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Crokes are used to being the bad guys

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All-Ireland Senior Club Semi-Final
Dr Crokes v Mullinalaghta (Longford)
Saturday at 3.30pm
Semple Stadium, Thurles

Everybody loves an underdog and with a parish of just 450 people, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger (or smaller?) underdog than Mullinalaghta St Columba’s from County Longford.

Nicknamed ‘The Half Parish’, Mullinalaghta shocked the nation when they defeated Dublin kingpins Kilmacud in the Leinster final. Now their sights are firmly set on the other Crokes, Pat O’Shea’s Munster champions who are on the hunt for a second All-Ireland title in three years. On paper it’s an open and shut case but veteran defender Fionn Fitzgerald is wary of the threat that Saturday’s opponents could pose.

“They have really captured the imagination,” Fitzgerald said at the AIB All-Ireland semi-final media day. “Their run has taken on a life of its own. They’re a bit like the Slaughtneil story, but they’ve also been knocking on the door for a while.

“They’ve won Longford three times and been in Leinster where they gave St Vincent’s a rattle, but beating a Dublin team was the thing because Dublin have been so successful. They also beat Rhode and Éire Óg so they have form.

“They’re from a small area but they have been genuine kingpins in their county, and I was always tracking them.”

Crokes are overwhelming favourites with the bookies but Fitzgerald knows that victory in Thurles isn’t a foregone conclusion.

“All-Ireland semi-finals are always very close and we lost three of them before we finally won one. We didn’t perform and the opposition did, and they were the better teams on the day.

“There are no favourites in this one, I don’t buy that tag. You trust the work you have done and hope it’s good enough on the day.”

Many neutrals will be cheering on the minnows this weekend but that won’t bother the Crokes; they’re well used to playing the bad guys by this stage. The Killarney club are eager to cap a flawless 2018/19 campaign which has seen them crowned club, county, league, Munster and O’Donoghue Cup champions. All things being equal you would expect them to win with plenty to spare.

In light of Kilcummin and Beaufort’s recent triumphs, victory for the Lewis Road club would set up a unique treble as no county has ever produced the winners of the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Club Championships in the same year.

In the other semi, Corofin (Galway) play Gaoth Dobhair (Donegal) in Carrick-on-Shannon. That match is also on Saturday with an earlier throw-in time of 1.30pm. Both games will be broadcast live on TG4 with coverage starting at 1pm.

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The secret is in the book!

By Michelle Crean  The secret to finding your true happiness is all in a new book which will guide readers to unlock their potential. Brazilian native Michelle Hadad, who moved to Ireland 14 years ago has written ‘The Secret Box: Concave and Convex’, a 432 page book which addresses the issues of suicide and develops into […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

The secret to finding your true happiness is all in a new book which will guide readers to unlock their potential.

Brazilian native Michelle Hadad, who moved to Ireland 14 years ago has written ‘The Secret Box: Concave and Convex’, a 432 page book which addresses the issues of suicide and develops into two different narratives.

It is also a follow up to her previous work ‘The Secret Box…Finding the Key’, a 192 page paperback launched by Michael Healy-Rae TD and reviewed by now retired judge James O’Connor, in October 2017.

Michelle, who studied adult psychology and is a NLP practitioner who encourages clients to transform limiting self-beliefs, explains that this version continues the story of Maria from the first book.

In the first book, the reader compares and contrasts their own life experiences with those of Maria and ask themselves the very question posed at the end of the book in the final chapter or ‘Padlock 13’ – “who are you?”

“Readers are outside the box, they see their own stories – that’s when we judge others,” Michelle told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It is fiction and the story is in two versions, the positive is bigger than the negative. There is always hope regardless of pain.”

She added that people need to forget about what others think, and focus on their own values and traditions.

“It’s a self help book, it doesn’t matter what people think of us, life’s too short. I’m motivating people in a positive way because of my NLP and psychology qualification.”

However, she emphasised that readers don’t have to have read the first book to understand the second one.

“Maria is the leading figure and there’s a few characters from book one but you don’t have to read that to get book two.”

She added that she’s thankful to everyone who helped her along the way.

“I have been blessed to have met so many people to help with my books.”

Both books are available from O’Connor’s Centra, The Reeks and Horans Health Store on Beech Road.

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Green light for teen accommodation

By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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