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Cronin joins Moonraker field in pre-grist rehearsal




Current British Rally Championship (BRC) leader, Keith Cronin, has placed an entry for the Moonraker Rally, which is set to take place in his home county of Cork on Saturday, July 2.

The Munster Car Club organised event will be based in the village of Ballyvourney and is to be a counting round of the Motorsport Ireland National Forestry Rally Championship.

Cronin and co-driver, Mikie Galvin from Agahdoe, previously won the Moonraker in 2017, and then as now, are using the outing to gain additional gravel running in aid of a BRC campaign. The duo went on to take the British title that year, and presently head the 2022 points standings following a victory on the Jim Clark Rally last month in their Volkswagen Polo GTi R5.

With the BRC due to resume the following weekend on the Nicky Grist Rally in Wales, the Moonraker is ideally placed to provide the required warm-up. 

“The first two BRC rounds were on tarmac, and we’re now heading into two gravel rounds," Cronin explained.

"We haven’t done a forest rally since the Cambrian last October, and that was in the Fiesta rather than the Polo, plus we’re on Pirelli tyres now, so there’s some learning to be done. The Moonraker suits in every way, it’s only a week before the Nicky Grist and it’s only about 40 minutes from home. It’s possible that it will be our only outing in Ireland this year.”

The entry list for the Moonraker features most of the National Forestry Championship frontrunners, including Jordan Hone and Keith Power in Ford Fiestas, Conor McCourt in a Skoda Fabia, and local driver, Gerard Lucey, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8. The field will also include Motorsport Ireland National Junior Rally Series competitors, divided into 14-18 and 19-25 age groups.

The Moonraker Rally will consist of eight stages, a loop of four repeated twice. It will get underway from Coláiste Ghobnatan at 9am, with the first stage scheduled to start at 9.37am. The National Forestry Rally Championship regulations require that two wheel drive cars run first, in reverse seeding order, with four wheel drives after in normal order. Service will be at the Údarás na Gaeltachta complex after stages two, four and six, and the Finish celebrations will take place at the Abbey Hotel in Ballyvourney, which serves as Rally Headquarters, at around 5.45pm.

The Volkswagen Polo of Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin is prepared by Tom Gahan Motorsport and supported by M O’Brien Group of Companies, Keohane Seafoods, Inver Energy, Cremin Coaches, Cronin’s HomeValue Hardware, Cronin’s Centra and Pirelli Tyres.

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GAA stars set to gather for A Night With Legends

By Sean Moriarty Over 1,500 people are expected to attend Fossa GAA Club’s ‘A Night With Legends’ on Tuesday night. GAA royalty will grace the INEC stage as part of […]




By Sean Moriarty

Over 1,500 people are expected to attend Fossa GAA Club’s ‘A Night With Legends’ on Tuesday night.

GAA royalty will grace the INEC stage as part of an ambitious fundraiser by the club.

The event will be styled on RTÉ’s popular pre All-Ireland Final show ‘Up for the Match’ where footballing legends will tell some of their life stories in between music and songs.

It will be hosted by author and raconteur Billy Keane and horseracing photographer Pat Healy. The event is one of the key fundraisers for the expanding Fossa GAA Club.

Coming just days before Kerry’s All-Ireland semi-final with Dublin, ‘A Night With Legends’ will also serve as a light-hearted preview to the important game.

Kerry greats like Pat Spillane, Mike Frank Russell, Paul Galvin and Eamon Fitzmaurice will be joined on stage by Dublin hero Bernard Brogan Sr. Killarney greats Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper and Ambrose O’Donovan will also be there.

“This is not going to be a boring night, it is going to be filled with fun and banter, music and craic,” Fossa GAA chairman, Dermot Clifford, told the Killarney Advertiser.

Several raffle and auction prizes are up for grabs on the night too, the most unusual being a chance to bid on a racing greyhound, donated by the Murphy Family from Brosna.

The fundraiser has already raised €10,000 thanks to a recent auction organised by Paul Nagle. The local rally star sold one of his world championship helmets for €25,000 with the balance going to Recovery Haven in Tralee.

Limited tickets are still available at a cost of €25 per person or groups can buy a table of 12 for €250.

Ticket enquires:

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Salvias are valuable plants for any gardener

By Debby Looney, gardening expert One plant which I think is a super addition to borders and pots is the salvia. There are many to choose from, but there are […]




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

One plant which I think is a super addition to borders and pots is the salvia. There are many to choose from, but there are two broad differences, one is the bedding salvia, with its spikes of fire-engine-red flowers – though they come in cream and purple also.

These have become less popular with gardeners over the years, as slugs eat them with relish. I have found the product ‘Grazers’, a spray, excellent as a slug repellent. As an aside, ‘Grazers’ also do a rabbit, deer, lily beetle and caterpillar repellent, all of which are organically certified and perfectly safe to use. They are also quite effective products. Secondly, everyone knows the herb salvia, or sage which goes perfect with chicken, roast squash or parma ham, it is a flavour of autumn.

However, there are over 500 salvias to choose from, and happily, nurseries are taking notice of them. This year a notable addition to most garden centre stock is the hybrid Wish collection. There are three; ‘Love and Wishes’, ‘Ember’s Wish’ and ‘Wendy’s Wish’. Being the greedy gardener I am, I planted all three, and have been rewarded by large bushy plants with masses of colour. I planted them in a free draining, sunny part of the garden, where they have plenty of space. The plants themselves reach about 80cm, flower spikes being at least 20cm long in colours pink, aubergine and orange.

Another beauty is S. Amistad, which every garden with a flower border should have. They grow up to 1.2m, with lush dark green foliage, topped by dark blue flowers. The calyces (the bit the flower comes out of!) are almost black, giving it a fantastically dramatic look. S. nemerosa is a hardy variety, used in Irish gardens for years, as it spreads happily keeping weeds at bay. ‘New Dimension Blue’ is a lovely variety, with rich blue flower spikes. S. nemerosa does not grow that tall, about 30cm. It is also one of the few salvias which will tolerate heavy soil and a lot of winter rain.

S. roemeriana ‘Hot Trumpets’ is also a low growing spreading salvia, about 30cm, with the brightest red flower spikes I have yet to see rivalled! It grows well in dappled shade, adding great splashes of colour. Another red is S. x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’. It is an evergreen perennial, which loves full sun. It grows to about 50cm, and has flowers from April through to the first frosts. The flowers are bicoloured red and white, like little flags. ‘Killer Cranberry’ is another beauty with magenta flowers.

All salvias are attractive to bees and other pollinators, and as such are valuable plants for any gardener. They look great grouped with other perennials, as well as in pots or on their own in beds.

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