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“I expect Kerry to win… But the margin will be tight”




Provincial finals are special and the intense rivalry between Cork and Kerry over many decades makes the Munster football final extra special. Kerry will face Cork in the senior final tomorrow at 7pm in Páirc Uí Chaoimh while the minors will meet Clare at 4.30pm.

The date and timing of these games is a break with tradition. Normally these finals are played on the first Sunday in July and in the early afternoon. Apparently scheduling the finals on a Saturday evening facilitates TV coverage. It certainly makes it very awkward, especially for those fans who are travelling from such remote areas as Eyeries and Valentia. There is no indication from the Munster Council as to why the minor game is so early. That game should be finished by 5.45pm and the senior game will not be going ahead until 7pm. It certainly will present some supporters with a dilemma and they may not travel in such large numbers.

Kerry are favourites in the senior final after shooting 32 points against Clare in the senior semi-final played here in the Fitzgerald Stadium some weeks ago. I was very impressed by the forwards in particular in that game. However, Cork were also very impressive in their clear-cut win over a fancied Tipperary team. Kerry keeper Shane Murphy had little to do against Clare but this will be a much sterner test. He has proved his worth and his kick-outs are well varied to retain possession. I expect that he will be going short most of the time as Cork are very strong in the middle of the field, particularly Aidan Walsh. I expect Walsh to be the key player here and David Moran needs to up his game to nullify the expected Cork dominance in that area. Jack Barry will be taking up Ian Maguire.

Luke Connolly

If Kerry get enough of the ball into the forward division they will run up a big score. At the other end Cork have a match-winner in Luke Connolly who scored at will against Tipperary. He will prove a handful for Kerry corner backs Shanahan or Foley. They will be severely tested and if he is curbed Cork will be well down in scores. They will be without the talented Colm O’Neill who is most unlucky with injury. He had three cruciate operations and was just returning to top form when he damaged his cartilage in the Tipperary game. It will be interesting to see who Cork play in his absence.

They might give a starting position to Paul Kerrigan who is back after a long lay-off with injury. He is their most experienced player. He might be listed at number 14 but charged with a roving role outfield, hoping to leave plenty of room in front of the Kerry goal. That would give great space to their danger men Mark Collins and Luke Connolly. It would pull Peter Crowley far out from goal, although that would not be a problem for the Kerry full back as he has played most of his football for Kerry in the past in the half back line. Luke Connolly is very accurate so being isolated inside may well be the ploy Cork will use. The Kerry half back line has done well with Gavin White, in particular, catching the eye. He has great courage and tremendous pace. He may be picking up Jack O’Rourke who played a very defensive game against Tipperary, dropping out to midfield for the kick outs and back in his own half back line to crowd out the Tipperary forward division.

Kerry’s impressive forwards

I was very impressed with all of the Kerry forwards in the semi-final. 32 points is a massive score but we also need goals as goals often are the difference between victory and defeat. Paul Geaney is a key man on the edge of the square. While he won the man-to-man duel against Clare, Cork will crowd out the scoring area and scores will be hard to come by. James O’Donoghue showed no ill effects from his long lay-off and is one man who can knife through the opposition. He may well be the man to score goals against Cork’s new keeper Mark White.

I was also impressed by Kerry wing forward Micheál Burns in the semi-final. He has a great engine and has the pace and stamina to drop back to help out in defence. He is also well able to score.

Two former All-Ireland minor winners, Seán O’Shea and David Clifford, have fitted in very well. They will have to deal with a crowded Cork defence, which will be a big challenge for them in their first Munster senior final, but they deserve their starting positions. They are very exciting players and O’Shea is also very good at taking frees.

Mark Collins, Luke Connolly and Colm O’Neill scored 1-13 between them out of a total of 1-17 against Tipperary. That is impressive, but Cork won’t have O Neill tomorrow.

Teams have not been announced as we go to press, but I expect no change on the Kerry team from the Clare game. Cork will have one enforced change at least, with Colm O’Neill out of the reckoning. It will be very tough to beat Cork on their home patch and their new manager Ronan McCarthy has done a good job. He is giving youth its chance just like Kerry so it should be an interesting, tactical game. I expect Kerry to win but the margin will be tight.

Minor game

Peter Keane has done a great job with the minors. They were quite fortunate to edge out Cork by a late point in time added on in Tralee several weeks ago. They should have too much scoring power for Clare so I expect them to win with something to spare. These teams are now playing under 17 in place of the former under 18. Already an All-Ireland minor-winning manager, Keane is steadily building a successful portfolio to be the main contender for the senior job when Eamonn Fitzmaurice finishes his term of office.

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Top tips for exfoliating your skin

One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation. There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one […]




One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation.

