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Meeke and Nagle kick off their World Rally Championship bid this weekend

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THE wait is over for Irish rally fans and rally fans in general. The 2017 season sees the biggest shake-up in many years with the shock departure of VW, the current World Champion on the open market, Toyota returning to the WRC after a 17-year break, new regulations producing fantastic-looking cars and an Irish line-up not seen before with Paul Nagle, Kris Meeke and Craig Breen in a full works programme

with Citroen and to make it even more interesting, this year’s season opener has many new stages. Friday is the longest day with more stages on Saturday before Sunday's final leg that includes the renowned Col de Turini, where ice and snow can cause problems, this legendary mountain pass defined by hairpins and sheer drops near Sospel.

Sebastien Ogier (pictured) and M-Sport partnership got off to a great start setting the pace in the new-look Fiesta on the 3.35km 'shakedown' over mountain roads around the town of Gap in southern France on Wednesday. Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen was second fastest in a Skoda Fabia and Ogier's Estonian teammate Ott Tanak was third. Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala was fourth ahead of Toyota's return to the championship after a 17-year absence. Citroen was not sighted in the top 10 as the team deliberately opted to run on slick tyres in order to save its winter tyres for the special stages.

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Motorists urged to be vigilant during deer breeding season

Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk. “While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer […]

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Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk.

“While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer as male deer go in search of females and younger males are ousted by dominant males forcing deer to cross roads and motorways,” Damien Hannigan from the Irish Deer Commission said.

Drivers are being advised to reduce speed, stay alert and dip their headlights as the full beam may cause the deer to freeze.

“If a deer has crossed in front of your vehicle, be aware that others may follow. Do not approach an injured deer. If you are involved in a deer road traffic accident or come across a deer that has been involved in a road traffic accident, immediately contact the local Gardaí.”

The Irish Deer Commission operate a humane deer dispatch scheme with 75 trained volunteers assisting agencies and charities who deal with an increasing number of deer vehicle collisions nationally.

On Sunday October 10 the Irish Deer Commission will hold a Red Deer Rut Watch event in Killarney National
Park. It has taken place in Killarney continuously for over 5,000 years and Killarney National Park is acknowledged as one of the best locations in Europe to observe the red deer rut.
This family friendly event is being hosted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and is free. There will be talks by a Conservation Rangers and the Irish Deer Commission, along with a display of native red deer antlers.

Booking is available only online via visit www.irishdeercommission.ie.

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Happy Birthday Sham

Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole. Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters. One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday […]

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Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole.

Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters.

One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday has amassed 7.5 million viewers.

Yesterday he visited one of his favourite pubs, Jack C O’Shea’s on High St, where proprietors John and Joan O’Shea and their ever-present dog Ginny placed decorative balloons around the bar to mark the occasion.

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