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Fixture debacle a sad end to the year

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The Lakers were always going to be up against it in the League Cup. Realistically they needed to beat three teams from the top four in Division 1A to win this competition so the odds were against them from the start

The one factor in their favour was home advantage in the quarters, a right they earned by finishing top of Division 1B in their first season back in the National League. Basketball Ireland’s decision to snatch that away from them at the last minute was both cruel and very hard to justify.

Whatever about the venue change affecting their chances in the competition, which it undoubtedly did, it also robbed St Paul’s of their final home game of the season. Financially speaking, they missed out on a nice chunk of money. The amount the Lakers make off the gate is the kind of cash that no team can scoff at, especially not one trying to find their feet in the league after a nine-year hiatus.

But, to me at least, the real disappointment was not being able to receive the Division 1B Shield on home court. That would have been a nice touch for the players and I’m sure younger fans especially would have enjoyed the occasion.

It’s sort of unusual as well that the League Cup is played at the end of the year. From speaking to the players, it seems as though this is the least prestigious competition in the calendar. The emphasis appears to be on winning the President’s Cup, which was finished by January, and the league, which concluded two weeks ago with the Lakers winning 1B and Killorglin winning 1A. To put it in GAA terms, it’s a bit like playing the league after the championship.

I think the fact that Basketball Ireland decided at 9.30am on Monday morning to move the Lakers v Carlow game to Neptune indicates the league’s own attitude towards the competition. It seems, from the outside anyway, that they just want to run the thing off as quickly as possible. I don’t imagine they’d do the same thing for a league decider.

It’s a sad enough end to the season for the Lakers but it shouldn’t detract from what they’ve achieved over the course of the campaign. They’ve given themselves a good platform to build on and it will be very interesting to see how far they can go over the next few years. The sky is the limit.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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