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Killarney Derby Preview: New look Blues aiming for second

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Premier A
Killarney Celtic v Killarney Athletic
Sunday at 11.30am
Celtic Park

The Killarney Derby has thrown up some real classics over the past few years (league finals aside) so anticipation is high ahead of the latest instalment on Sunday.

League leaders Celtic will host near neighbours Athletic at Celtic Park and anything other than a full-blooded, high-intensity encounter would be a major surprise. Derbies are always tough to call but this season things are even more unpredictable as both teams are markedly different from the ones who duked it out for league and cup silverware between 2016 and 2018.

In their quest for continued domestic and national success, Celtic have enlisted the services of a number of players, perhaps most notably Stevie O’Mahony and Seán Moloney from Tralee. Both are expected to play on Sunday.

It’s difficult to guess how they’ll line out besides that and there are certainly no clues forthcoming from within the camp; Celtic’s management chose not to release a player for interview ahead of the big game.

One thing we know for sure is that tough-tackling full-back Chris O’Leary and creative midfielder Matt Keane will be unavailable for selection as they will both be in action for Kilcummin in the All-Ireland Intermediate semi-final, which takes place in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick at 2pm. On the injury front, key players John McDonagh and Gary Keane have been out of action in recent weeks and may not be ready to feature.

The player turnover has been even more noticeable in the blue half of Killarney. In a recent game against Mitchels Avenue, just three of the starting 11 were regulars last season (Seán Cournane, Cillian O’Regan and Will Courtney). Older heads like Paudie O’Connor and Éanna Kavanagh have stepped away from the set-up, keeper Brian O’Connor has relocated to Limerick, Shane Lynch is recovering from a cruciate injury, and others are focussing on football.

Manager Stuart Templeman has been forced to inject a lot of youth into the team and you’d have to say that he has managed a difficult situation quite well. Some of the club’s young stars have impressed in their debut seasons and Athletic are currently joint second with Castleisland on 17 points. As always, first and second will qualify for the league final at the end of the campaign.

Athletic may be a team in transition but captain Cillian O’Regan says the aim remains the same: to finish in the top two and reclaim the title the club won for the first time in 2017.

“At the start of the season, a few of us came together and put down some goals for the year and trying to be up there challenging for a spot in the league final was number one our list” O’Regan said. “It has been difficult at times because some of our younger guys are still learning, but we’re playing decent ball and things are looking good.

“Tadhg Doolan is playing great, Eoin Moynihan is super and we had Owen Benson for a couple games and he has been fantastic as well. Darren Mulcahy has been around for the last couple of years but he has really stepped up for us this season as well.”

Celtic are currently well out in front but the Athletic skipper knows that if they get there, anything can happen in a final

“In a once off game you’d never know who might win,” he said. “We’re just aiming for second at the moment. Celtic are still a bit ahead but we’ll take each game as it comes. A win on Sunday would be massive for us.”

Athletic will undoubtedly be underdogs against the runaway leaders but as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen in the Killarney Derby.

Pic: Konrad Paprocki.

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Shoebox appeal is biggest yet for Faha kids

By Michelle Crean It’s no wonder Faha pupils have a big smile on their faces as this year’s Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is their biggest yet! The children happily packed and wrapped 140 shoeboxes which will be sent to children in need throughout the world. The school has been doing the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal […]

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By Michelle Crean

It’s no wonder Faha pupils have a big smile on their faces as this year’s Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is their biggest yet!

The children happily packed and wrapped 140 shoeboxes which will be sent to children in need throughout the world.

The school has been doing the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal for approximately six years when parent, Margaret Scully, initially contacted one of the SNAs, Delia O’ Shea, wondering if they’d be interested in taking part. Since then the appeal has been wholeheartedly supported by the pupils, staff and extended Faha NS community.

“This year has been the biggest yet with 140 shoeboxes collected and many more donations online,” Jerry Fitzgerald, Principal of Faha NS, said. “It is a learning experience for the children to realise that there are children just like themselves who may not be so fortunate and they really enjoy being given the opportunity to help out. They have great suggestions as to what to put in the shoeboxes and really put a lot of thought into it. The boxes are wrapped in Christmas paper which is also very exciting both for the children doing the wrapping as well for the children receiving the boxes.” However, he added that last year the COVID-19 pandemic brought about big changes and the physical shoeboxes were not collected. “Instead the children were able to do virtual shoeboxes or donate money. This cloud had a silver lining as this year people have both options and it makes it easier than ever to donate. The shoebox appeal always marks the start of Christmas at Faha NS and we are delighted to be able to help out. We are already looking to smash our record next year! Thanks to everyone who donated. The staff and students of Faha NS would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year 2022.”

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More than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country without power

Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will […]

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Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will continue to work late into the evening to restore power to those affected, where safe to do so, but unfortunately, some customers will remain without electricity overnight.

Since early morning and despite challenging conditions, ESB Networks have continued to restore power to customers across the country.
With the storm still crossing the country, more damage and interruptions to supply can be expected. ESB Networks reminds the public that if you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they may be LIVE and extremely dangerous.

All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. With a Red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9 pm tonight, and Co Clare until 1 am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes.

We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that. It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews continue to work under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE.

Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie

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