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Game on: Crokes collapse blows championship wide open 

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This time last week they were odds-on favourites to win a third consecutive county title but Dr Crokes’ 2018 championship aspirations were dealt a crushing blow on Sunday when they fell to a shock defeat to Kerins O’Rahilly’s in the Park.

It was the Crokes’ first loss in the competition since October 2015 and not many people saw this one coming, especially not at half time when the Killarney side led by 10.

Rahilly’s still trailed by eight heading into the final quarter but they showed tremendous heart to stage one of the most unlikely comebacks you’re ever likely to see. In fact, many of the crowd in attendance missed the thrilling finale because they had long since left the stadium. To be honest, I was nearly gone myself.

Guys like David Moran, Barry John Keane and Tommy Walsh really came to the fore as Strand Road outscored the reigning champions 3-7 to 0-3 in the final 15 minutes plus additional time. Mike Quirke’s men were rampant down the stretch and if they can replicate this kind of intensity moving forward, they could go a long way.

Crokes, meanwhile, will be left to wonder what went wrong. There were murmurs around town that they weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders but it was still a huge upset by anyone’s standards. I can’t recall ever seeing a Crokes team capitulating in such emphatic fashion and it’s bound to dent the players’ confidence. They wouldn’t be human if it didn’t.

Their performance in the opening round against St Kieran’s was below par (they actually trailed with five minutes to play) but that was dismissed as an anomaly. In light of last weekend’s disastrous result, there are now serious doubts about their form. And form isn’t something that can be turned on or off with the flick of a switch.

Having said that, no one in Kerry will be writing Crokes’ obituary just yet. They’re not out of the competition and you would expect them to defeat An Ghaeltacht tomorrow in Round 3 to advance to the quarters. This team have been utterly dominant in recent years and, despite what happened last Sunday, it’s still hard to envisage them not being a factor in the latter stages of this year’s championship.

East Kerry are now the bookies’ favourites to lift the Bishop Moynihan Cup following another comprehensive victory in Killarney, this time against Dingle. The East were actually down two at the interval but they eventually racked up 6-15 en route to a handy 17-point win. David Clifford, who bagged a brace, showed his class once again and in Evan Cronin, Kevin McCarthy, Dara Moynihan, Paudie Clifford and Jack Sherwood they have a forward line that can torment any defence in the county.

The Killarney Legion are also safely through to the quarters after a fine win against Mid Kerry in Killorglin. Conditions were tough and the hosts raced into an early lead thanks to two quick-fire goals, but the lads responded well and I thought we were good value for the win in the end. Damien O’Sullivan was excellent at full back and I was also really impressed with Aidan Slattery who put in a serious shift at half forward.

It has been a good start and it’s nice to take the direct route to the last eight but there’s a long way to go yet.

Austin Stacks defeated South Kerry by a point in the other winners’ round game so they will join Rahilly’s, East Kerry and Legion in the hat for the quarter-final draw, which will take place after the last Round 3 game on Sunday.

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Top tips for exfoliating your skin

One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation. There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one […]

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One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation.

There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one is important. We don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage, especially to the face.

We must help to exfoliate the dead cells to reveal new glowing skin. As dead cells have a negative effect on the skin, it clogs pores, creates dark spots and rough skin texture, more pronounced wrinkles as well as dullness and dryness. Also, the build up of dead cells can inhibit the effectiveness of skin care products as serums and creams can’t reach the basal (lower) layer which is the active level of the skin. This layer is responsible for the growth of collagen and elastin. These molecules/cells rise up to the outer layer giving your skin plumpness. Think of them like grapes when they are youthful and hydrated. Unfortunately as we age, and if we don’t look after our skin, environmental factors such as the sun, wind, and diet can cause the collagen and elastin cells to look more like raisins. Therefore, it’s super important to exfoliate those dead cells away.

