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Diamond adds extra sparkle to Killarney Races

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Fashion stylists and footballers, Roses and broadcasters will descend on Killarney Racecourse this week for a four-day festival of high quality racing and entertainment.

The occasion celebrates Killarney’s distinguished racing history which dates back to 1822, while the present, most scenic race course in Ireland, set against the backdrop of Killarney National Park, was opened in 1936.

To mark the occasion Killarney Racecourse staff members Philip O’Brien, Megan Daly and Peg O’Connor donned vintage attire and brought traffic to a standstill in Killarney town centre.with a high-profile photo-shoot with an obliging horse named Fia.

The racing will get underway on this Wednesday, August 22, and it will conclude on Saturday when TV3 fashion guru and stylist Mandy Maher, of the Catwalk Model Agency, will link up with dapper Radio Kerry broadcaster Brendan Fuller to judge the best dressed lady and best dressed gent competitions.

The prize for the best dressed lady is a spectacular €2,000 diamond ring set in an exquisite gold band and the best dressed gent will receive formal and casual attire worth €1,000.

Friday evening’s meeting will see many of the Kerry GAA stars joining the punters for a special Kerry GAA benefit night. It’s an occasion not to be missed and the message to Kingdom fans is to keep their eyes open and they’ll never know who they’ll bump into.

The newly crowned Rose of Tralee will make her first public appearance at the races on Wednesday, arriving by helicopter in a style fit for a Rose. She will happily mingle with punters at a meet and greet session at the track.

Racing on Wednesday will commence at 2.00pm, on Thursday it’s 4.25pm, on Friday the first of the white flags will be raised at 4.45pm and on Saturday it’s a 1.25pm start.

The big race on an all-flat card on Wednesday is the Racing Post Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes, a listed race valued at €50,000, which will be run at 3.40pm.

Thursday’s racing highlight will be the KWD Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap, also valued at €50,000, which will get underway at 5.30pm.

The big one on Friday is the €50,000 Grade B At The Races Handicap Hurdle, which will be the sixth race on the card at 7.30pm.

Saturday’s feature race will be the €50,000 MSL Cork Mercedes Benz Handicap Steeplechase, Grade B, which will get under starter’s orders at 4.20pm.

Admission on Wednesday and Thursday is €15, on Friday and Saturday it will be €20 and students and OAPs will be admitted from €12 with valid ID. Children under 12 years of age will be admitted free of charge but they must be accompanied by an adult.

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BIG CELEBRATION

Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]

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Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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Musician Liam O’Connor back and busier than ever

By Sean Moriarty Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions. On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions.

On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig in London.

Liam and his family played at the Kerry County Council organised ‘ANSEO’ concert in North Kerry that was run to coincide with the Listowel Harvest Festival last weekend.

It was his first live show since he played at St Brendan’s College, Killarney when he shared the stage with special guest, former Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt. That event took place on March 11, 2020, the night before the country entered its first COVID-19 lockdown.

The ‘ANSEO’ series of concerts signalled the return of live music in Kerry and the O’Connor family shared the stage with other local musicians like Tim O’Shea and his Afro Trad Ireland group.

“People were delighted, they were mad for it, they were obviously missing it,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they are not letting go just yet, they are still a bit hesitant.”

This Sunday Liam heads to London were he will help Dan Tim O’Sullivan steer sheep over Southwark Bridge (see page 36 for more on this story).

To cap an exceptionally busy period for the local accordion player, he has joined forces with Moya Brennan of Clannad fame. Brennan and O’Connor will release a new single – ‘Strong in Numbers’ on Friday next, October 1.

They previously performed together at a concert in the Friary in 2017.

“It was such a positive experience for all of us we just had to repeat it,” he added. “So not only have we done this recording of ‘Strong in Numbers’ but we are planning to do the Friary again later this year. After that, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Meanwhile, the ‘ANSEO’ series visits Killarney on Sunday night.

The Fair Hill car park will host two shows featuring: The Gleneagle Concert Band; Pauline Scanlon with Mick Galvin; The Small Hours; The Rising; Cathal Flaherty and Truly Diverse.

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