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Duggan takes positives from gruelling Rally Italia

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KILLARNEY’S Rob Duggan claimed sixth place among the Junior World Rally Championship runners on last weekend’s Rally Italia Sardinia. His finishing position however, doesn’t quite reflect how successful an event this was for the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year.

In his first event with new navigator Tom Woodburn, Duggan set a string of fastest times and ended the event on a high by being the quickest JWRC driver over the final day of the rally. Duggan’s speed however, was curbed by an impact with a rock on Friday while battling for the lead and his attempt to charge back up the leaderboard on Saturday was thwarted by a broken driveshaft.

Duggan remains philosophical however and he’s already looking ahead to Rally Poland in just a fortnight’s time. “It was an incredibly tough event. The heat and the terrain were like nothing I’ve ever experienced but we were encouraged by our pace. Obviously it was really disappointing to have to retire on Saturday while in contention for the lead and the time penalty we received for restarting meant we really couldn’t finish much higher than sixth unless people retired but we were delighted to pick up four bonus points for our fastest times over the weekend.

“Tom did a great job on his first rally with me and at least I know now that I have the pace to compete at this level, I just need to work on my consistency. Poland isn’t far away and by all accounts it’s a real high-speed event which should suit my driving style. Keeping out of trouble will be vital as it’s really cost me on the previous rounds. Nil Solans has a healthy lead in the points now but, if anything, that means there’s more pressure on him. There are four rounds left and I aim to be in the hunt for all of them.”

After the event, Rob finds himself sixth in the drivers’ standings on 20 points with leader Solans on an impressive 62 points. With a maximum score of 48 points on offer in Poland however, the JWRC title race is far from decided and Rob cites the case of fellow Irish driver Craig Breen when he found himself in similar circumstances during his WRC Academy winning year in 2011. “After two rounds, Craig was 45 points adrift of the series leader. He battled back to clinch the title on the last stage of the last rally, so we aren’t going to throw in the towel,” he said.

To keep up to date with Rob's exploits make sure and visit www.robduggan.com and follow Rob on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Rob is supported by Rentokil Initial, CB Toolhire, DMACK Tyres, M-Sport and the Team Ireland Foundation.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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