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Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí to celebrate mid-Kerry’s ancient heritage

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Aerial drone pictures capture Kerry's oldest place of burial

A unique cultural celebration of the Summer Solstice at the iconic 6,000 year-old Killaclohane Portal Tomb near Milltown promises to be a special highlight of this year’s Kerry Fleadh Cheoil which takes place in the mid-Kerry town this week. The organisers are holding an open-air celebration at the portal tomb on 21st June, the longest day of the year, against the majestic backdrop of Dingle Bay and the Sliabh Mish Mountains. This occasion is the centre-piece of the five-day, family-friendly festival with a fantastic program of entertainment. New research by County Archaeologist Michael Connolly has revealed the ancient burial place to be the oldest known man made structure in Kerry and perhaps in Ireland. "Having a monument of such historical and cultural significance in the locality has inspired our theme for the 2018 Fleadh, which is 'Reconnecting with the Past', drawing inspiration from the deep-rooted traditions we share. This idea is at the heart of the Comhaltas organisation", explained event Chairman Owen O'Shea

With a range of music from across the centuries, dramatic percussion, poetry, song, a Solstice bonfire and a druidic ceremony, the event at Killaclohane invokes the spiritual connections with the Neolithic Age and draws on the theme of 'Reconnecting with the Past.’ Featuring some of Kerry’s best musicians and performers, the event at the portal tomb will seek to connect with the cultural heritage of the area over the millennia.

The event will open with a recitation and harp music from father and daughter, Chris and Aoibhe Horan and will feature a blessing ceremony with the Dingle Druid, Juli Ní Mhaoileoin as well as the lighting of a Solstice Bonfire with percussive rhythms from Drum Dance Ireland. Uileann piper Barry Lynch and harpist Reidun Schlesinger will perform some of the ancient music of Ireland and a group of local musicians will play the tunes they listened and danced to in mid-Kerry a century ago. Sliabh Luachra poet, Eileen Sheehan will recite some of her work and singer, Joan Greene will celebrate the different international Solstice traditions from around the world.

‘The tomb is set against one of the most spectacular backdrops in Kerry – Caherconree Promontory Fort, the mouth of the River Maine and the Dingle Peninsula. It has to be seen to be believed. The event will be suitable for all ages and we will keep everyone well fed with a pig on a spit. We’ll finish with a grand finale involving all the performers as the sun sets over the historic site,’ added Owen.

The event begins at 8pm on 21st June and there is a €10 admission fee for over-16s. As there is no parking on site, those attending will be transported from the Mid-Kerry Mart car park to the site on a free shuttle bus. Attendees are advised to arrive and park up early from 7pm. Toilet facilities and limited seating will be available and everyone should be dressed appropriately for the prevailing weather conditions. Enquiries to fleadh2018@hotmail.com

Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí, hosted by Milltown-Listry Comhaltas Branch takes place in Milltown from 20th to 24th June and will feature free open-air performances from Stockton’s Wing, All-Ireland champions, the Shandrum Céilí Band, a Sunday céilí with Uí Bhriain, family fun and frolics, Spin City Funfair, competitions, sessions, a street entertainment competition and lots more. Follow @MilltownCCE and @Kerrycomhaltas for more information.

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Life-long supporter to be honoured

By Michelle Crean There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter. Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm. “We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter.

Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm.

“We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed Quad, sponsored by the Cahernane House Hotel, after Kathleen Murphy, a dedicated supporter of our club,” Shona O’Sullivan from the club, who is also Kathleen’s granddaughter, said.

“Kathleen is always supportive of our club fundraisers and has been selling the Muckross Lotto tickets since day one. Every year Kathleen’s enthusiasm and love for the club is especially shown from the shore at Killarney Regatta, as she is all decked out in the yellow of Muckross.”

She added that Kathleen’s family are also very active members of the club and she enjoys listening to their stories from the boathouse and regattas.

“We hope to see you all there to honour and thank Kathleen, a life-long supporter of our club.”

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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