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Historic 40th year of Killarney Athletic Seven-A-Side tournament



As the 2016 seven-a-side kicks off, it is remarkable to think that this is the 40th consecutive year that Killarney Athletic has run the tournament, says MIKE O'SULLIVAN

HAVING been part of the organising committee in the first seven-a-side in 1977 it is fantastic to see the competition reaching this milestone year.

Through the founding of the club in 1965 and the formation of the Kerry District League in 1972, Killarney Athletic had run seven-a-side competitions in the Half Moon field and also in the Áras Phádraig pitch prior to 1977. But the 1977 tournament was planned and organised to ensure that soccer would reach a higher level of promotion in Killarney and in the surrounding areas.

The tournament was also the starting point for many players before playing or entering clubs in the Kerry District League. The competition also provided many people with the opportunity to manage a soccer team for the first time and all of the local clubs today are fortunate to have such committed club officials and volunteers who gained an interest in organising teams through involvement in the seven-a-side at underage or senior level.

Teams with players from Ballyhar, Mastergeeha and Kenmare were all keen competitors in the seven-a-side and of course the majority of players who played with the Killarney Albion team that were runners-up in the 1977 final joined Killarney Rangers to form Killarney Celtic in the ’77/’78 Kerry District League season.

The dawn of the first underage seven-a-side tournament in 1978 became a nursery for young players in Killarney and surrounding areas, while the first ladies seven-a-side in 1990 proved to be a major success.

An over-35s competition followed in 1993, becoming very popular by allowing the “ageing stars” to continue to show off their skills and prove that seven-a-side football can be enjoyed even when the joints and limbs have slowed down.

There is no doubt that there were many contributing factors as to why the seven-a-side became such a popular local sporting event over the years with participation and a sense of community to the fore. The hosting of the tournament in the Áras Phádraig pitch from 1977 to 1998 with the support of the Franciscan community was key to the tournament’s popularity, growth and success.

The venue in the heart of town ensured a “buzz” in the area throughout the summer months with friends and work colleagues forming annually into teams with all sorts of colourful names.

The format of the tournament starts out with teams in groups ensuring a minimum number of games for each team. The more serious competition begins with the knock-out stages with teams thereafter competing for the Premier and Reserve Cups. The “no off-side” rule also makes seven-a-side soccer more enjoyable for players and spectators and makes the referee’s life a little easier.

Early years of the seven-a-side
The first seven-a-side in ’77 had 20 teams entered with each team restricted to only two registered club players from the Kerry District League. This rule forced teams to gather players who were not playing soccer in the Kerry League at the time while also encouraging work colleague and friends to form teams. This rule changed after a few years with the increase of players registering and playing in the KDL thereafter.

Firms such as Tuf Shoes, Scotts Tools and Liebherr all entered teams into the ‘77 tournament with many other notable firms competing in the following years and to the present day.

Sponsored teams from the Laurels, Tatler, Sweeney’s, Corkery's, Belvedere and Old Kentucky were all to the fore of competition in the early years and some still endure to the present day. Ryan’s and The Castle Heights Hotel also entered teams in the ‘77 event while a competitive team from Scartaglin were the first ‘out of town’ team to challenge for the Killarney Autos sponsored cup. The event also had the added attraction of prize money for the winners and runners-up and this was first sponsored by Con O’Leary of the Laurels Bar. As well as promoting the game locally the club also donated a contribution of funds raised to a number of local charities with St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort being a beneficiary of the early tournaments.

Support of the local media
The coverage and support of the local media also contributed hugely to the growth of the tournament over the years as the event got massive exposure as an annual local sporting community event. This media exposure also encouraged the local business community to support the event through sponsorship.

The support and sponsorship of the tournament was also a major contributing factor that allowed the club to purchase and develop its own pitch facility in Woodlawn in 1993.

End of an era in the Áras Phádraig pitch
The 1998 seven-a-side was to prove to be the last staging of the competition in the “Áras pitch” as the Lewis Road ground was purchased in 1999 by the Urban District Council so as to provide another bus and car park for Killarney.

This indeed marked the end of an era for the tournament but the years of seven-a-sides in the Aras at underage and senior level with the sporting and social outlet it provided will always remain in the minds of those who enjoyed the pleasure it brought.

The moving of the seven-a-side to the club’s ground in Woodlawn in 1999 represented a major change for the tournament but to the credit of all who organised, promoted and supported the event over the years it continued to prosper in the new venue. This year’s tournament also marks the 18th year of the seven-a-side in Woodlawn.

Little did those of us who were in the organising committee of the first seven-a-side back in 1977 think that we would see the tournament run annually for the following 40 years but the credit for its longevity is ingrained in the spirit it captured through the support of the whole community and something that we all can be proud of.

Pictured above, back left, Mike O’Connor, James Gleeson (RIP), Billy Doyle, Mike “Smiler” Moloney, Denny Hayes, Donagh Gleeson, Pat “Pogs” Looney; front left, Barry O’Connor, Toni Fleming, John Joe Grady, Sean Kelliher.

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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.




By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.


One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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