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Cronin joins Moonraker field in pre-grist rehearsal

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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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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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