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Fitzgerald Stadium funding row ends up in the High Court

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Kerry GAA are remaining tight lipped on the implications a High Court hearing could have on the redevelopment of Fitzgerald Stadium.

Kerry GAA Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan revealed an ambitious redevelopment project that will radically alter the appearance of the iconic grounds last year. 

The central section of the O’Connor Terrace is to be covered as part of the plan.
A new tier is to be added to the top of the terrace with a roof that will stretch roughly from one 20-metre line to the other, according to newly released drawings.
The Scoreboard End will get a new terrace and the Lewis Road End will be converted to an all-seater uncovered stand. The existing O’Sullivan Stand will also be replaced with a new stand.
Plans for the revamp were unveiled this time last year but it now appears they could be up in the air following the Government’s decision to end what is known as the Immigrant Investor Programme.
The Immigrant Investor Programme is a pathway for non-EEA nationals to secure immigration permission to Ireland on the basis of long-term investment of a sum of money in a project that has been approved for that purpose by the Department of Justice and other Government stakeholders.
The scheme ended in February 2023.
The GAA County Board has been working on the project since early in 2022.
It is understood that before the scheme was scrapped Kerry GAA had submitted its plans to redevelop the stadium.

Kerry GAA has now launched a High Court challenge in a bid to overturn the Justice Minister's refusal to include its application for inclusion in the now-discontinued scheme.
It is also understood that one or more investors were willing to up to €27m in donations to fund the refurbishment under the scheme and the Minister’s decision puts that investment in jeopardy.

In January, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said that "no valid investor application was submitted,” by Kerry GAA and on that grounds the application was refused.

Kerry GAA say there was a valid application and on that grounds it has taken the case to the High Court.
Kerry GAA officials refused to comment on the situation, when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser, given the sensitive legal implications of the case.

Several other voluntary bodies from across the country are in a similar situation.

The initial case was heard in High Court in Dublin this week but has been adjourned to give all parties more time to provide additional documentation, and will return before the court later in July.

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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