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Local woman jets halfway round the world to watch hero’s last race

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A Farranfore woman is such a fan of Formula One that she flew halfway around the world to see her hero race for the very last time.

Finish legend Kimi Räikkönen, the 2007 World Drivers' Champion, retired from Grand Prix Racing after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

North Carolina-based Karen McCarthy has followed the Finn’s 20 year career in the World Championship.

The enigmatic Räikkönen started F1 racing in 2001 with the Sauber team. He has raced for the world’s best teams, including McLaren and two stints with Ferrari, the first between 2007 and 2009 when he won the world title for the famed Italian team.

He earned a cult following for his lack of interest in post event press conferences which often resulted in hilarious one liner responses while his radio conversations with his team chiefs were littered with expletives and a 'leave me alone’ attitude.

Karen and her husband Richard Hull have attended 60 of his record-breaking 349 Formula One races all over the world.

They even followed him on his 2010 farewell tour, after which he raced in other forms of motorsport, before making a dramatic u-turn and returning to Formula One in 2012 with Lotus.

“Hard to put the last few days in words. So grateful to have been able to be here, but also completely heartbroken having to say goodbye to Kimi,” she said.

“I could never have imagined when I became a fan of his 20 years ago that it would shape my life the way it has or that I would have attended 17% of his 349 F1 starts. What an adventure it’s been. He’ll always be my hero.”

Karen and Richard run a motorsport electronics firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite the long-haul flight from the USA to Abu Dhabi the pair were determined not to miss Räikkönen’s final race. They got more than they bargained for as the 2021 world title was decided in controversial and dramatic circumstances between Max Verstappen, who took his first World Championship, and seven time champion Lewis Hamilton.

“I am so grateful for all the life-long friends we’ve made along the way, but I’m mostly grateful for my very understanding and patient husband. In our 15 years together, I’ve dragged him to F1 races for pretty much all of our holidays. Now Rich finally gets to take a break from F1 as well,” she added.

“We are still digesting the whole weekend to be honest! So lucky to have been able to be there. The atmosphere on Sunday was just incredible. Not the result we wanted, or the way the championship should have been won, but can’t deny that Max deserved it. Both of them did - they were both just on another level this year.”

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Applecroft B&B named in Ireland’s Top 10

By Michelle Crean What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic. Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s […]

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By Michelle Crean

What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic.

Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s Top 10 B&Bs for 2022 by the Irish Independent ‘Reader Travel Awards’ while Ireland’s Best B&B was named as Dingle’s Pax House.

The couple began their business in 1997 and are very happy with the feedback from visitors who voted for their B&B, especially after two difficult years.

“I’m thrilled, especially as we’re celebrating our silver jubilee this year,” Kathy told the Killarney Advertiser.

The couple built their house in the early ’80s and aptly named it ‘Applecroft’ as it was built in a field which has an orchard.

In the late ’90s they opened five spacious rooms up, each with its own theme; 
‘Poet’s Corner’, ‘Past Times’, ‘The 19th Green’, ‘The Race-goer’s Club’ and ‘The Kerry Way’, for guests as Kathy, who worked in The Europe Hotel and the Great Southern Killarney for many years, had a passion to bring a great stay experience to guests visiting Killarney. They kept themselves busy planting in their two acre garden during the pandemic.

They have won numerous awards over the years and have had film crews in but this latest award is the icing on the cake for the couple who are looking forward to reopening in late March.

“It’s amazing, and a bonus especially with the two years we’ve had. We’ve never experienced anything like that. It was “wow” – we were preparing to reopen on St Patrick’s Day that year and all of a sudden everything closed down on the 16. It was a big shock.”

Don creates amazing bread and scones which guests rave about, she added.

“I was delighted as we came tenth for breakfast and sixth for the B&B.”

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Tributes paid to life-long Legion supporter

By Sean Moriarty Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday. Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage. As well as a life-long supporter of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday.

Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage.

As well as a life-long supporter of Legion, he played basketball in the famous town leagues of the 1970s and the seven-a-side soccer ‘Wipeouts’ competitions.

“He was a very proud Legion man and always flew the green and white flag out his window whenever the club was playing in a big game,” PRO Enda Walshe told the Killarney Advertiser. “He was a fervent loyal club supporter but was also one of the characters of the winter basketball leagues.”

Tim was also a regular participant in Dart Pub Leagues back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tim’s funeral took place today (Friday). He was laid to rest at Killarney Burial Ground after 10am Mass St Mary’s Cathedral.

Tim is survived by his wife Nuala, his children Joanne, Paudie and Timmy, and was a much loved grandfather to Stephen, Makaela, Chloe, Padraic, Keelan, Alex and the late Lorna. He will also be sadly missed by his daughters-in-law Margaret and Sharon, son-in-law Tony, sisters Kathleen, Sheila and Ann, brothers Lewis-John and Paddy, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, relatives, neighbours and many great friends.

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