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Gathering of Bridies and Bridgets to be a highlight of new Kerry festival

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IS YOUR name Bridget, Breda or Bridie or any variation of the name Brigid? If so, you are invited to a unique gathering in Killorglin that will be one of many highlights of the town’s newest festival.

The “Meeting of the Brigid’s” will take place from 8pm till late in Falvey’s Bar, Killorglin, on Saturday, February 4, a day that has been earmarked for a brand-new yet timeold celebration for the town.

St Brigid’s Day or Imbolg is an ancient Irish tradition that has been marked for hundreds of years in Mid Kerry. This was once part of the four ancient Celtic festivals along with Lá Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain.

Now, on Saturday, February 4, Killorglin will host a unique festival, called Biddy’s Day, celebrating the custom. “The Biddy is honoured every year in the Mid Kerry region, with Biddy groups visiting rural houses and public houses, carrying a ‘Brideog’ (effigy) with them, to ensure evil spirits are kept away from humans and animals alike for the coming year,” said local historian Thomas O’Sullivan, who is one of the organisers of the new festival.

All are welcome to the Biddy’s parade in Killorglin on February 4, which will take place from the Fishery to Library Place at 7pm. “Various local Biddy groups will be wearing their traditional costumes and join us on our way up to Library Place,” said Thomas.

This is just one aspect of a full programme of events that will unfold on February 4, including Biddy’s hat and St Brigid’s Cross making workshop in Boyle’s old Hardware store (11am to 12pm), followed by set dancing and storytelling as well as bodhrán lessons throughout the day.

Finnegan’s Wake is the title of a drama event will take place in the Fishery pub at 5pm.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in the history of the tradition, on Friday evening, February 3, a talk will take place from 8pm to 9pm in the small theatre at the CYMS building, called The Celebration of Brigid: Celtic Goddess and Saint.
 


 
The Kilgobnet Biddies to arrive at Davey and Jeremy O'Sullivan's house in Cahernahone, Beaufort.
PICTURE: VALERIE O'SULLIVAN

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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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