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Killarney man completes in one of the world’s toughest adventure races

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney mountain runner Joe O’Leary was part of a four person team that finished one of the world’s most arduous adventure races in Spain this week.

The Dingle Adventure Race team, Noel O'Leary, Joe O'Leary, Colm Casey and Ailise Deane started the six-day race in Adventure Race World Championship in Gallaecia on Saturday.

They only reached the finish line in the early hours of Thursday morning after enduring 220km of mountain trail hiking at heights of 7,500m, an 80km mountain bike race and an 11km kayak race in a river with currents so strong they had to carry their canoe along the river bank just to make the section-finish.

They did all this while surviving on limited sleep taken on a short bus journey to connect sections and 17 minutes of open air sleeping on the side of a mountain in the middle of the night.

“The 2021 World Championship will be the most mountainous, the longest and the most technical edition of our race so far, covering 600km across three of the four provinces of Gallaecia and passing very near to the border with Portugal,” explained a pre-event press release. “Teams can expect a varied and technical race delivered by a crew which has been together for many years and has a reputation second to none for their courses, logistics, mapping and organisation.”

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At the event start, all teams were given 51 maps and had a limited time to plot the correct route via several pre-ordained check points.

They were not allowed use modern GPS technology and one mobile phone was allowed per team, however this was switched off and placed in a sealed bag and if the seal was broken they would have been disqualified from the race. A digital wrist watch, that showed no more than the time and a date was the team’s only connection to real time as smart watches and Fitbits were also banned.

The course opened on Saturday morning and they had exactly seven days to complete it.

Following a very difficult opening night, they spent 40 hours on a mountain side in driving rain, missed a cut off time at a check point and were forced to complete a stage by bus. While the bus trip offered much needed rest, Team Dingle Adventure Race were forced to drop down to the shorter course and were no longer eligible for overall honours. It was a cruel blow for the squad as they were the last team to be cut off.

They continued with the Mountain Bike section but before they could participate in the kayaking element of the event they had to carry their boat through difficult mountain trails to reach the start of that section.

The final section, 12km of street racing, was as difficult as the mountain courses they had just completed.

“We got over the line at about 3am, there was one person there to clap us,” a clearly exhausted Joe told the Killarney Advertiser a few hours after the finish.

“What day is it? I literally don’t know what happened over the last few days. I will be getting flashbacks about this for the next six months and it will take a long time to piece it all together. Right now I am drifting between back to life and being completely delirious from sleep depravation.”

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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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