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Dublin legend Jim Gavin supports local author

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By Sean Moriarty

 

A Killarney man said he was “gobsmacked” to receive a hand-written card from former Dublin football manager Jim Gavin who read his book while on holiday in Dingle.

 

Paddy Osborne, who is also a Dubliner, but is living in Killarney for years, published ‘Baxter’s Boys’ in February of this year.

Based in the north inner city of Dublin, where Paddy grew up, the story traces the lives of a football team as they bond and share life experiences during a previously unheard of run of success for their small soccer squad.

Gavin, who famously led Dublin to five All-Ireland football titles in a row, including defeating Kerry twice, was pictured reading ‘Baxter’s Boys’ in his Dingle holiday home last week.

Gavin is from the Clondalkin area of Dublin, a suburb that faces similar social issues that Osborne covers in his dark comedy.

He won an All-Ireland football medal with Dublin in 1995 but honed his skills as a youngster while participating in the street leagues of Clondalkin and this is another cultural issue that Osborne touches on in his book.

Gavin was so impressed with the local author’s book he took the time to send the Woodlawn man a handwritten card, wishing Paddy the best of luck and closed it with the message ‘Baile Átha Cliath and Ciarraí Abu’.

“I was gobsmacked and delighted to get the photo and card sent to me,” Paddy told the Killarney Advertiser. “I have followed Jim Gavin’s career all my life. I was in Croke Park in 1995 when Dublin won the All-Ireland but I have never seen a photo of Jim relaxing or any sort of snapshot of his private life. He is always seen roaring on a sideline.”

‘Baxter’s Boys’ is available locally in Eason, Main St. The book was well-received at its launch in February with many referring to Osborne as Killarney’s answer to Roddy Doyle.

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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