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May the fourth be with you! ‘Star Wars Day’ highlights Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way

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Harrison Ford attends the Star Wars: The Force Awakens fan event at Sydney Opera House. Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios

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YESTERDAY (May 4) is commonly known as “Star Wars Day” – a special day of celebration for fans of the science fiction franchise everywhere. Tourism Ireland took advantage of this unofficial Star Wars holiday, giving an extra promotional push to its recently launched ‘behind-the-scenes’ Star Wars film.

Using #MayThe4thBeWithYou, Tourism Ireland joined the online conversation to promote its specially commissioned film via Twitter and Facebook in ten different countries – including Britain, the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. May 4th is the date chosen by fans to celebrate Star Wars because of the easy pun on the famous catchphrase “May the Force be with you” (“May the Fourth be with you”) to declare their love of the franchise.

Over the 24-hour period, Tourism Ireland targeted Star Wars fans through its social media channels – reminding them of the film’s connection with Kerry and Ireland – with messages like:
· Luke speaks! Hear what he said about that Irish island from #StarWars The Force Awakens
· Happy #StarWars Day! Get behind the scenes in Ireland with Luke, Rey and more
· May the 4th be with YOU! Go behind the scenes of #StarWars in Ireland with Luke and more!

Tourism Ireland commissioned LucasFilm to create its special “behind-the-scenes” film during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Skellig Michael in 2014. In the film, Star Wars actors, director JJ Abrams and other crew members discuss why they chose this special location for filming. It has already been viewed on YouTube and Facebook more than two million times.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been breaking box office records everywhere and Tourism Ireland continues to capitalise on all of the positive exposure, highlighting the Star Wars connection with Ireland and bringing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people around the world.”

View the behind-the-scenes film below...

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Pictured above: Harrison Ford attends the Star Wars: The Force Awakens fan event at Sydney Opera House. Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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