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Eamonn Fitzgerald: Micko, Paudie Lynch and the 1980 All-Ireland



Most readers will readily recall September 1982 when Kerry were robbed of a deserving five-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles. On reflection, I feel that Kerry should never have been in that position. The Dubs have that honour and only for the coronavirus fallout they would win six-in-a-row (no, I don’t expect any All-Ireland intercounty championship this year).

In recent weeks you will have read in the Killarney Advertiser reports on the All Ireland wins of 1978 and 1979. I argue that it should have ended there. Kerry should never have won the 1980 All-Ireland final against Roscommon. Look back to the semi-final v Offaly where Matt Connor gave the greatest personal scoring display I have ever seen. He scored 2-9 giving Mick Spillane a real roasting, but Offaly still lost 4-15 to 2-10.

The Kerry forwards were so good that they had to keep scoring to make up for leakage at the back.

Matt Connor was a brilliant forward, yet he won just one All-Ireland medal, in 1982. What I admired about him was the way he was able to sort of stroll around the field. He had this languid style – his head was kind of pushed forward a little bit, the shoulders pushed back and he just had this incredible way of kicking the football. Nicknamed 'Immaculate Matt' by commentator Micheál O'Hehir, he was on duty as a garda on Christmas Day 1984 and when he was on his way home for his dinner at one o'clock, he crashed the car. He was paralysed and ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. I can still recall hearing the chilling account on the six o’clock news. I was a huge admirer of the Walsh Island clubman. What a great personal loss and a loss to us all missing such a talent from the green fields.

Back to 1980. Mick O'Dwyer had a problem facing Roscommon in the final, including the great Dermot Earley, but it wasn’t the big army general that was bugging him. How was he going to shore up the full back line? Michael Finneran was in the corner, top scorer in the run up to the final with an impressive scoreline. He scored 1-8 in the semi-final win over Armagh. He couldn’t put Mick Spillane in there again after the semi-final roasting and there was really no ready-made option of a good tight marker in the subs bench.

Re-think Mick. Go back to Beaufort where the Lynch brothers lived and use the plamás which he had in abundance,  along with native cunning and affable roguery. Brendan of the lethal left leg had won three All-Ireland medals and at the age of 25. He was the oldest player on the famous 1975 All-Ireland winning team. He retired in 1976 and was working in England as a doctor in 1980, but Paudie was younger.

Paudie Lynch was the man and Micko took the gamble. It mattered little what the other selectors thought. There was one big problem, though. Paudie hadn’t played one match with Kerry that year and how could you expect him to be up to the pace of an All-Ireland final? But he knew Paudie's pedigree. He played with him in the 1972 All-Ireland and he must have already won four All-Ireland medals. He starred with Beaufort, Mid Kerry and UCC, and most of all he was versatile. He could easily play at wing or corner back as well as at midfield. He was very quiet, but he was a tight marker, as tough as nails and very competitive. Pick him. He won’t let you down. He didn’t.

I have a clear memory of the final. The weather wasn’t great and Roscommon got off to a flying start. John Jigger O'Connor scored a goal after 36 seconds. My mind shot back to the 1962 All-Ireland, again Kerry v Roscommon, when Brian McMahon scored a goal after 34 seconds, also against Roscommon. That was the record for the fastest goal ever scored in an Al- Ireland final. Does the record still stand? I think so, but I must ask Brian’s brother Eoin next time I meet him.

Roscommon were motoring well after Jigger’s early goal. Was this going to be the day when Dermot Earley, one of the greatest players ever not to win an All-Ireland, would finally win the elusive medal he deserved? It looked ominous for Kerry but scores weren’t coming that quickly for either side. Then of course Páidí Ó Sé cleared a ball off the goal line. How did he stop this certain goal? Was it with his forehead? It matters little, it was a match-winning save and he thundered out having stood in ‘the bearna baoil’. After the match Micko Dwyer congratulated Páidi. His reply was succinct, "Micko, sin an fáth go bhfuil geansaí a cúig ar mo dhrom agam".

Roscommon resorted to heavy tackling, while Kerry held their head and won 1-9 to 1-6 in a very poor game. Paudie Lynch delivered and held Michael Finneran to a point or two, an amazing achievement and a great stroke pulled by Micko. Jack O’ Shea went on to win the Texaco Player of the Year and Ger Power climbed those hallowed steps of the Hogan Stand collecting The Cannister for Kerry’s 26th title and the three-in-a-row was secure. On to 1981...

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Top tips for exfoliating your skin

One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation. There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one […]




One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation.

There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one is important. We don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage, especially to the face.

