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Killarney Races disappointed at “unfair and unjust” spectator restrictions for August Festival

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Attendance at this month's Race Festival in Killarney will remain capped at five hundred attendees which organisers have called "unfair and unjust".

Racing will take place at Killarney Racecourse from Thursday,  August 19 to Saturday 21 inclusive, and all tickets are now sold out.

The restrictions are due to the ongoing public health guidelines.

Since racing reconvened in June, over five hundred horse racing fixtures have successfully taken place in Ireland behind closed doors or with limited capacities throughout the pandemic.

In July, Killarney Races saw spectators in their stand for the first time since August 2019 and albeit in limited numbers it instilled some hope for the further easing of restrictions and larger numbers attending their August meetings. Despite lobbying by the industry and the obvious relaxation of restrictions in other sectors and sports, circumstances for the team at Killarney Races have remained unchanged, much to their disappointment.

“Whilst other sports have moved on, horse racing has endured extremely low levels of attendees e.g. All-Ireland Semi-Finals at 24,000 v’s Killarney's July Racing Festival on a 90-acre open site at at five hundred, which is extremely unjust and unfair," Ger Coughlan, Chairman of the Board of Killarney Races said. 

"Of course, we'll put on another great day of racing for those who were fortunate enough to buy their tickets before they sold out. We have a fantastic garden party feel with ample space, lots of outdoor seating and it's looking like the weather is going to play its part again too. That said it is extremely disappointing that more people cannot enjoy it also. Killarney is busy with staycationers, many of whom are fully vaccinated and would love a day out at Killarney Races, they can dine indoors and shop in their droves in town, yet they cannot watch a race here, surely it’s time for common sense to prevail."

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Thursday evening is an all-Flat card while National Hunt cards will feature on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Highlights each day include the prestigious Ruby Stakes on Thursday, a Grade B Handicap Hurdle on Friday and a Graded Chase Saturday. Sponsors include Boylesports, Adare Manor, The Irish Examiner and The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund.

Killarney Races will race again for the final fixture of 2021, on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, and tickets for that meeting will be available online soon. Visit killarneyraces.ie and sign up to their newsletter to ensure you're the first to know when the tickets are live and keep up to date with all the news and updates from the racecourse or follow their social media channels today.

Speaking of the likelihood of greater attendances and the easing of restrictions for that weekend, Ger Coughlan added that “Naturally that would be great".

"However, for the team here who have worked very hard to ensure strict adherence to all guidelines to keep the horse racing industry going, it’s very much a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. We are confident that the situation will be much improved for our October race-meeting.”

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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