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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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Staff and students highlight important message

By Michelle Crean Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion. Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. All staff wore […]

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By Michelle Crean

Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion.

Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

All staff wore a rainbow colour and students wore rainbow coloured accessories to show their support for the campaign as Killarney Community College is a diverse, inclusive, accepting, and welcoming safe space for everyone.

The majority of students made a particularly great effort in terms of wearing rainbow coloured accessories were awarded house points.

During the week, the LGBTI+ flag was hanging proudly in the school canteen. Transition Years decorated the General Purpose area with informative posters, and in SPHE classes, students learned about LGBTI+ terminology and history.

“It’s important that school is a safe and inclusive place for anyone attending regardless of their race, sex, religion or sexuality,” Principal, Stella Loughnane, said.

“I’m delighted that our school community marked the occasion and brought great colour while highlighting a very important message. One of the key words of our mission statement is inclusion making this awareness day a very apt one.”

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Donation to be made in memory of Johnny Batt

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA remembered one of their most loyal members this week when his beloved club donated to a Kerry charity. Club stalwart Johnny Batt Cronin, who was steeped in Spa GAA club history, passed away in September 2019 after a battle with cancer. An outstanding footballer, he won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA remembered one of their most loyal members this week when his beloved club donated to a Kerry charity.

Club stalwart Johnny Batt Cronin, who was steeped in Spa GAA club history, passed away in September 2019 after a battle with cancer.

An outstanding footballer, he won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals with Spa as well as a county Intermediate Championship medal in 1974 and a County League Division One title two years later.

He was also a member of the star-studded East Kerry divisional side that won the inaugural All-Ireland Club Championship in 1971.

When he hung up his boots, Johnny trained and coached many underage teams and was honoured with a hugely deserved lifetime achievement award by his beloved Spa GAA Club in 2015.

He was also a champion card player, winning the Spa Championship of Kerry 31 Card Drive on two occasions.

After his passing, Spa GAA wanted to run a 31 Card Drive in his memory and to raise funds for the Oncology Department in University Hospital Kerry.

The Card Drive was postponed on several occasions due to the pandemic – and while some of the earlier rounds were completed by early 2020 – it was not possible to complete the competition that has now been cancelled completely due to ongoing crowd gathering concerns.

“A number of teams had entered this Card Drive competition (two people per team) and it started in early 2020 and most but not all of the early rounds did get played,” club PRO, Deirdre O’Sullivan Darcy, said.

“When COVID-19 hit they delayed the next stages of the competition.”

Nevertheless, teams had paid entry fees and it was decided to handover the funds raised to the Comfort for Chemo charity at the Oncology Department in University Hospital Kerry.

Members of the organising team met this week to reveal the winners of spot prizes had the event gone ahead. The money will be handed over next week to the charity when the final amount is totalled.

“They kept delaying and postponing but at this point have decided to cancel it completely and make the donation for the money that was collected at the time,” added Deirdre.

WINNERS

The prize-winning teams are:

€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: John Kerins and Tim McCarthy
€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: Con Lynch and Alan Cronin
€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: Finbarr Godfrey and Tim Regan
€50 voucher (each) for Killarney Carpet & Furniture Centre: Seanie Kelliher and Connie Doolan
Bottle of whiskey and bottle of wine: Peter Cahill and Barry Duggan

The club also thanked event sponsors: Skellig Hotel Dingle, Kennelly’s Pharmacy, Hegarty’s Spar Muckross Road, Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney Oil, O’Leary’s Electrical, Paul Herlihy Contractor, Liam Chute, Killarney Oaks Hotel and Bowler’s Centra.

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