There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one is important. We don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage, especially to the face.

We must help to exfoliate the dead cells to reveal new glowing skin. As dead cells have a negative effect on the skin, it clogs pores, creates dark spots and rough skin texture, more pronounced wrinkles as well as dullness and dryness. Also, the build up of dead cells can inhibit the effectiveness of skin care products as serums and creams can’t reach the basal (lower) layer which is the active level of the skin. This layer is responsible for the growth of collagen and elastin. These molecules/cells rise up to the outer layer giving your skin plumpness. Think of them like grapes when they are youthful and hydrated. Unfortunately as we age, and if we don’t look after our skin, environmental factors such as the sun, wind, and diet can cause the collagen and elastin cells to look more like raisins. Therefore, it’s super important to exfoliate those dead cells away.

The different types you can choose from might depend on your likes or dislikes and if your skin is normal or combination. If you have dry, thin skin you must be careful to choose a suitable exfoliating product, something without grains, as they can sometimes be a little harsh. If they are dissolving grains they maybe suitable.

A great tip when exfoliating the body is to put on exfoliating mitts every time you shower. Always apply a little body lotion after every shower or bath also.

Any questions call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Budget 2023 has been announced, so what’s in it for you?

At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and […]




At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath announced a series of measures which they say will be “focused on helping individuals, families and businesses to deal with rising prices”.

It included a further €300 million in public service support measures funded from the Contingency Reserve Fund.

“We were emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now face a further economic challenge,” Minister Donoghue said.

“The government understands, and I understand, the worries which small business owners, farmers, pensioners, those who work really hard to get by, will feel. This is why the government will help, and by helping our country will overcome this challenge.”


Personal Tax Credit, Employee Credit and Earned Income Credit set to increase by €75

Standard rate band for Income Tax is to increase by €3,200 to €40,000

Increase in the second USC rate band (2 percent rate) from €21,295 to €22,920 in line with the 80 cent per hour increase in the national minimum wage recently agreed by this government

€200 electricity credits for homes over the next three billing cycles – November, January and March – (€600 in total)

Petrol/Diesel: The reduction on excise duty on fuel previously announced earlier this year to ease the cost of petrol and diesel has been further extended until February 28, 2023. Motorists will continue to pay 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil.

A €1.2 billion package of supports for businesses hit by soaring energy costs

New Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) has been set up to assist businesses with their energy costs. A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply and an overall cap will apply on the total amount which a business can claim.

Excise on pack of 20 cigarettes to increase by 50 cent

Lump sum payment of €400 for Fuel Allowance recipients will be paid before Christmas

Extra lump sum for the elderly, carers, and disabled as social welfare rates go up €12

VAT: 9 percent VAT rate which is currently in place to support the tourism and hospitality sectors to remain in place until February 28, 2023

Double Child Benefit payment for all eligible parents on November 1

Christmas bonus to be paid in December, with a separate double payment in November

New rent tax credit worth €500 for 2023. This can also be claimed for 2022. This applies to those who do not get any other housing supports. Approximately 400,000 persons are expected to benefit.

Rural Ireland will get a €390 million investment for development

Newspaper: VAT on newspapers to be reduced from 9 percent to zero from January 1, 2023.

1,000 new Garda and 430 Garda staff will be provided

20% fare reduction on public transport will be extended to the end of 2023

Social Welfare

Weekly social welfare rates will be increased by €12 for working age recipients

€12 increase in weekly payments for pensioners

Working Family Payment threshold will increase by €40

€2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child

An increase in eligibility for Fuel Allowance

€500 lump sum for families availing of the Working Family Payment, a €500 lump sum for carers, a €500 cost of disability payment and a €20 increase in the domiciliary care allowance for sick children


All inpatient hospital charges will be abolished, GP visit cards will be provided to those on or below the median income (340,000 additional people)

There will be a €2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child.

Drug Payment Scheme threshold will remain at the lower rate of €80 in 2023

Funding will be provided for IVF treatments

Free contraception will be available for all women aged between 16 and 30

Childcare and education

Free School Book Scheme for primary school pupils from autumn 2023

Over 660 additional mainstream teachers, over 1,190 SNAs and 680 special education teachers will be provided

The National Childcare Scheme hourly subsidy is to increase from 50c to €1.40

A €500 increase in post-graduate contribution grant for eligible families

Over 4,800 additional places on craft and consortia-led apprenticeships and 4,000 places on craft apprenticeship programmes will be supported


Funding will be made available to support 8,800 new HAP tenancies and 800 RAS tenancies

9,100 new-build social homes, 5,500 new affordable homes for sale and rent and 6,500 new social homes will be supported

Funding to deliver 37,000 home energy upgrades


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