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Lawlor’s Cross man drives coach for mercy mission

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By Sean Moriarty

A well-known Killarney man was among a group of volunteer drivers who drove a fleet of coaches over five days and 5,000kms to help displaced Ukrainians.

CUSTOMS: Ukrainian refugees go through Passport Control in Roscoff France.

Humphrey Kerins was part of a Paddywagon Tours convoy to Warsaw last week as five coaches delivered much needed aid to refugees in the Polish city. The equipment was delivered to a regional sports centre that is now acting as a distribution hub for the donated supplies.

The coaches returned with around 50 Ukrainians who have been re-homed in Ireland - including Killarney.

Each bus had two different drivers who shared driving stints resulting in a non-stop drive from Dublin to Warsaw and back.

Humphrey was among the group of 10 drivers who made the journey. Two other Kerry drivers also drove buses. They were Gabriel Finn from Annascaul who is the Transport Manager with Paddywagon Tours and DJ O’Connor from Kielduff.

Paddywagon Tours is a customer of Humphrey’s Lawlor’s Cross Garage and when he heard that they were looking for volunteer drivers he jumped at the chance to help.

“They had over 300 applications but I know the transport manager as we do a lot of work for them, so I got selected,” Humphrey told the Killarney Advertiser. “It was a great thing to do.”

CHALLENGING

Humphrey explained that the delivery of the aid was straightforward enough but the task of returning with very frightened and confused refugees was very challenging.

“We expected to fill the five coaches but many of the people just did not want to leave, they had no idea where they were going,” he said. “It worked out because they had a lot more comfort on the empty coaches – they could stretch out across the double seats – some of them had not slept in days. Even at that they were very nervous when we stopped for comfort breaks and to change drivers. They had no idea where they were going.”

Only one of the group of refugees spoke broken English and the group of drivers had to rely on his interpretations to make all the passengers - which included a man in his 80s, an elderly woman in a wheelchair and a couple with a special needs son - feel more comfortable.

“We even brought back pets; one dog and one cat. The people did not want to leave without them, but can you imagine the hassle this caused in customs. The cat escaped at one point and ran to the warmth of the engine – we spent 45 minutes trying to coax him out.”

In an amazing twist of fate, some of the refugees that Humphrey drove from Poland have been re-homed in Killarney.

“Most of them went to either Kinsale or Killarney and I saw some of them walking down Park Road the other day,” he added.

Humphrey praised the efforts of Brittany Ferries who played a key role in getting the refugees to safety. They arrived into Dublin via a sailing from Roscoff in France.

“They fed us all, drivers and Ukrainians, and gave us cabins to sleep in but never charged us,” he added.

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Donie McCarthy to be remembered by Firies GAA with golf classic

On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a […]

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On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a golf classic in his name. Donie was a key figure; player, coach, mentor and officer in the club for many years.

Michael Quirke, former team mate and part of the events’ committee, outlined the significance of remembering and acknowledging the legacy that Donie left to his beloved club. “Donie exemplified the concept of a club stalwart, his love of both the game and the development of the club was boundless. His energy towards the development of young players is truly visible today in Firies. Donie got great satisfaction from seeing young players improve, and as they got older and achieve success with Firies. During his successful playing days, he helped lead Firies to secure the O’Sullivan Cup title in 1979 and went onto manage and coach many Firies teams down through the years. Since his untimely passing in November 2022, the club has aspired to acknowledge his legacy.”

Final preparations are being put in place for the classic which takes place on Saturday, July 13, in Maine Valley Members Golf Club, Killorglin. The classic, which includes GUI handicap applied with a maximum adjusted handicap of 24 for men and 36 for ladies, promises to be a great day celebrating Donie, with top team, nearest the pin, and longest drive prizes.

Family, friends and former club mates of Donie gathered to officially launch the golf classic in Pairc Eamonn, along with Kerry Senior Footballer; Dara Moynihan to lend his support the event. The Firies GAA Club were eager to recognise L. & M. Construction, of New York City for their generous contribution towards The Donie McCarthy Memorial Golf Classic. The American company, has strong club connections and supports many of the club events. “Without this support, we would be unable to organise such events. The Club would also like to acknowledge the members who attended the launch today from young to old to recognise Donies’ contribution”. A club spokesperson said this week.

If you or your club are interested in submitting a team of four at €200 per team, you can contact Brendan Quirke 087-9172854, Dermot O’Connor 087-6958610, Michael Quirke 087-6683699 or Maine Valley Members Golf Club 066-9761979. Likewise, sponsored tee boxes are available for €50.

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Muckross Lottery goes online

Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery. The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro […]

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Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery.

The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro for the benefit of local community groups and bodies including Loughquittane National School, Muckross ICA and Muckross Rowing Club among others.

Over the years, countless prize winners have also benefited in the share of jackpot and Match 3 prize wins.

The first Muckross Lottery draw was held in the summer of 1995, a year which also saw the opening of the Muckross Community Centre.
At the time, the lottery draw was a first of its kind in Killarney and was to set a fine example for the many other sports club and community lotteries that were later established in the town.

The community fundraiser has continued to be a vital support, initially securing the completion of the Muckross Community Centre and over time generating funds for the development of school, community and sporting facilities in the Muckross area.

Since 1995, the lottery has been sustained by the unwavering commitment of local sellers and a dedicated committee within the community association.

A number of the lottery’s founding members continue to sell weekly tickets to this day in support of local causes.

In a move with the times and ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Muckross Lottery, the association is now building for the future and launching its new online lottery facility.

Ahead of the online launch this month, the Association has collaborated with Irish company ClubForce, a leading provider of online lottery systems, to develop the secure online system.

It is hoped the new online facility will generate new lottery sales, extend the lottery’s reach to those living abroad and sustain the community fundraiser long into the future.

Existing lottery supporters who avail of the online option can also enjoy the benefits of new features including a weekly results email, ticket auto renewal and access to ticket purchase history. The Association are also keen to highlight that existing hard copy tickets will continue to be available and sold as normal.

The Community Association is seeking the support of all residents of the Muckross area and all those with a connection to the community, to spread the word and get behind the new online lottery.

Online tickets can now be purchased ahead of the weekly draws on June 22, June 29 and throughout July.

The jackpot for June 22 stands at €5,050 with a rollover each week if the jackpot is not won. Online lottery tickets can be purchased each week (3 tickets for €5). A single €2 ticket can also be purchased for multiple draws. The lottery’s annual ‘green’ ticket is also available online for €100 and continues to include two free draws.

Link to Muckross Lottery online.
https://muckrosscommunityassociation.clubforce.com/products/lotto/muckross-community-assocation-lotto

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