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“In a town like Killarney, betting is rampant”




In an interview on RTÉ Radio One last Sunday, President Michael D Higgins said he was in favour of banning the promotion of betting in sports.

“I'm very concerned about gambling for example, which if I had my way, I wouldn't have advertising of any access to gambling platforms in sport at all,” he said. “I really worry when I read cases of people who have come through [gambling problems].

“I visited the Hope House in Mayo recently who have been a great assistance to some people who have got over what is, hopefully, a terrible temporary problem. I think in a way we should protect our sports by keeping them free from this kind of stuff.”

A couple of days later, a Kerry councillor admitted that he has been battling a gambling addiction. John Francis Flynn from Killorglin opened up about his betting and alcohol problems this week in the hope that others might learn from his mistakes.

A number of high profile athletes have done the same in recent years but despite all these case samples highlighting the perils of gambling, and all these pleas for reform, the situation in this country seems to be getting worse, not better. Online gambling has made it so easy to get sucked in and once you're in, it can be difficult to get back out.

Sports and betting are intrinsically linked and being involved in sports my whole life, gambling is something that's always been there in the background. And in Killarney, which is such a sports mad town, betting, and talking about betting, is rampant.

“Who are the favourites?” is a question I've heard asked, and asked myself, in the build up to countless games down through the years. From a young age there's an understanding that the bookies are a reliable source of information when it comes to analysing sport (which perhaps shows how foolish we are in thinking that we can beat them).

I wouldn't be a big gambler myself but I do enjoy the odd bet on a soccer or football game. My betting would be sporadic and the sums involved small. It can add another element of excitement to the occasion and it’s nice when you get it right but, realistically, the house always wins eventually.

Casual gambling like that might not seem like a big deal but, as with anything, some people get hooked. A fiver on a soccer accumulator can quickly turn into 20, which can turn into 50, and next thing you know you're talking about hundreds or even thousands of euro.

From the outside it's easy to say, "Jesus, that's mad money," but it's like telling a fella he's drinking too much. It's a genuine problem and it's not something that’s easily fixed. There is definitely a culture of betting in Ireland and there are people suffering as a result.

Ads for betting sites are everywhere: TV, online, on billboards and on jerseys... Everywhere you turn you're being urged to put on a bet. This normalisation of something so problematic is wrong in my eyes. How can you tell a young person to avoid gambling when their favourite player is running around with a betting company plastered across his shirt?

We’ve reached the stage where up to the minute prices are displayed on electronic advertising hoardings at Premier League games. Even if you have no interest whatsoever ever in gambling, you can't get away from it. For some people all it takes is one bet to set the wheels in motion. And for those who already gamble heavily, the last thing they need is further invitation to put on a bet.

Gambling advertising isn't as highly regulated as alcohol and tobacco advertising but the president is right, it should be. The effects of smoking and drinking might be more conspicuous but gambling addictions can be just as harmful. I don't think removing ads from sporting events is the silver bullet but it would be a step in the right direction.

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One of Killarney’s great motorsport legends passes awayBy Cormac Casey

Dermot O’Sullivan, of Ardshanavooly, Killarney, sadly passed away this week. This popular Killarney businessman started in motorsport in 1968 participating in tarmac and forestry rallying and later in hot rod […]




Dermot O’Sullivan, of Ardshanavooly, Killarney, sadly passed away this week.

This popular Killarney businessman started in motorsport in 1968 participating in tarmac and forestry rallying and later in hot rod racing.

A high point in his motorsport career was competing on the 1982 Circuit of Ireland in his Datsun Sunny, at a time when competitors had no pacenotes, relying on sheer wit and skill.

In 2005, after a 23-year gap, he returned to rallying in a Talbot Sunbeam competing in the Killarney Historic Rally with his son Paul in the navigator’s seat, and competed in various events till 2009.

Whenever the glory of days of Kerry rallying are discussed in local pubs during the wee hours, it was certain that Dermot’s name would be mentioned. He had a sideways style of driving that kept every spectator entertained.

As much a flamboyant competitor behind the wheel of his Datsun, his ability to tell a good story was equally entertaining.

As a young motorsport enthusiast, I waited with anticipation each week as Dermot called to the ‘Advertiser’ office in Woodlawn to placing his weekly advert, to hear his animated description of his exploits on the rallying stages. As time went on, the stories never faded, and I always enjoyed our encounters.

Dermot establishing a successful chainsaw and lawnmower business in the 1970’s, down Pawn Office Lane, off High Street, Killarney. In true entrepreneurial spirit he saw a gap in the market, soon after establishing O’Sullivan’s Cycles as one of the first to introduce bike rental to Killarney, a business venture that is still successful today under the guidance of the current O’Sullivan generations.

A true character and an absolute gentleman. May he rest in peace.

Our sincere condolences to wife, Mary, sons Paul, Derry and David, daughters-in-law Barbara, Denise and Fiona, grandchildren Megan, Luke, Kate and Ciara and his great granddaughter Ava, his sisters Breda and Maureen and brother John, brother-in-law Bill, sister-in-law Ann, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours, and many great friends.


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Kerry’s youth celebrated at the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards

This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre. Ryan Griffin […]




This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre.

Ryan Griffin is a member of the Skellig Stars and was chosen to represent Kerry at the Special Olympics.
Ryan’s biggest hurdle is communication and he had to overcome this during his trip to Berlin for the big event.

Ryan has overcome his disabilities by focusing on all the great abilities he has. Ryan attends mainstream school in Coláiste na Sceilge where he is a very respected member of the School Community. He is a member of Kerry Stars and also Downs Syndrome Kerry.

Ryan has always had a keen interest in sport and even played with the local team in Waterville, but now Ryan thinks it’s too fast for him so he prefers to cheer them on from the side-lines.

Ryan has always been involved with the Community and they have never left him out. Ryan started out his athletics career with Skellig Stars and without them he would have gone to the Special Olympics and he has never forgotten when he came from.

Ryan and his family are very grateful to the local community in Waterville and the surrounding area for all the support they have given them over the years and especially now with the Special Olympics coming closer.

The whole community from Waterville to Mid-Kerry got behind Ryan, raising funds to help his family go to Berlin for 2 weeks. Ryan is now an inspiration to others to overcome difficulties and “go for gold”.

Ryan was the only representative from Kerry on this years Irish Special Olympics Team and in fact one of the Youngest Athletes on Team Ireland at only 16yrs of age, which was a great honour for him.
This in itself is a great achievement but it also shows his friends at Skellig Stars, Downs Syndrome Kerry and in the wider community that dreams do come true.

It took a lot of hard work and determination on Ryan’s behalf to make these dreams come true, not least the long journey he had to make from South Kerry to Dublin once a month since last January to train for the Special Olympics. He also trained weekly with the Skellig Stars.

At the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin Ryan took part in the 100m run and the relay but his biggest achievement was winning the Silver Medal in the mini javelin. This showed others that overcoming difficulties can be possible and you can achieve your goals with hard work and determination, which Ryan has in abundance.

Local Merit Awards

Aliza Gul, Killarney
Joey McCarthy, Killarney
John O’Connor, Killarney
Nattagun Ryan, Killarney
Samuel Behal, Killarney
St Brendan’s Choir, Killarney

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