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Crokes blitz Corofin to book long-awaited Croker date

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IT TOOK a bit longer than expected but the Crokes will finally have another day out in Croke Park. Ten years on from that draw and subsequent defeat to Crossmaglen, and twenty-five from their sole All-Ireland back in '92, the undisputed kingpins of Kerry football have earned themselves another shot at the big one. I doubt anyone thought their passage would be so comfortable.

It's not often you get the Crokes at anything other than odds on so a lot of Killarney punters jumped at the opportunity to back them against Corofin last weekend. It turned out to be easy money.

From the very first play you could tell that Pat O'Shea's side were at it. Kieran O'Leary was especially lively as he took his man to the cleaners in the first half, eventually racking up six points in what was a Man of the Match display. Leary is zipping around the place like an 18 year old at the moment and Slaughtneil will have to find some way of stifling him if they have any hope of stopping the Crokes.

There was obviously a huge element of good fortune in Gavin O'Shea's crucial first half goal but Crokes were so dominant in the early stages you'd have to say they were good value for their lead.

They bossed every department and were particularly impressive in defence - the very area of the field where favourites Corofin were expected to have a big advantage.

Corner back John Payne was immense from start to finish and he and his colleagues at the back barely put a foot wrong all day, while some excellent football further up the field from the likes of Gooch and Daithí Casey led to plenty of fine scores.

Those two combined to devastating effect midway through the second half to turn defence into attack and all but seal the victory. Gooch did superbly to turn the ball over in the left corner back position and picked out Casey with a typically accurate pass. Casey then proceeded to carry the ball half the length of the pitch, seemingly getting faster the further he travelled, before teeing up substitute Jordan Kiely who calmly applied the finish.

It was a superb goal to cap a great team performance and from then on in it was plain sailing for the boys from Killarney.

Their opponents in Croke Park will be Slaughtneil of Derry following their surprise win over Diarmuid Connolly's St Vincent's in the other semi-final. Both the football and hurling finals are traditionally played on St Patrick's Day but as Slaughtneil are also still involved in the hurling (up to eight players normally start for both the footballers and the hurlers) the football final might need to be put back a week depending on whether or not the hurlers beat Cuala next weekend.

Whatever the date, the Crokes have an All-Ireland final to look forward to. The Croke Park pitch should suit their style of play and if they can replicate the focus and intensity of last Saturday it would take an exceptional team to stop them.
 


 
Above: The Dr Crokes squad before the All-Ireland Club Championship semi-final against Corofin at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick on Saturday. PICTURE: EAMONN KEOGH

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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