People joke about Kerry fans being slow to travel to games unless there’s a trophy presentation at the end, but it’s actually far worse than that here in Killarney.
Forget about making the long trek to such far-flung, godforsaken locations as Ennis or Thurles, many supporters in this part of the world are slow to even venture as far as their own county town to see the green and gold in action.
Last Saturday’s exhilarating encounter against Dublin might just change all of that.
Considering how things panned out against the Dubs, it’s hard – if not impossible – to argue against hosting more big matches at Austin Stack Park in the future. If the Dubs can be thrown by the Tralee factor, anyone can.
Spectators were treated to an enthralling game at the famous old Tralee ground as Peter Keane’s new-look Kingdom put in a rousing performance to defeat the reigning All-Ireland champions by a single point.
There’s something extra special about night games (a cynic might say that it’s down to some of the spectators being two or three pints deep) and with a large and loud Dublin following in attendance, the atmosphere was electric.
Predictably, one or two dissenting (Killarney) voices complained over the weekend that a match of this magnitude should have been played in the Fitzgerald Stadium, which has a larger capacity of approximately 40,000.
Ostensibly the argument is that Stack Park is too small – there were around 12,000 people at last weekend’s fixture – but it’s not as though you would have filled the Fitzgerald Stadium anyway at this time of the year. I have no doubt that the quest for TV ratings was also a factor in scheduling Kerry v Dublin for a Saturday, and if the game is scheduled for a dark February evening then it has to be played under the lights in Tralee.
In truth, it’s that old Springfield/Shelbyville dynamic at play once again. Many Killarney folk firmly believe that every Kerry event under the sun (and moon) should be held in Killarney because “sure what would be carrying anyone back to Tralee”. I swear if some people in this town had their way, The Rose of Tralee would be held in the INEC.
Are the championship games and half the home league games and the countless other non-sporting events that draw millions of tourists to Killarney 12 months of the year not enough for us? Surely we can afford to give Tralee, one of the most famous footballing towns in the country, a couple of big league games in the spring.
It’s a major boost for the community and as far as I’m concerned, if Kerry perform the way they did the last day, they can play all of their games (apart from the Munster final and the Super 8s home tie) behind there.
Kerry were fantastic last Saturday evening as they secured a well-deserved one-point win over the reigning All-Ireland champions. The intensity and passion on show was nothing short of inspirational and just three games into Keane’s reign, supporters already seem to have a special affinity with this team.
I don’t want to get too carried away when talking about such a young player, especially not in February, but Dara Moynihan has been the epitome of everything good about Peter Keane’s Kerry so far. The Spa native plays the game at 100 miles per hour and when you pair that with his unquestionable footballing talent, it’s easy to see why he’s already turning heads. He was the official Man of the Match against the Dubs and deservedly so.
On the other wing, Gavin O’Brien had a superb game in his first start and Seán O’Shea was excellent yet again on the 40.
Kerry racked up an impressive tally of 1-18 on a miserable night in February but their backs also deserve a huge amount of credit for limiting Dublin’s frankly terrifying forward division to “just” 2-14. Dublin’s full forward line won very few uncontested balls. Peter Crowley, Brian Ó Beaglaoich and Jack Sherwood got out in front, or at least stayed side by side, and got a hand in on multiple occasions and that was something that just didn’t happen last year.
(Just a brief sidenote on our corner back from An Ghaeltacht, Brian Ó Beaglaioch, as there was some consternation online about how commentators were pronouncing his Irish name. A few people incorrectly referred to him as “Ó Beaglach” but, funnily enough, non-Gaeilgeoirs needn’t bother with the Irish version at all. As far as I know, he actually goes by “Begley”. So Brian [bree-un] Begley is fine too.)
Jack Sherwood continues to impress at full back and his raking opening point and spectacular block on Dean Rock were two of the more memorable moments from what was an eminently memorable game.
A special mention must also go to crafty centre back Paul Murphy from Rathmore, who was immense from start to finish. He must be a pain in the arse to mark and he never seems to make a bad decision, on or off the ball. Captain material, and not just on a temporary basis.
Peter Keane likes to pull 13-14 men back on defence but Peter Crowley, who had number 2 on his back, was the match-winner so players clearly do have some freedom when Kerry have possession. They certainly attacked at great pace the last day and with Dublin doing likewise as they chased the game, it made for great viewing. We probably thought we’d never see the day but maybe Kerry supporters are finally warming to the blanket.
There’s a real buzz about this team at the moment and there will surely be a great clamour for tickets when Kerry play Mayo in Tralee on March 16. In between, The Kingdom play Galway in Tuam on February 24 and they’re back in Killarney on March 3 when they host Monaghan in the Fitzgerald Stadium.
Pic: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile.
