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Huge international interest in Killarney Historic Rally

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By Sean Moriarty

An unprecedented number of overseas competitors entered last weekend’s Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally bringing a very welcome end-of-season boost to the town’s businesses.

FANS: A large crowd attended last weekend's Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

WORLD STARS: Rentokil Initial managing director Michael O'Mahoney with Paul Nagle and Craig Breen at the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday night. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

FAMILY: Conor Hickey (son of the late Johnny Hickey) with his grandfather Charlie Hickey and aunt Charlene Hickey at the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday night. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

The rally attracted entries from England, Wales and the United States, as well as all corners of Ireland.

Participants and fans arrived in Killarney on Thursday and stayed until Sunday morning – many of them eager to see World Rally Championship star Craig Breen and his recently retired co-driver Paul Nagle defend their 2021 title in an ex-Frank Meagher Ford Sierra RS Cosworth.

The rally began with a ceremonial start on Friday night, an event that packed the town centre with rally fans, locals and curious tourists.

The dedicated fans had already entered the famous Moll’s Gap stage in their camper vans on Thursday night.

Fans lining the seven special stages on Saturday were served up a treat. After six tests Breen’s Sierra was tied with challenger Jonny Greer’s four-wheel-drive example.

In a true mark of sportsmanship, earlier in the day, Greer loaned Breen some crucial rear axle components, without which the defending champion would have been forced out of the rally.

However, a second failure on the approach to the third and final run over Moll’s Gap ended Breen’s challenge and allowed Greer through for a popular win.

Local man Alan Ring, and his West Cork co-driver Adrian Deasy were second for the second year in a row in their Subaru Legacy RS while Fergus O’Meara and Mikie Galvin were the top all-local crew. They finished fifth in their Ford Escort.

One place ahead was the similar car of Welsh visitor Neil Williams. The defending Irish Tarmac Historic Rally champion was one of many overseas drivers to make the finish.

Eighth placed Tom Clarke (England) finished one place ahead of Welsh visitor Melvyn Evans.

Londoner Harry Hunt, more famous for his Dakar Rally exploits, completed the top 10.

“This was the most fun we ever had on a rally, the organisation, the people, everything was top class,” he said.

Alan Watkins, from England, has been coming to Killarney for years.

He finished 13th on this occasion but his comments at the finish summed up the experience enjoyed by all international participants.

“Killarney never fails to impress, it’s not just the rallying, it is the town, the charm, the people, the welcome, the surroundings, come rain or shine once you’ve been it will never be your last visit,” he said.

Atlanta-based Donegal man Seamus Burke was the top US visitor while Kyle Tilley from Indiana had a film team with him and they recorded a documentary on their experience.

In the popular modified section of the rally, Glenflesk’s Denis Hickey and Eoin O’Leary were the best of the locals, finishing eighth in the category and taking home the coveted O’Riordan Cup.

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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.

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STEM Scholarship for outstanding female student

By Michelle Crean A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship. Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science […]

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship.

Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science and Analytics in University College Cork, was recognised as an outstanding female student in STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design at a ceremony held at Janssen Sciences site in Ringaskiddy.

Annie, from Muckross, will receive a student award, a bursary of €1,500, industry mentoring and leadership training, along with the opportunity to attend career workshops, visit Johnson & Johnson sites and participate in WiSTEM2D events designed to support students with pursuing future STEM careers.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines. The Undergraduate programme was first introduced at University of Limerick in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to include University College Cork in 2018, University of Galway in 2021, and Munster Technological University in 2022, supporting more than 400 female students over the last six years.

“It’s an honour to be a recipient of this award,” Annie, who is a former St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School student, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s great to see the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design, increase over the years.”

She added that the goal of the award is “to inspire women to pursue their career path in their respective STEM2D field of work”.  
 

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