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MD O’Shea’s, Fáilte Legends and Speakeasy drawn in Group of Death

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It wouldn’t be summertime in Killarney without the annual 7-a-side soccer tournament and this year’s senior competition kicks off on Monday evening in Woodlawn.

This is the 42nd edition of Killarney Athletic’s popular event and with some exciting new changes and a host of very strong-looking teams, it promises to be one of the best yet. Organisers have been working tirelessly over the past few weeks and months to make sure the pitch is in the best possible condition and club officials and players have put their heads together to come up with a few new ideas to freshen things up.

For the first time ever there will be rolling subs in the senior competition and it’s hoped that this will lead to more exciting, high-tempo games. In the knockout stages, drawn games will go straight to American style penalties. If you haven’t seen this type of penalty shootout before, check it out on YouTube. Penalty takers start 30 yards from goal and have seven seconds to score past the goalkeeper, who can come off his line once the whistle is blown. They are highly entertaining and will surely prove to be a great addition to the 7-a-side.

There will also be prizes awarded to the Senior Player of the Tournament, Reserve Player of the Tournament and the Top Scorer. (The latter will be tracked on these pages throughout the competition.) As always, the winners of the senior will be granted free entry next year.

Who’s playing?

The draw has thrown up a couple of dingers, most notably Group 2 which has been dubbed the Group of Death by pundits and players alike. It includes my own team, the Speakeasy Bar, reigning champions the Fáilte Legends, MD O’Shea’s, Four Star Pizza and Inter My Van.

The Speak team will be made up by the likes of myself, serial tapper-inner Shane Lynch, Legion forward Conor Keane, Crokes back Buddy O’Leary and veteran netminder Pony ‘Gigi’ O’Riordan. We had a good side and a nice kit last year but half of us went on the beer when Athletic won the league and missed the first two games. This year we’ve been let down big time by Ryan O’Carroll who jumped ship at the last minute. Good riddance. Judas.

The Fáilte Legends are sure to be strong again with Celtic stars Gary Keane and Cathal O’Shea likely to feature. I suppose we’d all be strong if we started signing fellas from Tralee (dig!). MD O’Shea’s have three of Celtic’s back four (Smiley, Chris Brady and Brendan Falvey) but they’ll also have to carry Kevin Breen so you wouldn’t know how they might fare.

I’m led to believe that Four Star Pizza will have a number of Spa footballers, the likes of Shane Cronin et al, so they’ll be decent. At the time of going to print I still wasn’t able to figure out who Inter My Van are but, judging by their name, they’re a bunch of young fellas/deviants.

Two of the traditionally stronger teams, the Tatler Toffees and Charlie’s Angels, are in Group 1 along with the Fáilte Bar, Big Hitters FC and Cavemen Clothing. The Tatler, who lost last year’s final, are very Crokesy as usual and they’ll be good again this year. They’ll have Cian Tobin as well when he comes back from the Middle East, another guy who should be playing with the Speak. There’s no loyalty in the modern game.

In Group 3, Dennehy’s Bar (Glenflesk) and O’Riordan Sand & Gravel (Rathmore) will be favourites to advance. The latter have George O’Keeffe, Mark Reen and Shane Ryan in their ranks and they’ll be tough to beat in the group stage.

Group 4 looks to be fairly open, although the Lake Hotel, led by talented striker Vladimir Sirotiak, could be dangerous.

We’ll have to wait and see. Win, lose or draw, I’m sure everyone will enjoy themselves over the coming weeks.

For updates, photos and videos, follow @AdvertiserSport and @KillAthAFC on Twitter, the Killarney Athletic Facebook page and the brand new @KillarneyAthletic Instagram account.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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