Pharmacy jabs begin today
By Michelle Crean Pharmacists across Kerry – including four in Killarney – are ready to begin giving the Johnson and Johnson Janssen jabs to the over 50s as the latest stage of the vaccine rollout. Kennellys Pharmacy at The Reeks Gateway, Park Road Care Plus on Countess Road, Boots Deerpark Shopping Centre, and Sheahans Pharmacy […]
By Michelle Crean
Pharmacists across Kerry – including four in Killarney – are ready to begin giving the Johnson and Johnson Janssen jabs to the over 50s as the latest stage of the vaccine rollout.
Kennellys Pharmacy at The Reeks Gateway, Park Road Care Plus on Countess Road, Boots Deerpark Shopping Centre, and Sheahans Pharmacy on Main Street will be booking people in groups as each vile lasts just a number hours once opened.
Staff at Kennellys Pharmacy at The Reeks are ready to welcome in their first vaccine participants today (Friday). Each had pre-booked their slot, according to Dispensary Manager Christina O’Grady.
“We are starting today for the over 50s only with the Janssen Johnson and Johnson one dose jab,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.
She said that they have been busy in the pharmacy all week booking people in, however for now, depending on demand and supply available, they’ll be vaccinating people two days a week.
“We’re taking a list of people. It’ll probably be only two mornings a week – it all depends on the uptake.”
Pharmacist Finbarr Kennelly said it’s a great way to give a vaccine to those who may have missed theirs.
“It’s an opportunity for the over 50s who have missed their vaccine for whatever reason. The advantage is that it’s a one shot vaccine.”
Anyone who’d like to book in for their vaccine can call Kennellys on 064 6639427.
Killarney Advertiser – Weekly Jobs Round-Up
€500k to help re-start Killarney’s live music scene
By Sean Moriarty A number of Killarney venues were elated this week to learn that funding to the tune of €500k has been announced to help re-start the town’s live music scene. Of the €1,001,944 in funding announced this week for the county Killarney is to receive over half with funds to assist the Gleneagle […]
By Sean Moriarty
A number of Killarney venues were elated this week to learn that funding to the tune of €500k has been announced to help re-start the town’s live music scene.
Of the €1,001,944 in funding announced this week for the county Killarney is to receive over half with funds to assist the Gleneagle Hotel Killarney/INEC Arena, Celtic Steps The Show, Scott’s Hotel, and Courtney’s Bar.
The funding, announced by Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley on Tuesday, is in place to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters in Kerry to plan live events over the summer months.
The scheme, managed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will support live performances, particularly where capacity for live attendance is restricted due to COVID-19.
The funding will make live performances viable or alternatively make them available online if audiences cannot attend due to restrictions.
“I welcome this funding which will provide an enormous boost to the live entertainment industry in Kerry,” Minister Foley said.
“This money will help to facilitate the delivery of exciting programmes of activities over the coming summer and autumn period. This funding will also provide a vital lift to those talented performers, artists, technicians, creative and performance support staff across the sector, who have not been able to work due to the pandemic.”
Four venues and promoters in Killarney will receive a total of €560,646 in grant aid to help re-start the live music and performing arts industries in the town after months of lockdown.
The Gleneagle Hotel Killarney/INEC Arena will receive €380,822 for live music shows and for the pre-recording of live material from acts of the future.
“We are delighted with this week’s announcement on funding,” Mark Egan, Director of the Gleneagle INEC Arena told the Killarney Advertiser. “We can now look ahead to implementing a programme of events that will provide employment for performers, artists, technicians and support staff many of whom have not had work for months. We have a fantastic, diverse programme in the pipeline and we can’t wait to get the various artists, crews and event suppliers back on site and back to the work we all love. We thank Minister Catherine Martin and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for making this grant available.”
Celtic Steps The Show will receive €84,627 to allow it livestream performances from its Killarney Racecourse Theatre.
For Celtic Steps producer/director David Rae the funding presents more than just an opportunity to get the show back on the road. He will create 43 paid positions from dancers and musicians to sound and lighting engineers and even a COVID-19 Compliance Officer.
He is awaiting further guidance on permission to allow a limited audience attend a Celtic Steps performance but he hopes by early July to have a series of online performances up and running.
“This is what it is all about, getting these people back to work after so long being unemployed,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I will need all of these people, from two days before I start to two days after, it is almost like building a festival from scratch and we can’t thank the minister and department enough for this chance.”
Scott’s Hotel will receive the same figure as Celtic Steps for live performances for tourists across the summer.
Courtney’s Bar on Plunkett St will receive €10,570 for a number of gigs that will feature local musicians.
“This is fantastic news,” manager Brian Murphy said. “We have been associated with live music in Killarney for a long time so we are delighted to get the funding and allow live music to continue.”
Like Celtic Steps, he is still waiting for confirmation on the format of the funded gigs.
“It is hard to see a bar gig with an audience going ahead but one of the stipulations of the grant is that if we cannot do a live gig under current guidelines, we have to do it online.”
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