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Lowry gunning for glory at revitalised Irish open

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Former winner Shane Lowry will be hoping for good luck at Donegal’s Ballyliffin Golf Club for this weekend’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, the fourth Rolex Series event of the 2018 Race to Dubai.

For the first time in his career, Lowry has been based in the Unites States of America this year and the 31-year-old has enjoyed consistent form without yet threatening to add to his trophy cabinet.

He notched up a top 15 finish in his opening Rolex Series appearance of the campaign at the BMW PGA Championship but, as a links expert who has already won on home soil, he will no doubt be chomping at the bit to take on the stunning Glashedy Course at Ballyliffin. Playing conditions on the northwest coast of Ireland will be very fast with all this fine weather.

The vociferous home crowds will be cheering the popular Offaly player all the way. Lowry provided one of the most memorable moments in the 91-year history of the event in 2009 with a dramatic victory as an amateur.

“I think Ballyliffin will be a brilliant venue for the Irish Open,” said the three-time European Tour winner. “I have a lot of fond memories of playing Interprovincial Championships there so it will be great to go back. It’s one of those weeks on tour that you have to adapt to. For most of the Irish lads, you need to treat it like a massive event because you have so much on, so you actually need to prepare differently to most other weeks.

“Stuff like doing a lot more media, seeing a lot more friends and family, trying to give as much time to the fans are fantastic problems to have, but you to need to remember to get ready for the tournament! But I don’t think any of us would have it any other way – it’s one of the special weeks on tour for everyone associated with Irish golf.

“The tournament itself is massive now that it’s on the Rolex Series and it has such a committed sponsor like Dubai Duty Free. They have, along with Rory obviously, taken it to a new level over the past few years and it’s brilliant to see the tournament getting back to the way it was with huge crowds, great fields and big prize money.

“It will always have a special place in my heart for obvious reasons. It launched my career when I won it as an amateur and I would love nothing more than to win it again as a pro.”

Lowry, along with his fellow home heroes McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Paul Dunne, Pádraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley, will be joined at Ballyliffin Golf Club by an impressive line-up of international players.

Leading those will be the defending champion and world number five Jon Rahm, who will be chasing a third Rolex Series title in the space of 10 months, while his Spanish compatriot Rafa Cabrera Bello will be hoping to add a second ahead of his Scottish Open title defence a week later.

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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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