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Kerry SFC Preview: Absence of Clifford and Brosnan could be real leveller

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Killarney Advertiser Sports Editor Adam Moynihan previews this weekend's Kerry Senior Football Championship semi-finals.

 

Kerry SFC Semi-Final
East Kerry v St Brendan’s
Tonight at 7.30pm
Austin Stack Park
(LIVE on TG4)

The big news ahead of this evening's semi-final clash between East Kerry and St Brendan's is that East Kerry forward David Clifford is out after his one-match suspension was upheld at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday night.

The Fossa man had hoped that the red card he picked up in the closing stages of the quarter-final clash against St Kieran’s would be rescinded on appeal. However, after reviewing the available evidence, the County Board backed referee Jonathan Griffin’s initial decision to send Clifford off for striking/attempting to strike with the leg.

This infringement carries an automatic one-game ban so if the defending champions are to navigate the challenge of St Brendan’s, they will have to do it without the services of their best player.

Clifford is naturally a massive loss. The Kerry captain was hugely influential in 2019 as East Kerry bridged a 20-year gap to raise the Bishop Moynihan trophy, perhaps most notably in the semi-final against tonight’s opponents when he kicked 0-9.

East Kerry’s talisman was the difference-maker that day last October, scoring seven marvelous points from play as Jerry O’Sullivan’s side ran out four-point winners.

His absence this time out will naturally come as a significant boost to St Brendan’s morale but if there’s anything East Kerry aren’t lacking, it’s strength in depth. With Darragh Roche, Evan Cronin and Paudie Clifford all capable of finding the target, Brendan’s will still have their hands full in Austin Stack Park this evening.

The divisional side from Tralee and its environs have plenty to offer going forward themselves. Midfielders Jack Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor both goaled in their last outing so Dan O'Brien and Ronan Buckley will need to be on their toes, and up front, free-scoring full forward Ivan Parker from Churchill can be a real menace on his day.

Jinky corner forward Alan O’Donoghue also impressed in the quarters and stylish goalkeeper Eoghan O’Brien is well capable of slotting 45s and long range frees when called upon.

There is a strong feeling that St Brendan’s are a team on the up and with intercounty calibre players like Clifford and Liam Kearney unavailable for East Kerry, Séamus Murphy’s side will surely attack this fixture with confidence.

Having said that, East Kerry have a ridiculously strong squad and if any club/divisional team can cope with losing the best forward in the country, it’s them.

Verdict: East Kerry by two.

 

Kerry SFC Semi-Final
Dr Crokes v Mid Kerry
Saturday at 7pm
Austin Stack Park
(LIVE on Kerry GAA)

As if it wasn’t bad enough that we won’t get to see David Clifford in action this weekend, the tournament’s top scorer is also out of contention.

Dr Crokes marksman Tony Brosnan was hospitalised this week after suffering a punctured lung in a training session last Friday night. It is believed that the severity of the injury was not immediately understood – in fact, Brosnan did not know how the freak injury had happened when he eventually sought medical attention – but it turned out to be quite serious and he will now be unavailable to Dr Crokes, and Kerry, for the rest of the season.

Brosnan had been playing great football and the news comes as a crushing blow to Dr Crokes’ championship prospects.

“He is a massive loss to us,” Dr Crokes chairman Patrick O’Sullivan told the Irish Examiner. “Everyone in the club wishes him the very best and a speedy recovery, but there’s no doubt it’s a huge blow for him and us as Tony has been in devastating form.”

Edmund O’Sullivan will now call on the likes of Kieran O’Leary, Chris Doncel and David Shaw (if fit) to do the damage close to goal. It will certainly take a big team effort to prosper without the services of their scorer in chief.

The form of Brian Looney and Gavin O’Shea has been a bonus for the Crokes, as has the return from injury of centre back and captain Gavin White, who scored a goal after coming on at half-time against Templenoe.

Mid Kerry have been the surprise package of the championship to date and after fine victories over Kilcummin and Kenmare, they have a nice bit of momentum on their side.

With experienced defenders Pa Kilkenny and Peter Crowley holding down the fort and skilful forwards Fiachra Clifford, Liam Carey and the excellent Gavan O’Grady looking dangerous in attack, the divisional outfit have the tools to cause the Crokes headaches all over the pitch.

Even without Brosnan, Crokes will be favourites but don’t be surprised if Mid Kerry push them all the way.

Verdict: Dr Crokes by one.

 

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COMMUNITY AIR AMBULANCE TASKED 512 TIMES DURING 2021

The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021. Last year was the ICAA busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020. The organisation is […]

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The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021.

Last year was the ICAA busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020.

The organisation is Ireland’s only charity-funded HEMS Air Ambulance. It works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and responds to serious incidents and medical emergencies from its base in Rathcool, near Millstreet, in Co. Cork. Each helicopter mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated.

The CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Micheál Sheridan said that they engaged with the Government and regional political leaders throughout 2021 to secure some State support for the vital service.

FUNDING

Micheál Sheridan said, “The HSE is releasing funding to private Ambulance firms to provide support during the continuing crisis yet the Irish Community Air Ambulance is still entirely funded by public donations. The increased number of taskings during 2021 show that we provide a vital service,” said Mr Sheridan.

“The cost to run the charity during 2022 is expected to be €2.1 million which is a significant amount of money to raise. We are so grateful to all our supporters who help us to bring hope to those in emergency situations but we will continue to engage with the Government to provide funding during these uncertain times.”

There were more calls to cardiac arrests, farming-related incidents and falls from heights during 2021. Cardiac arrests accounted for one in five calls with 103 taskings last year, that’s up from 81 during 2020.

July and April were the busiest months of the year for the service with 57 missions completed each month. Cork, Kerry and Tipperary accounted for the majority of taskings. The Irish Community Air Ambulance was also tasked to Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Mayo, Galway, Offaly, Laois, Wicklow and Kildare.

One in every three taskings required an airlift to hospital. There were 111 transfers to Cork University Hospital during 2021 which equates to 66% of all transfers. University Hospital Limerick accounts for 20%.

TRANSFERS

Micheal Sheridan added, “There were also transfers to hospitals in Kerry, Tallaght, Galway, Temple Street, Crumlin and The Mater as we saw an increase in the number of times we were required to transfer children and young people to specialist paediatric hospitals in Dublin. We cover an area of 25,000 square kilometres and treat some of the most critically ill and injured patients, bringing them to the hospital that is best suited to their life-saving needs, not just the closest hospital geographically.”

SERIOUSLY INJURED

Diarmuid O’Donovan from Cork was seriously injured when he was thrown over the handlebars of his bike while cycling around Slea Head, Co Kerry in May 2021. He said he needed to be brought to a dedicated Trauma Centre quickly.

“A moment of carelessness saw me hit the road. I was on my own but thankfully it wasn’t long before I was found. Paramedics, a local doctor, the local Fire Service and Gardai all responded,” he explained.

“I was drifting in and out of consciousness and it quickly emerged that I needed to be at Cork University Hospital as soon as possible. I wasn’t in a suitable state for a two-and-a-half-hour journey by road so the Irish Community Air Ambulance was tasked and landed in Ventry. The journey to CUH by helicopter took just 30 minutes. I had 28 different bone breaks including my spine, shoulder and ribs as well as a punctured lung. I underwent several procedures that evening and spent 12 days in hospital. I believe it could have been far worse if I had not been transported to CUH so quickly and that my recovery has been much faster as a result.”

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Now is a good time to plan features in the garden

Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or seating areas. With relatively little growth, it is easy to take measurements and mark out where your new project will take place. There are a few things to bear in mind when planning new features. […]

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Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or seating areas.

With relatively little growth, it is easy to take measurements and mark out where your new project will take place.
There are a few things to bear in mind when planning new features. First, the practical: are there water pipes, septic tanks, gas or electricity lines etc in the way?
Or, if planning a feature where construction is required, is there access to water and electricity?
Secondly, if you are planning a new bed, what is the soil like in that area, or have you better ground elsewhere which can be exploited?
I have learned over the years that the best thing to do with an area of bad soil is to cover it with paving!
On the other hand, if you are planning a patio, should you excavate the topsoil for use elsewhere? Planning a new bed or planting area is a lot of fun, and I always think it is a good idea to take the time, close your eyes and give your imagination free reign. Consult magazines, gardening websites and social media!
Have a look at a friends’ or neighbours’ gardens for ideas.
Decide how much time you have to maintain it, and keep in mind Irish weather, commitments and other hobbies.
Often we take on gardening projects which we think, at the time, we will have time for. Say you want to commit to, for example, three hours of gardening a week – Saturday morning is the one time you have free.
Guaranteed one of those Saturdays it will rain! Then there is a morning spent mowing. Weeding will take up another few hours. Time flies, no matter what you do…and with age, I am coming to realise we have to work realistically with the free time we have. Gardening should not become a job you are forced to do.
Plan what the new area will be used for, and again, keep time in mind. Maybe a mixed area is better than a single purpose one.
What I mean by this is, you may have decided this year is the year to grow vegetables. Rather than planning out half your garden as a rotating vegetable garden, it may be better to plan out two small beds and a seating area, surrounded by an area of wildflowers.
This can then easily be converted to a larger veg garden if you feel the trial run went well, or converted entirely to a patio. In my experience, it is wise not to commit to a large scale project, especially if you are new to it.

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