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Fascinating part of Kerry’s sporting history returns

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A fascinating part of Kerry’s sporting history has returned to Killorglin in the form of two albums of newspaper cuttings.

CUTTING: Newspaper clippings honouring world class cyclist Gene Mangan the youngest ever winner of the 1955 Rás Tailteann aged 18 has been donated to Killorglin Library. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

WINNER: Gene Mangan the youngest ever winner of the 1955 Rás Tailteann aged 18. He is still the youngest-ever winner.

HISTORY: A fascinating part of Kerry’s sporting history has returned to Killorglin. Pictured are: Gillian Mangan younger sister of the legendary Kerry cyclist Gene Mangan with Kerry County Librarian Tommy O'Connor. At the back are: Tom Daly (Vice President Cycling Ireland) Éibhlín Hayes (Killorglin Library) and Mary Concannon (Killorglin Cycling Club). Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Legendary Kerry cyclist, Gene Mangan's historic feats were put together via the clippings in the 1950s by his younger sister Gillian Mangan.

At an event at Killorglin Library today (Tuesday), Gillian donated the albums to Kerry Library who will hold them for public access in the Kerry Local History and Archives in Tralee.

Gillian’s collections begin in 1954 when Gene was 17-years-old and started becoming prominent in cycling circles.

"I was seven years younger than Gene and he was a hero in my eyes," she said.

"I got all the papers and cut out anything to do with Gene and stuck them into old account books. I’m delighted that they will now be preserved of use for future generations and I’d like to thank the library for hosting them."

SENSATION

Gene became a national sporting sensation in 1955 by winning the Rás Tailteann at the age of 18. Apart from documenting Gene’s early career, the albums also record the glory-days of Kerry cycling in the 1950s and '60s that also include Paudie Fitzgerald’s Rás win in 1956 and Mick Murphy’s in 1958, as well as the all-important Kerry team wins. A large collection of newspaper cuttings relating to Kerry cycling kept by the Mangan family has also been donated.

In addition, they also include cuttings and pictures of ordinary club races and riders and they are highly evocative in giving a wonderful sense of the cycling scene and the people involved in Kerry at the time.

Speaking on behalf of the library, Kerry County Librarian, Tommy O’Connor, thanked Gillian for her donation which will be preserved in a public archive for the use of future generations and he noted that it will supplement the very scarce copy of Gene’s biography that Kerry Library holds - ‘The Gene Mangan Story’ which was written by Seán O’Neill and published in 1959.

The event was also attended by Mary Concannon, a representative of Killorglin Cycling Club and she also paid tribute to Gene.

"Gene left Kerry in the 1950s for work and eventually settled in Dublin but he has had a life-long loyalty to Kerry cycling and in particular to his original club in Killorglin. He has always been a wonderful supporter and has contributed to Killorglin and Kerry cycling in numerous ways down through the years. We would like to thank Gillian for this donation – it will be highly interesting for everyone with an interest in our sporting heritage and an important part of the town’s history," she said.

Also in attendance was Tom Daly from Killarney who is Vice-President of Cycling Ireland. Tom said that Gene was a significant figure in the history of Irish cycling from both a racing and administration point of view – he was also President of the National Cycling Association for a period.

"Gene has previously donated important material related to the history of Irish cycling to the Irish Cycling Archive at the UCD Archives, but it is entirely appropriate that this material, related to his Kerry roots, should stay in Kerry," he said.

The albums and related collection of newspaper cuttings can be viewed at Killorglin library during September and thereafter in the Kerry Local History and Archives at Library Headquarters in Tralee.

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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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