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Killarney coach at the heart of Paralympic Games

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By Sean Moriarty

An Irish sprint runner looking to secure his sixth gold medal at the Paralympic Games - is being guided by a Killarney man.

Jason Smyth, who is is legally blind, is competing in his fourth Paralympics in Japan in the 100m and 200m sprints.

However, it is Killarney Valley Athletic Club coach Tomás Griffin - there to support Killarney’s Jordan Lee - who was called in to support Smyth as travel restrictions limited the number of coaches Team Ireland could bring to the event.

Speaking from Team Ireland’s training camp in Tokyo on Wednesday morning, Griffin explained his role to the Killarney Advertiser.

“My speciality is sprinting," he said. "I have been in touch with Jason’s coaches from the outset. Today we are practicing his starting block procedure. He is legally blind and there are many other athletes training here so part of my job is to secure a clear lane for him. I am wearing my Killarney Valley Athletic Club top, its bright colours help him to see me and where he needs to be. There are blade-runners on the track too and I have to make sure he is aware of their presence – you do not want to collide with them.”

He will be feeling the pressure on Sunday as both Smyth and Lee are in action on the Track and Field at the same time.

He is also helping Dubliner Orla Comerford who is competing in the T12 100 metre and 200 metre sprint races. She took home two bronze medals, one for each category, from the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. She competes with Stargardt disease, a hereditary condition that affects her eyesight.

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Artists invited to showcase work at Wine and Art night

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November. The pandemic enforced its absence and now […]

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It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November.

The pandemic enforced its absence and now every effort is being made to make up for lost time.

Widely regarded as one of the social highlights of the year in Killarney, this year’s gathering will take place in the Great Southern Killarney on Wednesday, November 30, commencing at 7.15pm.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are priced at €20 and all proceeds raised on the night will go to deserving local charities and community organisations.

Over the years the evening of wine and art has raised tens of thousands of Euro for great causes and the 2022 proceeds will be of enormous benefit to the chosen groups.

This year, once again, the event is being held in association with Daly’s SuperValu and supported by Killarney Brewing and Distilling Company.

Rotary Club President, Rayla Tadjimatova, has appealed to all artists who might like to showcase their work on the night to get in touch with club members, as soon as possible, to guarantee inclusion.

“We are reaching out not only to artists who have supported the event in the past but to any new artists who wish to take the opportunity to place their work in front of a very appreciative local audience of up to one thousand people on the night,” she said.

Those interested should email killarneyrotaryclub@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Gardai seek whereabouts of missing Kerry teen

Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager. Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3). He is described as being […]

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Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager.

Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3).

He is described as being approximately 6ft in height, of a slim build with brown hair and green eyes. When last seen Nicolas was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black hoody top. He was also carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information on Nicolas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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