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Kerry SFC Preview: Killarney divided, East v South & Tralee double-header



Gavin White (Dr Crokes) and James O’Donoghue (Legion). Artwork: Adam Moynihan/Pics: Eamonn Keogh & Don MacMonagle.


A town divided

Kerry SFC 1/4 Final
Killarney Legion v Dr Crokes
Sunday at 2pm
Fitzgerald Stadium


Is there a fiercer rivalry in football? Just 365 metres separate the Legion and the Crokes and in a town like Killarney where people are utterly consumed by Ireland’s national game, familiarity is sure to breed contempt. There is an animosity between the two that borders on hatred in certain quarters and on Sunday they’ll meet on neutral ground with a place in the county semi-final at stake. Things will get heated. You can be sure of that.

Since the turn of the 21st century, the Crokes have been the undisputed kings of Kerry football. Their haul in that period includes 11 East Kerry championships, seven county championships, five Munster championships and, the crowning glory, a much-coveted All-Ireland in 2017. It has been an unprecedented period of success for the Lewis Road club and everyone else in the county has been living in their shadow for the better part of two decades.

That doesn’t sit well with anyone but it’s bound to be particularly frustrating for their nearest neighbours who, despite going close on numerous occasions, have failed to secure a major trophy at senior level since 1993.

Impressive wins in the opening two rounds of this year’s championship have brought an air of cautious optimism to Derreen but, despite their recent hiccup against Rahilly’s, Crokes are the reigning champions for a reason. It’s a tough draw. I suppose the question on everyone’s lips is, “can this Legion team actually beat this Crokes team?”

I must admit that it’s tricky for me to write about Legion v Crokes when I’ve been Legion all my life and I’m a member of the current squad. I’m injured at the moment so I won’t be togging out on Sunday (much to Pat O’Shea’s relief I’m sure!). I faced a similar Catch 22 when I was playing for Athletic. Say something positive about my own team and I’m biased, say something positive about the opposition and I’m a turncoat. The bottom line is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so I’ve found the best bet is to just be as honest as possible.

In short, I definitely think this Legion team are capable of causing an upset. I always knew this crop of players were talented but since returning to the fold in June, I’ve seen up close how committed and hard-working they are; that’s not really something you can appreciate or understand unless you’re actually involved in the set-up. I couldn’t fault the lads’ attitude for one second and I have no doubts whatsoever about their ability either.

On the other side of the coin, this is the Crokes we’re talking about. They’re heavy favourites for this match and justifiably so given their track record over the past number of years. With dangerous forwards like Tony Brosnan, Kieran O’Leary and David Shaw floating around place, they’re always liable to score goals and it will take a massive performance from Legion, from 1-21, to dethrone them this weekend.

It is genuinely a tough one to call. Whatever the outcome, it should make for interesting viewing.

Verdict: A good game of football with plenty of flaking.


Can anyone contain East Kerry’s forwards?

Kerry SFC 1/4 Final
East Kerry v South Kerry
Sunday at 3.45pm
Fitzgerald Stadium


East Kerry are blessed with young, intercounty calibre forwards and they have been rampant in the opening two games of this year’s County Championship.

Jack Sherwood, Paudie Clifford, Dara Moynihan, Kevin McCarthy, David Clifford and Evan Cronin, as well as the returning Darragh Roche, all shone as the East racked up 10-36 in strikingly one-sided victories over St Brendan’s and Dingle in Rounds 1 and 2. It’s the type of form that has seen them earmarked as one of the tournament favourites and it also begs the question: can anyone in the county contain them?

They will undoubtedly come up against their toughest opposition to date when they play South Kerry on Sunday. The perennial championship contenders recovered well from their Round 2A defeat to Austin Stacks by making light work of Rathmore a fortnight ago, and they are particularly strong in defence. Full back Mark Griffin is in Australia but Killian Young could return, while dynamic half backs Rob Wharton and Graham O’Sullivan can have an impact at both ends of the field.

O’Sullivan scored four points against Rathmore and the midfield combination of Bryan Sheehan and Denis Daly accounted for a further 1-5. That’s 1-9 out of their 1-15 total from numbers 6, 8 and 9.

