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Handball stars shine brightly in London



by Con Dennehy

Irish eyes were smiling in London at the weekend following phenomenal performances by Killarney’s handball stars at the prestigious United Kingdom Open One Wall Championship.

The standout players of the championships were Eoin O’Donoghue (Killarney) and John Joe Quirke (Glenbeigh) who were the pride of the Irish on Saturday and Sunday. They put in a devastating display of skill and passion to win the extremely competitive Men’s Doubles B Championship. After prevailing in a number of their opening games, they progressed to the semi-finals where they defeated the French duo of Tom Dutheil and Florina Vaujany 21-11.

In a hard-fought final, the Kerry players beat Naoise Green and Fionn Ó Súilleabháin (Ireland) 25-20 thanks in part to some great play from O’Donoghue.

“I was delighted with the win – it’s a great boost for handball in Kerry,” Eoin said. “We had to use all our experience and skill to edge past the Irish duo and win the title. It’s a great honour for my club, Spa Killarney. Many Kerry people living in London and our own families supported us on both days and this made winning the title very special.

“My doubles partner, John Joe, had a great weekend, winning the singles final and a silver medal in the over 40s doubles event.”

Teams from Ireland, England, France, Italy, USA, UK and Israel competed in the championships with four players from Killarney taking part.

In the Men’s C Singles competition, O’Donoghue finished mid-table in Group B following victories over Irish players Ger Scahill and Ray Carthy and defeat at the hands of James Toop (England) and Declan Keenan.

There was more success for Killarney in the over 40s competition as Brendan O’Donoghue and John Joe Quirke finish runners up in this hotly contested category. They were narrowly defeated by the American team of Carlos Torres and Jay Sanchez.

Elsewhere, Aoife Walsh and Sinéad Moriarty from Spa Killarney Handball Club both reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles competition. Walsh defeated Isabel Power (England) 21-4 but lost to Catherine Vos (England) and fellow Irish players Aoife McCarthy and Sinéad Hanley. She lost to Siobhan Prentice 21-16 in the semi-final.

Moriarty was defeated by Anastasya Spiridonov (Israel) and Irish players Sabrina Hughes and Siobhan Prentice while in the semi-final she was defeated by Catherine Vos (England) in a very exciting contest.

There was some consolation for the Killarney pair in the doubles competition where they finished a very credible third overall and just out of the medals after a classic encounter with the English duo of India Blaksley and Becky Connell.

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GAA stars set to gather for A Night With Legends

By Sean Moriarty Over 1,500 people are expected to attend Fossa GAA Club’s ‘A Night With Legends’ on Tuesday night. GAA royalty will grace the INEC stage as part of […]




By Sean Moriarty

Over 1,500 people are expected to attend Fossa GAA Club’s ‘A Night With Legends’ on Tuesday night.

GAA royalty will grace the INEC stage as part of an ambitious fundraiser by the club.

The event will be styled on RTÉ’s popular pre All-Ireland Final show ‘Up for the Match’ where footballing legends will tell some of their life stories in between music and songs.

It will be hosted by author and raconteur Billy Keane and horseracing photographer Pat Healy. The event is one of the key fundraisers for the expanding Fossa GAA Club.

Coming just days before Kerry’s All-Ireland semi-final with Dublin, ‘A Night With Legends’ will also serve as a light-hearted preview to the important game.

Kerry greats like Pat Spillane, Mike Frank Russell, Paul Galvin and Eamon Fitzmaurice will be joined on stage by Dublin hero Bernard Brogan Sr. Killarney greats Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper and Ambrose O’Donovan will also be there.

“This is not going to be a boring night, it is going to be filled with fun and banter, music and craic,” Fossa GAA chairman, Dermot Clifford, told the Killarney Advertiser.

Several raffle and auction prizes are up for grabs on the night too, the most unusual being a chance to bid on a racing greyhound, donated by the Murphy Family from Brosna.

The fundraiser has already raised €10,000 thanks to a recent auction organised by Paul Nagle. The local rally star sold one of his world championship helmets for €25,000 with the balance going to Recovery Haven in Tralee.

Limited tickets are still available at a cost of €25 per person or groups can buy a table of 12 for €250.

Ticket enquires:

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Salvias are valuable plants for any gardener

By Debby Looney, gardening expert One plant which I think is a super addition to borders and pots is the salvia. There are many to choose from, but there are […]




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

One plant which I think is a super addition to borders and pots is the salvia. There are many to choose from, but there are two broad differences, one is the bedding salvia, with its spikes of fire-engine-red flowers – though they come in cream and purple also.

These have become less popular with gardeners over the years, as slugs eat them with relish. I have found the product ‘Grazers’, a spray, excellent as a slug repellent. As an aside, ‘Grazers’ also do a rabbit, deer, lily beetle and caterpillar repellent, all of which are organically certified and perfectly safe to use. They are also quite effective products. Secondly, everyone knows the herb salvia, or sage which goes perfect with chicken, roast squash or parma ham, it is a flavour of autumn.

However, there are over 500 salvias to choose from, and happily, nurseries are taking notice of them. This year a notable addition to most garden centre stock is the hybrid Wish collection. There are three; ‘Love and Wishes’, ‘Ember’s Wish’ and ‘Wendy’s Wish’. Being the greedy gardener I am, I planted all three, and have been rewarded by large bushy plants with masses of colour. I planted them in a free draining, sunny part of the garden, where they have plenty of space. The plants themselves reach about 80cm, flower spikes being at least 20cm long in colours pink, aubergine and orange.

Another beauty is S. Amistad, which every garden with a flower border should have. They grow up to 1.2m, with lush dark green foliage, topped by dark blue flowers. The calyces (the bit the flower comes out of!) are almost black, giving it a fantastically dramatic look. S. nemerosa is a hardy variety, used in Irish gardens for years, as it spreads happily keeping weeds at bay. ‘New Dimension Blue’ is a lovely variety, with rich blue flower spikes. S. nemerosa does not grow that tall, about 30cm. It is also one of the few salvias which will tolerate heavy soil and a lot of winter rain.

S. roemeriana ‘Hot Trumpets’ is also a low growing spreading salvia, about 30cm, with the brightest red flower spikes I have yet to see rivalled! It grows well in dappled shade, adding great splashes of colour. Another red is S. x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’. It is an evergreen perennial, which loves full sun. It grows to about 50cm, and has flowers from April through to the first frosts. The flowers are bicoloured red and white, like little flags. ‘Killer Cranberry’ is another beauty with magenta flowers.

All salvias are attractive to bees and other pollinators, and as such are valuable plants for any gardener. They look great grouped with other perennials, as well as in pots or on their own in beds.

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