to finish. Fionn Fitzgerald was brilliant in the second half against Mullinalaghta but apart from him and Gavin White (who did most of his good work going forward) you couldn’t say that any Crokes defender had a particularly great game.

Corofin are slight favourites to lift the Andy Merrigan Cup on St Patrick’s Day and they are undoubtedly a quality side, but I still think Crokes are that small bit slicker in attack. The key will be cutting off the supply line to Corofin’s dangerous forwards and when you look at it like that, getting Johnny Buckley off the hook could well be the difference between winning and losing.

Pic: Sportsfile.

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Shoebox appeal is biggest yet for Faha kids

By Michelle Crean It’s no wonder Faha pupils have a big smile on their faces as this year’s Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is their biggest yet! The children happily packed and wrapped 140 shoeboxes which will be sent to children in need throughout the world. The school has been doing the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal […]

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By Michelle Crean

It’s no wonder Faha pupils have a big smile on their faces as this year’s Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is their biggest yet!

The children happily packed and wrapped 140 shoeboxes which will be sent to children in need throughout the world.

The school has been doing the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal for approximately six years when parent, Margaret Scully, initially contacted one of the SNAs, Delia O’ Shea, wondering if they’d be interested in taking part. Since then the appeal has been wholeheartedly supported by the pupils, staff and extended Faha NS community.

“This year has been the biggest yet with 140 shoeboxes collected and many more donations online,” Jerry Fitzgerald, Principal of Faha NS, said. “It is a learning experience for the children to realise that there are children just like themselves who may not be so fortunate and they really enjoy being given the opportunity to help out. They have great suggestions as to what to put in the shoeboxes and really put a lot of thought into it. The boxes are wrapped in Christmas paper which is also very exciting both for the children doing the wrapping as well for the children receiving the boxes.” However, he added that last year the COVID-19 pandemic brought about big changes and the physical shoeboxes were not collected. “Instead the children were able to do virtual shoeboxes or donate money. This cloud had a silver lining as this year people have both options and it makes it easier than ever to donate. The shoebox appeal always marks the start of Christmas at Faha NS and we are delighted to be able to help out. We are already looking to smash our record next year! Thanks to everyone who donated. The staff and students of Faha NS would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year 2022.”

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More than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country without power

Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will […]

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Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will continue to work late into the evening to restore power to those affected, where safe to do so, but unfortunately, some customers will remain without electricity overnight.

Since early morning and despite challenging conditions, ESB Networks have continued to restore power to customers across the country.
With the storm still crossing the country, more damage and interruptions to supply can be expected. ESB Networks reminds the public that if you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they may be LIVE and extremely dangerous.

All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. With a Red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9 pm tonight, and Co Clare until 1 am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes.

We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that. It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews continue to work under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE.

Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie

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