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Future is looking bright as Killarney Valley AC Arena officially opens

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There were plenty of sporting exhibitions which enthralled the public on Saturday during the official opening ceremony of the Killarney Valley AC Arena.

LONG JUMP: Keelan Verasoo long jumping over 20ft watched by Minister Norma Foley, Bishop Ray Browne and the enthralled viewers.

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SUCCESS: Jerry Griffin chairperson Killarney Valley AC pictured addressing the crowd and outlining the success of the facility.

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QUILL CUP: CEO of Athletics Ireland Hamish Adams presenting the Quill Cup to Killarney Valley AC team captain Jordan Lee which the club won earlier in the year.

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Minister Norma Foley, Bishop Ray Browne and Mayor of the Killarney Niall Kelliher together with elected officials, and members of Killarney Valley AC cutting the ribbon at the official ceremony.

Hundreds turned up on a beautiful August afternoon to witness and to be a part of the event.

Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, spoke glowingly of the “field of dreams” initiative and his long held support for the project.

Minister Norma Foley delivered a speech thanking Killarney Valley AC, its friends and the Diocese of Kerry for such an initiative to be located in the centre of the school area.

She spoke of her support for the club’s encouragement of female participation in, where two thirds of the club members are female and with a special mention for those with disabilities. Role models like Sarah Leahy, Ciara Kennelly, Maddie Wilson Walker and Jordan Lee all help to encourage inclusion and break the stigma for those from an early age and demonstrate a pathway to elite competition on a level playing field for all.

Jeremiah Griffin outlined the history, the present and the future and thanked the volunteers, sponsors, SKDP, Department of Sport and Kerry County Council aid from the community strategic support fund. Jeremiah also thanked Clan Credo for the loan to cover the balance of finance required during construction, in order for full completion. This amounts to €80,000 and efforts are constant as the group works to keep it on track. Sean Coffey spoke of his delight at the decision to finally locate the facility on the grounds of St Brendan's College by the St Brendan's Trust. John Hickey of Hickey Design, Leonard Moran and Associates QS, Tom Collins of Moloney Contracts, FDC Accountants Killarney and Maurice Coffey Solicitor were also acknowledged on the day for a job well done and for their services.

Bishop Ray Browne blessed the facility and spoke warmly of the reasons for the St Brendan’s Trust support. Minister Norma Foley cut the ribbon to laud applause and fan fair. From there, like the First Olympics in Athens, the exhibition events begun. Tomas Griffin introduced the CEO of Athletics Ireland, Hamish Adams, who spoke of his support for the club and its ambitions and in a well choreographed event, everybody was then enthralled.

Long Jumpers exceeded 23ft, high jumpers clearing 6ft, Sarah Leahy racing to over 35km per hour, Conor Gammell to 38km per hour. Jason O’Reilly sprinted an exhibition 300m, Oisin Lynch and Jack O’Leary racing a 1km race on 2 mins 34 seconds with plenty in the tank. To put the 1km in perspective at that pace it would guarantee a final place in a 5,000m Olympic Games running low 13 minutes.

Tea and coffee was provided on the day by Nave Coffee and the classic 1982 Toyota Starlet was on show by Tom Leslie of the Killarney Valley and Classic Vintage Club which is being raffled in support of the the facility amongst other beneficiaries.

"A great day was had by all with the future looking bright from a brave team of pioneers, whom started the discussion over 40 years ago with honorary Killarney Valley AC president Mrs Eileen Switzer and her late husband Mr Frank Switzer and most recently from the team in 2013 up to the present," Jeremiah Griffin said.

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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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Jim awarded for life-long service to the community

By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]

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By Michelle Crean

Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.

Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.

Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.

He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.

Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.

Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.

Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.

Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.

“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.

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