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



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.”


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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Jessie Buckley to perform live on RTE this Friday 22nd September



This Culture Night, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will present an hour-long live music and arts programme from Dún Lúiche in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht at 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.  

Actress and singer Jessie Buckley has been added to the list of stellar musicians who will perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the night. Jessie will perform a special rendition of a Sinéad O’Connor song in tribute to the late artist. 

Jessie commented: “I am very honoured to return to Culture Night 2023 to remember Sinéad O Connor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Sinéad was such a huge influence on so many women in Ireland and across the world, her courage, her mind, her politics and her intense beauty and soul. She was a warrior to humanity. I remember hearing her for the first time and feeling her uncompromising need to connect and affect. Recognising what couldn’t be said and speaking it out loud. I am so grateful for all her fire and all her love. It is such a privilege to return to Ireland for RTÉ Culture Night in Donegal to sing a song of gratitude for Sinéad and her family and friends.” 

Other artists performing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra include The Murder Capital, R&B singer and 2FM Rising star Aby Coulibaly and Irish-based Ukrainian musician Olesya Zdorovetska.  

Friday 22nd September, 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player 

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N22 Killarney to Faranfore road further delayed

The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again. Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project […]




The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again.

Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project were identified and were put out to public consultation in May 2021. These have now been whittled down to just one.

It was previously promised that the preferred route would be published late last year.

This dragged on in to the Spring and there is still no sigh of the preferred route being revealed.

A recent Kerry County Council meeting a council official explained that there are further funding requirements to allow the council complete various reports and investigations required before the road can move to its next phase.

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