East Kerry will need to be strong in these areas but, worryingly, influential midfielder Kieran Murphy is reportedly struggling with an injury. The Kilcummin man has been in superb form this season, so much so that some pundits are tipping him to start for the Kerry seniors next year. His absence would be sorely felt and could force manager Jerry O’Sullivan to shift Sherwood to midfield.

South Kerry are never easy to shake but if East Kerry can hold their own around the middle third, they should have enough firepower to advance to the last four.

Verdict: East Kerry by three.


Rahilly’s and Brendan’s are capable of shooting the lights out

Kerry SFC 1/4 Final
Kerins O’Rahilly’s v St Brendan’s
Saturday at 7.45pm
Austin Stack Park

Kerins Rahilly’s and St Brendan’s meet under lights this evening in Tralee and with deadly finishers in both camps, it promises to be a straight shootout for the win. Churchill marksman Ivan Parker has been in devastating form in this year’s championship and Ross O’Callaghan will have to be at the very top of his game to keep him quiet.

Barry John Keane impressed for Rahilly’s in their memorable comeback victory for Crokes and, when he’s on his game, his shoot-on-sight mentality tends to pay dividends. Man-mountain Tommy Walsh was back to his menacing best against the defending champions and if the club side can keep Keane, Walsh and the accurate Jack Savage firing on all cylinders, they should rack up a big enough score to progress.

Verdict: Rahilly’s by four.


Stacks are the form team 

Kerry SFC 1/4 Final
Austin Stacks v Dingle
Saturday at 6pm
Austin Stack Park

Following a near-perfect league campaign (20 points from 22 in Division 2) and a perfect start to the Kerry SFC, Austin Stacks are unquestionably the form team in this year’s championship. They showed how potent they can be in attack by banging in four goals in a superb victory over South Kerry in the previous round and they are favourites to beat Dingle tonight and book their place in the last four.

Kieran Donaghy attended his brother’s wedding in Spain yesterday but he flew home this morning and the Kerry legend is expected to start.

Dingle tend to rely heavily on talismanic forward Paul Geaney and he will need to be at the top of his game if the men from the west are to advance.

Verdict: Stacks by one.


Kodaline to play stripped down Killarney gig



By Michelle Crean

One of Ireland’s best known bands – who have had their recently released studio album streamed more than 60 million times – as well as reached 100 million YouTube views – are set to come to Killarney.

Kodaline will play their first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour on December 4 in the Gleneagle INEC Arena, which is part of a nationwide tour across the country.

Tickets went on sale yesterday (Friday) from the

‘One Day At A Time’ is the band’s fourth album, and adds a new chapter to a career that has already encompassed three number 1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK, and more than a billion streams at Spotify. Kodaline approached the album with a streamlined process that took them back to their roots. The majority of the sessions revolved around the four band members alone in their modest recording space in Dublin, with bassist Jason Boland leading the production side of things.


In 2019, Kodaline played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin they sold-out two huge outdoor shows at St Anne’s Park, while a 10-date UK tour culminated with a packed show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Further afield, they hit festivals including Lollapalooza, Benicàssim and Open’er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in Pune, India. Their extensive touring throughout Asia also included a headline set at Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam plus dates in China, Japan, South Korea, The Phillippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore.

“We’re excited to do our first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and something that’s gonna be very special for us. Hope to see you guys there,” the band said.

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Relief for students as State exams finally begin



Kayleigh O’Connor and Bethany Kelly pictured ahead of their Home Economics exam on Wednesday afternoon.

By Michelle Crean and Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

Although it was a Leaving Cert like no other – that didn’t stop some students from feeling nerves and others relief – as they finally began their State exams on Wednesday morning.

After a mix of homeschooling due to the COVID lockdowns, it was a tough final year for the Sixth Years who at times had no idea if they final school exams would even go ahead.

Some have opted for no exams, while others want a mixture of Accredited Grades combined with the option to sit the exams.

And it all began on Wednesday morning as English Paper 1 was first up followed by Home Economics in the afternoon.


For Killian O’Brien, a student in St Brendan’s College, he said that there was no stress as he headed in.
“I’m grand out, not stressed at all.”

George Griffin, also a student in St Brendan’s College was glad to begin the final leg of his school journey and said he too felt grand about it.

“Predictable grades are a good backing to it, it levels out the stress.”

