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Emotional scenes as Nagle calls time on his World Rally career

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By Sean Moriarty

Irish rally driver Craig Breen paid tribute to his co-driver Paul Nagle who has retired from the sport.

FAMILY: Paul Nagle with his wife Cathy and children Leon (3) and Fitz (5) at the final stage finish of his WRC career in Spain on Sunday. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

SPORTING BROTHERS: Craig Breen and Paul Nagle embrace at the finish line of Rally de Catalunya on Sunday: Photo: Phillip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

INTERVIEW: Paul Nagle is interviewed by Molly Pettit of WRC TV. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

END OF AN ERA: Paul Nagle and Craig Breen moments before they went over the finish ramp in Salou Spain on Sunday. Photo: Sean Moriarty

The Killarney man has called time on his 18-year World Championship career – five wins and 18 podium finishes are just some of the highlights – in last weekend’s Rally de Catalunya.

It was his 102nd start in the World Rally Championship after making his debut in the same event in 2004.

Cavan man James Fulton will replace Nagle from next month’s Rally Japan onwards but he will travel to the event to complete the handover.

“It’s very strange and still doesn’t feel quite real. It won’t feel real until Japan and I suddenly have a different voice in my ears. It’s been fantastic apart from everything on the sporting side and all the results and all the rallies and what not,” said Breen.

“Just the craic… Irish humour is a very special and unique kind of humour and, when you find your partner in crime who operated on the same level, then you know it just ends up as a barrel of laughs. All the events, all the travelling and the time you spend together, it’s been the most amazing time together.”

While Nagle’s World Championship career has drawn to a close Waterford man Breen promised that the pair would work together again on “extra-curricular rallies”.

“It will definitely not be the last time we are in a car together. I have so many extra-curricular rallies that I squeeze in here, there and everywhere. He doesn’t have a choice in the matter. I’m looking forward to them,” added Breen.

A large group of Kerry fans, including Paul’s wife Cathy and their two sons Fitz and Leon, were at the rally finish near Salou on Sunday afternoon to greet Nagle as he crossed the finish line of the World Rally Championship event as a professional co-driver for the final time.

Also present was his Agahdoe neighbour Donie O’Sullivan who gave Paul his WRC debut in 2004.

“It's been an incredible journey. I came into this sport as a young lad and I followed the dream. I have five wins and I leave as a husband and a father with so many memories. This man beside me [Breen] has been like a brother to me - he's brought me so much success. I also have to mention Kris Meeke - without these men I'd be nowhere, so thank you,” said an emotional Nagle at the finish line.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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