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Kealy wants Kilcummin to keep “driving it on”

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It may be just a few days since Kilcummin clinched a historic All-Ireland title in Croke Park but club captain Brendan Kealy says he and his teammates are already plotting further success in 2019.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser this week, the experienced goalkeeper described the aftermath of their triumph as a “whirlwind” but despite the well-deserved celebrations, one eye is firmly fixed on the next phase of the team’s progression.

“Over the last few days there were conversations between the players, talking about this coming year and how we need to drive it on,” Kealy said. “That’s the important thing. It’s not about winning and standing still. When you have success, that’s the time to start building.

“We’ll maybe get these few days out of the way and next week we’ll really start focussing on the year ahead.”

The 33-year-old former Kerry keeper was a key player for Kilcummin on Saturday, coming to his side’s rescue on no fewer than three occasions to save certain goals. It was a special day for Kealy, one he ranks as one of the greatest of his career, but he was quick to emphasise the importance of the victory for everyone involved with the club.

“Even though we had been playing senior football for 22 years, to win this All-Ireland… It’s huge. There are people who have been doing Trojan work in the club down through the years without a whole pile of success to celebrate. For people like that, it’s fantastic.

“There’s something different about winning with your club, there definitely is. When you’re on the pitch there after the final whistle, you look up to the stand and you know every single face. You have a personal connection with everyone who’s there, and you think of the people who couldn’t be at the game as well. It’s huge for everyone.”

Kealy played a captain’s role but there were certainly no arguments when sharp-shooting forward Kevin McCarthy was named Man of the Match (except from teammate Noel Duggan, who jokingly tweeted that the decision was a “joke”).

McCarthy was in outrageous form. He racked up 3-7 in an incredible performance that was made all the more remarkable by the fact that he is still recovering from a broken arm. His skipper was certainly impressed with McCarthy but, tellingly, he was not surprised.

“3-7, all from play… I can’t remember ever seeing that from one player, let alone in an All-Ireland final. But it’s not surprising to us.

“Kevin has missed a lot of football recently but he keeps himself fit. He has been flying. We just let him loose in Croke Park the last day and he tore into it. He was fantastic.

“But that’s what Kevin is capable of. We all know that, he’s been doing that with us for years. Sometimes with Kerry he plays a different role and maybe people outside of Kilcummin don’t realise the scoring threat that he actually is, but the man is a serious inside forward.”

Kilcummin appear to be well-equipped to deal with the rigours of senior football and Kealy is optimistic that their squad could be getting even stronger.

“We’ll hopefully have a couple of new faces coming in. You have Paul O’Shea and Keith O’Leary from the minors and we might pick up one or two more who are returning home. That’s good. It freshens the whole thing up again.

“There are lot of developments going on off the field as well in Kilcummin so the club has a bit of momentum. It’s important that we keep driving it on.”

Pic: Sportsfile.

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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