We must help to exfoliate the dead cells to reveal new glowing skin. As dead cells have a negative effect on the skin, it clogs pores, creates dark spots and rough skin texture, more pronounced wrinkles as well as dullness and dryness. Also, the build up of dead cells can inhibit the effectiveness of skin care products as serums and creams can’t reach the basal (lower) layer which is the active level of the skin. This layer is responsible for the growth of collagen and elastin. These molecules/cells rise up to the outer layer giving your skin plumpness. Think of them like grapes when they are youthful and hydrated. Unfortunately as we age, and if we don’t look after our skin, environmental factors such as the sun, wind, and diet can cause the collagen and elastin cells to look more like raisins. Therefore, it’s super important to exfoliate those dead cells away.

The different types you can choose from might depend on your likes or dislikes and if your skin is normal or combination. If you have dry, thin skin you must be careful to choose a suitable exfoliating product, something without grains, as they can sometimes be a little harsh. If they are dissolving grains they maybe suitable.

A great tip when exfoliating the body is to put on exfoliating mitts every time you shower. Always apply a little body lotion after every shower or bath also.

Any questions call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Budget 2023 has been announced, so what’s in it for you?

At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and […]




At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath announced a series of measures which they say will be “focused on helping individuals, families and businesses to deal with rising prices”.

It included a further €300 million in public service support measures funded from the Contingency Reserve Fund.

“We were emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now face a further economic challenge,” Minister Donoghue said.

“The government understands, and I understand, the worries which small business owners, farmers, pensioners, those who work really hard to get by, will feel. This is why the government will help, and by helping our country will overcome this challenge.”


Personal Tax Credit, Employee Credit and Earned Income Credit set to increase by €75

Standard rate band for Income Tax is to increase by €3,200 to €40,000

Increase in the second USC rate band (2 percent rate) from €21,295 to €22,920 in line with the 80 cent per hour increase in the national minimum wage recently agreed by this government

€200 electricity credits for homes over the next three billing cycles – November, January and March – (€600 in total)

Petrol/Diesel: The reduction on excise duty on fuel previously announced earlier this year to ease the cost of petrol and diesel has been further extended until February 28, 2023. Motorists will continue to pay 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil.

A €1.2 billion package of supports for businesses hit by soaring energy costs

New Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) has been set up to assist businesses with their energy costs. A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply and an overall cap will apply on the total amount which a business can claim.

Excise on pack of 20 cigarettes to increase by 50 cent

Lump sum payment of €400 for Fuel Allowance recipients will be paid before Christmas

Extra lump sum for the elderly, carers, and disabled as social welfare rates go up €12

VAT: 9 percent VAT rate which is currently in place to support the tourism and hospitality sectors to remain in place until February 28, 2023

Double Child Benefit payment for all eligible parents on November 1

Christmas bonus to be paid in December, with a separate double payment in November

New rent tax credit worth €500 for 2023. This can also be claimed for 2022. This applies to those who do not get any other housing supports. Approximately 400,000 persons are expected to benefit.

Rural Ireland will get a €390 million investment for development

Newspaper: VAT on newspapers to be reduced from 9 percent to zero from January 1, 2023.

1,000 new Garda and 430 Garda staff will be provided

20% fare reduction on public transport will be extended to the end of 2023

Social Welfare

Weekly social welfare rates will be increased by €12 for working age recipients

€12 increase in weekly payments for pensioners

Working Family Payment threshold will increase by €40

€2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child

An increase in eligibility for Fuel Allowance

€500 lump sum for families availing of the Working Family Payment, a €500 lump sum for carers, a €500 cost of disability payment and a €20 increase in the domiciliary care allowance for sick children


All inpatient hospital charges will be abolished, GP visit cards will be provided to those on or below the median income (340,000 additional people)

There will be a €2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child.

Drug Payment Scheme threshold will remain at the lower rate of €80 in 2023

Funding will be provided for IVF treatments

Free contraception will be available for all women aged between 16 and 30

Childcare and education

Free School Book Scheme for primary school pupils from autumn 2023

Over 660 additional mainstream teachers, over 1,190 SNAs and 680 special education teachers will be provided

The National Childcare Scheme hourly subsidy is to increase from 50c to €1.40

A €500 increase in post-graduate contribution grant for eligible families

Over 4,800 additional places on craft and consortia-led apprenticeships and 4,000 places on craft apprenticeship programmes will be supported


Funding will be made available to support 8,800 new HAP tenancies and 800 RAS tenancies

9,100 new-build social homes, 5,500 new affordable homes for sale and rent and 6,500 new social homes will be supported

Funding to deliver 37,000 home energy upgrades


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