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International Rose Festival cancelled for second year

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Organisers of the Rose of Tralee International Festival have just announced that this year's Festival will not be able to go ahead.

It's the second year the festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19 - last year being the first time in its history that it was called off. 

Rose Of Tralee International Festival CEO Anthony O'Gara explained that since last year’s postponement, they have been working on how best they could safely deliver some, or all, of the 2021 Rose of Tralee International Festival events at home and abroad. 

"It has been a long and difficult 15 months for so many as a result of COVID-19, and its impact continues to be felt worldwide," he said.

"The development and the rollout of vaccines has brought much needed hope that a return to normal is in sight. Sadly, the timeframe envisaged to safely steer our communities out of this pandemic, and our responsibility to positively support those efforts, mean that we will not be able to have a Festival again this year, which is immensely disappointing for all of us involved."

He said that it "is difficult for everyone involved" and "for supporters that look forward to celebrating our global Irish community each August," but that they are confident it is the right decision to keep "each other safe and well".

The Festival operates on a yearlong basis, in Irish communities worldwide; and they will continue to harness the goodwill of their extended Rose family in supporting communities and charitable efforts over the next 12 months, he added.

"Similarly, we will each have a role to play in restoring our community and local economy following this pandemic, and we look forward to coming together in celebration in August 2022. In the meantime, we salute the leadership and the selfless efforts of frontline and support staff everywhere; and among them the efforts by many of our Rose family." 

SUPPORT

The Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Terry O’Brien has expressed sadness that the Rose of Tralee International Festival will not be taking place this year. 

“It is clear that every effort had been made by the hard-working committee behind the festival to do everything possible to host the event in 2021 but for very understandable reasons, this is not possible,” Cllr O’Brien said. 

“I know that those involved will redouble their efforts to stage the Rose of Tralee International Festival in 2022 and everyone in Tralee will be supporting them in that effort. At Municipal District level, we will be doing all we can to hold smaller events over the summer period in compliance with the public health guidelines. While these will not be a substitute for the Rose of Tralee, we hope we can make the most of the summer ahead to enjoy smaller family-type events as the pandemic situation improves,” he said.

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Patrick Connor Scarteen also expressed disappointment at the announcement today, saying:

“Kerry County Council and the Tralee Municipal District has been a proud supporter of the Rose of Tralee International Festival for many years. Sadly, again this year, because of the need to protect everyone from the Coronavirus large public events like this simply aren’t possible, particularly those which involve international travel.

“I know that all the people of Kerry will look forward, as I do, to the 2022 festival,” he said.

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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