His classmate Darren Counihan was “not too worried” about what was ahead of him.

“You can only go up in points, not down thanks to accredited points.”

Luke Tindall, also a student in the school said he was alright and “not too stressed”

For Adam O’Connor there was some nerves.
“I’m feeling a bit of everything, but mostly stressed,” he said. “I’m just waiting to get it done and over with.”

In Killarney Community College Oliwia Bielanska spoke to the Killarney Advertiser after coming out of her first State exam.

“I was nervous at first, but once I started writing it was all good.”

Aoife O’Brien from the same school said she was “kind of nervous” but that “it was fine”.

“It wasn’t too bad.”

Stefan Lajdar, also a student in Killarney Community College said it went “alright”.

“I finished a bit earlier. I was a bit under pressure before the exam, but it was easy enough. We have a backup with the predicted grades so it was fine.”

A turbulent year

Principal of Killarney Community College, Stella Loughnane, acknowledged the uniqueness of this year. “This year has been a turbulent and emotional year for this particular Leaving Cert group. Thankfully, all of our students sitting these exams have the security of knowing they already have an accredited grade from their subject teacher and can really try to improve on that when sitting their chosen exams. I think this is of great comfort to students and will ease some of their nerves.The majority of our students have embraced this challenge and chosen to sit their exams.”

She added that also this year there are a lot more COVID guidelines from both the Department of Health and the Department of Education that both the school and students must adhere to.

“This year has shown how adaptable our students are, therefore I don’t believe they will cause too much fuss. However, like every other year, our students arrived with the age old butterflies in their stomachs but a willingness to begin their exams.”

Sean Coffey, Principal of St Brendan’s College said it was great to see the exams finally underway.

“It has been the most incredible two years for the students. This is as fair as you can get really. I would say the Sixth Years had a less disruptive year than other students as they had their eye on the prise and could see the finish line in sight.”

Killarney Community College student Stefan Lajdar said it was easy enough once he got going.
Aoife O’Brien student of Killarney Community College said the first exam wasn’t too bad.
Bharragh O’Shea from Killarney Community College felt his first exam went pretty well. “I thought it was easy.”
Happy to get it over and done with was Adam O’Connor from The Sem.
George Griffin from St Brendan’s College pictured before Wednesday’s English exam.
Darren Counihan student from St Brendan’s College said that he was not too worried ahead of the first exam on Wednesday.
Killian O’Brien from St Brendan’s College said he wasn’t feeling stressed before the first exam on Wednesday morning.
Katerina Polyakova and Maryia Casey from Killarney Community College pictured cramming in some last minute revision before Wednesday’s Home Ec exam.
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Lucky local wins dream Barraduff home



WIN A HOUSE: Barraduff Community Field Organisation fundraiser sub-committee members: Derry Healy, Michael O’Keeffe, Cathy Somers, Linda Dennehy, John Culloty and Rory D’Arcy pictured in the INEC on Sunday evening during the ‘Win A Dream Kerry Home’ draw.

By Michelle Crean

It has been seven months in the making but it was one lucky local who claimed the top prize – a 𝟯-𝗕𝗲𝗱 d𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱 h𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗳𝗳.

Ticket no. 17033 owned by Catriona Moriarty was the winner, chosen on Sunday evening in the ‘Win A Dream Kerry Home’ fundraiser prize draw live streamed on Facebook and the website from the INEC Arena, Killarney.

The MC for the evenings event was Rory D’Arcy, fundraiser committee member.

Committee member, Liam Warren, joined Rory to speak about the history and aims of the Barraduff Community Field Organisation since its inception in 1977. It was then time for the prize draw, with the combined value of all prizes in excess of €300,000. Rory introduced the independent adjudicating team of Peter Malone, Solicitor, Malone Hegarty Solicitors, and Denis Murphy, Auditor, Moriarty & Murphy Accountants.

It was certainly a night to remember for all prize winners, particularly Catriona Moriarty who will soon be receiving the keys to her new home.

“The Barraduff Community Field Organisation are forever grateful to all who supported this fundraiser, through purchasing of ticket(s) and sponsoring of prizes, to assist us in realising the vision of our local community. This is only the end of the beginning of another chapter!” Michael O’Keeffe said.

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