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Kerry footballers get new season off to a flying start

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KERRY, who fielded a side drawn entirely from their Under 21 squad and managed by Jack O’Connor and the Under 21 management team, had little difficulty in disposing of a weakened Tipperary fifteen in the opening round of the McGrath Cup before a surprisingly large attendance of over 1,500 people at Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on Sunday last.

Jack will be happy with this display ahead of the Under 21 championship campaign which gets underway with a game against Clare at the Austin Stack Park venue on March 8 but given the strength of the opposition the last day, he is hardly going to get carried away with the 3-11 to 1-3 victory. St Michaels-Foilmore clubman Matthew O’Sullivan who played two games for the Under 21s last year before being ruled out of the Munster Final against Cork due to injury, helped himself to two of those goals as Kerry displayed a refreshing appetite for the task in hand running out easy winners in the end having led by 1-8 to 1-2 at the break. It was interesting to see that the new “mark” rule had very little impact on proceedings on Sunday last but no doubt managers are sure to use it to their advantage as the season progresses.

So Kerry, with Eamonn Fitzmaurice in charge of the senior panel this time, head to Mallow for their second game on Sunday next against Cork knowing that a win there will earn them a place in the McGrath Cup final on January 22. Cork open their campaign midweek on this Wednesday evening away to Tipperary and on the same evening Clare are away to Limerick where a win for the Bannermen would secure them a final place. At a recent press briefing Eamonn Fitzmaurice gave an up-date on the current situation with regard to player availability for the foreseeable future – and one man who will not be part of the panel this year is Padraig O’Connor of Legion who has emigrated to America. Kerry will be without players from Dr Crokes, Kenmare and Glenbeigh-Glencar until their respective club championship campaigns have finished and the likes of Gavin Crowley (Templenoe), Jack Savage (O’Rahillys), Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks), Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin) and Shane Murphy (Dr Crokes), once his club championship commitments come to an end will be in training with the senior panel.

Neither Aidan O’Mahony nor Kieran Donaghy have yet committed for the coming year but they are expected to make a decision on their futures in the green and gold jersey in the coming weeks as is Colm Cooper once his club championship Commitments have finished. Following the retirement of Marc Ó Sé, Kerry will also of course have to plan without a member of that family in the side for the first time since the late Paidi made his debut as a Minor way back in 1971.

Kerry returned to training on Tuesday of last week and apart from a slight injury being carried by Anthony Maher they are relatively injury free for the Cork fixture which throws in at the Mallow GAA complex at 2pm.

Incidentally, the situation with regard to the Kerry senior captaincy for the coming year is that Dr Crokes, as county champions, have the honour of naming the new Kerry senior football captain but they have chosen to delay that announcement until their Club Championship campaign has been completed. Until then, Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice will appoint an interim captain.
 


 
Above: Kerry captain Matthew O'Sullivan and Tipperary captain Martin Dunne exchange greetings before the McGrath Cup game at Austin Stack Park on Sunday last. In the centre is referee Conor Lane (Cork). PICTURE: PADDY WHITE

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Ballycasheen junction to get upgraded this year.

A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year. Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction. “Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which […]

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A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year.

Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction.

“Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which include Active Travel provision and Junction Improvements at Ballycasheen, is being sought from TII before commencing,” a council spokesperson confirmed. “The elected members will be briefed on the proposals ahead of the commencement of the statutory process in early 2022.”

The council official was responding to a request by Cllr John O’Donoghue who sought an update on progress being on a promised “more user friendly junction.”

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€2.3m funding for Kerry schools under Summer Works Programme

Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme. This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country. “I am delighted to confirm […]

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Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme.

This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country.

“I am delighted to confirm this significant tranche of funding which will provide further investment for schools in Kerry under the Summer Works Scheme,” Minister Foley said.

“School communities have shown great resilience, flexibility and leadership in adapting to the many challenges that arose over the course of the pandemic. This funding is a further endorsement of the excellence in education provided by schools across the county. I am announcing the Summer Works Scheme projects now so that schools have a good lead-in period to plan and deliver the projects in summer 2022,” she said.

“Today’s announcement follows on from the enhanced minor works funding which was delivered to schools a number of weeks ago.”

The projects for Kerry included in today’s announcement include Mechanical Works at Two Mile Community NS and Spa National School, Science Labs including Gas Works at Community College Killorglin and Castleisland Community College, as well as Roof Works at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra. 

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