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Garth Brooks to be formally invited to Killarney

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BLAME IT ALL ON HIS ROOTS: Cllr Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan practices the airs of 'That's An Irish Lullaby' in Variety Sounds in College St. Photo: Sean Moriarty

By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney councillor will make direct contact with Garth Brook's Irish agent in an effort to get the Country Music superstar to play concerts in Fitzgerald Stadium in the future.

Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan was inspired to invite Country Music’s biggest stars to Killarney after watching a Netflix documentary about Brooks.

In an emotional scene in the film, Brooks speaks of his late mother Colleen Carroll. Mother and son are shown singing ‘That Is An Irish Lullaby’, a song which features Killarney.

Brooks is due to return to play in Ireland in the next year or so, with Cork’s PáircChaoimh mooted as one possible venue. His last planned appearance in Ireland, in 2014, was shrouded in controversy. He had sold out five nights at Croke Park but local residents fought successfully to reduce that to just three nights. As a result he cancelled all five dates as he did not want to let down the fans who had already paid for tickets.

O’Callaghan, who watched the Netflix documentary ‘The Road I Am On” said he was blown away by Brooks singing about Killarney. This has inspired him to issue an unofficial invite to the Oklahoma-born singer via his own personal Twitter account.

O’Callaghan’s online request gathered so much positivity that he has decided to take the invite another step forward and will, this week, make direct contact with Peter Aitken Promotions, the Dublin-based music management firm that was behind Brooks aborted attempt to play Croke Park six years ago.

“I know Peter well,” Botty told the Killarney Advertiser. “He used to holiday in Killarney, 30 years ago, and he stayed with my mother. I will be contacting Peter direct and telling him that Garth Brooks can play in Killarney for as many nights as he wants and there will no problems with the neighbours.”

Fitzgerald Stadium has previously hosted major concerts with global stars like Elton John and Bryan Adams performing there in the past as part of the now discontinued Killarney SummerFest.

The Killarney Advertiser was the first local media outlet to highlight ‘The Road I Am On.’ Three weeks ago the Netflix documentary featured in our ‘Watch, Read, Listen' page as a must-watch show for that week.

“It was amazing,” added O’Callaghan. “How many millions of fans were watching him sing about Killarney. It was like he was singing about Killarney all his life.”

Lyrics from the song:

'Over in Killarney, many years ago,
My mother sang a song to me in tones so soft and low,
Just a simple little ditty in her good old Irish way,
And I'd give the world if I could hear that song of hers today'

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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