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Killarney remembers legendary clubman John Kelly

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The town of Killarney was united in grief this past week following the untimely passing of popular Spa native John Kelly. A devoted family man and a stalwart of numerous associations and clubs, it was John’s incredible dedication and loyalty that set him apart as a truly remarkable man.

In 1966, he was part of the first ever Spa team to win an O’Donoghue Cup and his great love for the GAA never waned over the years. The former club Chairman also served as PRO for over 40 years and gave great service to the East Kerry Board, acting as Chairman, PRO and, most recently, as President.

The Kerry seniors also benefitted from his fierce commitment as he worked as a masseuse for Páidí ó Sé’s team between 1997 and 2004.

John was passionate about rowing and pitch and putt and remained active within the Killarney Regatta, Workmen’s Rowing Club and Deerpark Club throughout his life.

His involvement with so many sporting organisations meant John was a constant contributor to the Killarney Advertiser. He was a tireless worker no matter who he was representing and we had the pleasure of witnessing that on a weekly basis.

Killarney Advertiser Director Cormac Casey said he would be sadly missed. “Johnny was a friend of the Advertiser and of the Casey family for as long as I can remember,” he said.

“He was probably our earliest ever club correspondent for the Killarney Notes. We always enjoyed working with him on various projects over the years. Johnny had very kind words for us on our 30th birthday celebrations when he spoke on Frank Lewis’ radio show, which is something we always appreciated.”

Following his death on Monday, Spa GAA and the East Kerry Board were quick to offer their condolences.

“Heavy heart today,” Spa said in a statement on Twitter. “Sad news that John Kelly, former club Chairman, East Kerry GAA Chairman and Kerry GAA delegate has passed away. RIP.”

In a statement, the East Kerry Board said they were “shocked and saddened” at the news. “We wish to extend our sincere sympathies to his wife Sheila, his family and his many friends at his beloved Spa GAA… John was widely known and highly regarded, and his induction into the East Kerry Hall of Fame was well deserved. May he rest in peace.”

John is survived by his wife Sheila and their five children.

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Staff and students highlight important message

By Michelle Crean Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion. Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. All staff wore […]

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By Michelle Crean

Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion.

Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

All staff wore a rainbow colour and students wore rainbow coloured accessories to show their support for the campaign as Killarney Community College is a diverse, inclusive, accepting, and welcoming safe space for everyone.

The majority of students made a particularly great effort in terms of wearing rainbow coloured accessories were awarded house points.

During the week, the LGBTI+ flag was hanging proudly in the school canteen. Transition Years decorated the General Purpose area with informative posters, and in SPHE classes, students learned about LGBTI+ terminology and history.

“It’s important that school is a safe and inclusive place for anyone attending regardless of their race, sex, religion or sexuality,” Principal, Stella Loughnane, said.

“I’m delighted that our school community marked the occasion and brought great colour while highlighting a very important message. One of the key words of our mission statement is inclusion making this awareness day a very apt one.”

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Donation to be made in memory of Johnny Batt

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA remembered one of their most loyal members this week when his beloved club donated to a Kerry charity. Club stalwart Johnny Batt Cronin, who was steeped in Spa GAA club history, passed away in September 2019 after a battle with cancer. An outstanding footballer, he won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA remembered one of their most loyal members this week when his beloved club donated to a Kerry charity.

Club stalwart Johnny Batt Cronin, who was steeped in Spa GAA club history, passed away in September 2019 after a battle with cancer.

An outstanding footballer, he won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals with Spa as well as a county Intermediate Championship medal in 1974 and a County League Division One title two years later.

He was also a member of the star-studded East Kerry divisional side that won the inaugural All-Ireland Club Championship in 1971.

When he hung up his boots, Johnny trained and coached many underage teams and was honoured with a hugely deserved lifetime achievement award by his beloved Spa GAA Club in 2015.

He was also a champion card player, winning the Spa Championship of Kerry 31 Card Drive on two occasions.

After his passing, Spa GAA wanted to run a 31 Card Drive in his memory and to raise funds for the Oncology Department in University Hospital Kerry.

The Card Drive was postponed on several occasions due to the pandemic – and while some of the earlier rounds were completed by early 2020 – it was not possible to complete the competition that has now been cancelled completely due to ongoing crowd gathering concerns.

“A number of teams had entered this Card Drive competition (two people per team) and it started in early 2020 and most but not all of the early rounds did get played,” club PRO, Deirdre O’Sullivan Darcy, said.

“When COVID-19 hit they delayed the next stages of the competition.”

Nevertheless, teams had paid entry fees and it was decided to handover the funds raised to the Comfort for Chemo charity at the Oncology Department in University Hospital Kerry.

Members of the organising team met this week to reveal the winners of spot prizes had the event gone ahead. The money will be handed over next week to the charity when the final amount is totalled.

“They kept delaying and postponing but at this point have decided to cancel it completely and make the donation for the money that was collected at the time,” added Deirdre.

WINNERS

The prize-winning teams are:

€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: John Kerins and Tim McCarthy
€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: Con Lynch and Alan Cronin
€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: Finbarr Godfrey and Tim Regan
€50 voucher (each) for Killarney Carpet & Furniture Centre: Seanie Kelliher and Connie Doolan
Bottle of whiskey and bottle of wine: Peter Cahill and Barry Duggan

The club also thanked event sponsors: Skellig Hotel Dingle, Kennelly’s Pharmacy, Hegarty’s Spar Muckross Road, Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney Oil, O’Leary’s Electrical, Paul Herlihy Contractor, Liam Chute, Killarney Oaks Hotel and Bowler’s Centra.

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