The different types you can choose from might depend on your likes or dislikes and if your skin is normal or combination. If you have dry, thin skin you must be careful to choose a suitable exfoliating product, something without grains, as they can sometimes be a little harsh. If they are dissolving grains they maybe suitable.

A great tip when exfoliating the body is to put on exfoliating mitts every time you shower. Always apply a little body lotion after every shower or bath also.

Any questions call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Budget 2023 has been announced, so what’s in it for you?

At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and […]

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At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath announced a series of measures which they say will be “focused on helping individuals, families and businesses to deal with rising prices”.

It included a further €300 million in public service support measures funded from the Contingency Reserve Fund.

“We were emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now face a further economic challenge,” Minister Donoghue said.

“The government understands, and I understand, the worries which small business owners, farmers, pensioners, those who work really hard to get by, will feel. This is why the government will help, and by helping our country will overcome this challenge.”

THE BUDGET AT A GLANCE

Personal Tax Credit, Employee Credit and Earned Income Credit set to increase by €75

Standard rate band for Income Tax is to increase by €3,200 to €40,000

Increase in the second USC rate band (2 percent rate) from €21,295 to €22,920 in line with the 80 cent per hour increase in the national minimum wage recently agreed by this government

€200 electricity credits for homes over the next three billing cycles – November, January and March – (€600 in total)

Petrol/Diesel: The reduction on excise duty on fuel previously announced earlier this year to ease the cost of petrol and diesel has been further extended until February 28, 2023. Motorists will continue to pay 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil.

A €1.2 billion package of supports for businesses hit by soaring energy costs

New Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) has been set up to assist businesses with their energy costs. A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply and an overall cap will apply on the total amount which a business can claim.

Excise on pack of 20 cigarettes to increase by 50 cent

Lump sum payment of €400 for Fuel Allowance recipients will be paid before Christmas

Extra lump sum for the elderly, carers, and disabled as social welfare rates go up €12

VAT: 9 percent VAT rate which is currently in place to support the tourism and hospitality sectors to remain in place until February 28, 2023

Double Child Benefit payment for all eligible parents on November 1

Christmas bonus to be paid in December, with a separate double payment in November

New rent tax credit worth €500 for 2023. This can also be claimed for 2022. This applies to those who do not get any other housing supports. Approximately 400,000 persons are expected to benefit.

Rural Ireland will get a €390 million investment for development

Newspaper: VAT on newspapers to be reduced from 9 percent to zero from January 1, 2023.

1,000 new Garda and 430 Garda staff will be provided

20% fare reduction on public transport will be extended to the end of 2023

Social Welfare

Weekly social welfare rates will be increased by €12 for working age recipients

€12 increase in weekly payments for pensioners

Working Family Payment threshold will increase by €40

€2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child

An increase in eligibility for Fuel Allowance

€500 lump sum for families availing of the Working Family Payment, a €500 lump sum for carers, a €500 cost of disability payment and a €20 increase in the domiciliary care allowance for sick children

Health

All inpatient hospital charges will be abolished, GP visit cards will be provided to those on or below the median income (340,000 additional people)

There will be a €2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child.

Drug Payment Scheme threshold will remain at the lower rate of €80 in 2023

Funding will be provided for IVF treatments

Free contraception will be available for all women aged between 16 and 30

Childcare and education

Free School Book Scheme for primary school pupils from autumn 2023

Over 660 additional mainstream teachers, over 1,190 SNAs and 680 special education teachers will be provided

The National Childcare Scheme hourly subsidy is to increase from 50c to €1.40

A €500 increase in post-graduate contribution grant for eligible families

Over 4,800 additional places on craft and consortia-led apprenticeships and 4,000 places on craft apprenticeship programmes will be supported

Housing

Funding will be made available to support 8,800 new HAP tenancies and 800 RAS tenancies

9,100 new-build social homes, 5,500 new affordable homes for sale and rent and 6,500 new social homes will be supported

Funding to deliver 37,000 home energy upgrades

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