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“Defeat in Super 8s opener would be an absolute disaster”

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On paper there shouldn’t be a whole pile of pressure on Kerry ahead of their first ever Super 8 game against Galway on Sunday. With two teams advancing from the group of four, the prospect of Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side crashing out at what is effectively the quarter final stage seems even more unlikely than usual. But looking at the wider picture (and Kerry’s second fixture in particular), this weekend’s clash against the Connacht champions takes on huge significance.

If they were to lose this weekend, next week’s match against Monaghan in Clones would start to look a lot more intimidating than it already does. In normal circumstances you’d expect Kerry to handle Monaghan but I wouldn’t fancy heading up to St Tiernach’s Park for a must-win championship game. The atmosphere above there would be electric, especially if the home fans knew that victory would eliminate the Kingdom.

Monaghan are best placed of all the qualifiers to upset the apple cart and make it to an All-Ireland semi-final. They couldn’t have handpicked their Super 8 fixtures better themselves. Firstly, they avoided Dublin. Secondly, they got their toughest game (Kerry) at home. And thirdly, they sidestepped a trip to the fabled Newbridge and instead got Galway away.

The fixture gods are really smiling on Monaghan this year; they played three qualifier games to make it this far and every one of them was against Division 4 opposition.

Defeat for Kerry on Sunday definitely isn’t out of the question. Galway are no slouches. Forwards Shane Walsh and Ian Burke have impressed so far and the face-off between star man Damien Comer and Kerry’s Peter Crowley will be an interesting one. I would say that 3/1 is a long enough price for Galway considering the calibre of players they have. I thought Kerry have looked excellent at times this year but, realistically, the Munster Championship was a walk in the park.

Having said that, they still racked up 3-50 in two games and I think this Kerry team already have too much about them for everyone else in the country bar Dublin.

World Cup clash

Kerry v Galway is without question the tie of the round, which makes it all the more unbelievable that the GAA scheduled it for the exact same time as the World Cup final. I know I addressed this last week but it really does beggar belief. Could both Sunday games not have started earlier? Or could Dublin v Donegal have been a standalone on the Sunday? That game is on at 7pm on the Saturday, meaning Donegal fans have to hit the road at around half eight at night. Making fixtures is a thankless task but there’s no way in hell the GAA made these decisions with supporters in mind.

I saw during the week that the Galway County Board wrote to FIFA requesting that they push back the kick-off time of the World Cup final so it wouldn’t clash with the Kerry game. FIFA would be missing out on viewers, they said. I know it’s top, top banter and it must have taken them ages to write (typos and all) but the real joke here is on genuine Irish sports fans who are interested in both football and soccer.

I naturally want to see the World Cup final (especially considering who’s playing), and I would almost consider boycotting the Kerry game just to spite the GAA in this instance, but I’m up in Dublin anyway and I actually want to see the lads play. For many of us in Croke Park on Sunday, it will be our first time missing a World Cup final. It’s a shame because this fixture clash was completely avoidable.

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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