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Moving tribute made to popular Paudie at Garda blitz

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By Michelle Crean

A moving tribute was paid to Garda Paudie Twohig by his former colleagues and his family during a football blitz in town.

TROPHY: Superintendent Flor Murphy presents Samuel Scroope with a trophy for the winner of the overall player of the tournament at the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz for Kerry national schools in Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

SECOND PLACE: In second place at the 16th annual Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz at Fitzgerald Stadium were Fossa NS pictured with organiser Garda Eddie Walsh Teacher Padraig Corcoran and Superintendent Flor Murphy. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

JOINT WINNERS: Joint winners Faye Lynch (left) and Sadbh O'Halloran (Kilcummin NS) winners of the overall female player of the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz at Fitzgerald Stadium pictured with Superintendent Flor Murphy (left) and organiser Garda Eddie Walsh. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

READY FOR ACTION: Garda Mike Milner leads the 18 national school teams onto the pitch at Fitzgerald Stadium for the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz where Kenmare won to Fossa 3-5 to 2-7 on Monday. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

WINNERS: Kenmare took home the Tadgh O'Sullivan Memorial Cup as winners of the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

THANKS: Garda Diane Collins Twohig together with her eldest daughter Tara Grace thanked the organisers for dedicating the tournament to her late husband Garda Paudie Twohig and shared her memory of Paudie's dedication to the Garda 7 A Side Football Blitz over the years at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

On Monday, 270 pupils from 18 Kerry schools and one from Cork came together to battle it out in Fitzgerald Stadium for the 16th Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz.

The last blitz was held in 2019 before the pandemic took hold. Last August Paudie, a father of two little girls, passed away following a short battle with cancer, and as one of the organisers of the blitz since it began, his colleagues and family wanted to pay tribute to him.

Garda Eddie Walsh led the tribute followed by Superintendent Flor Murphy. Then Paudie's beloved wife Diane Collins Twohig, who works as a local Garda in Killarney, said a few words. Paudie's daughter's Tara and Olivia, his father John, sister Mairead and brother Tadgh were also present, including club officers from his club in Aghinagh, Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster and members of the Kerry Division and retired members who also helped out on the day.

"All 18 teams were led out by piper Mike Milner who is a Sergeant in Cahersiveen," Eddie told the Killarney Advertiser.

"All 270 players formed a circle and a tribute was paid to Paudie. We had his Kerry Garda GAA jersey and his Aghinagh jersey. After the speeches and before the tournament began his family released blue and white balloons which were his club colours, a blue balloon to signify An Garda Síochána and red and white to signify Cork as he was an avid Cork GAA supporter. Also, John C O'Shea recorded it all on a drone."

MATCHES

The event began at 10am and ran until 5pm with a total of 52 matches played throughout the day.

"We had three pitches going at the one time with 12 matches an hour."

The winning team was St John's Boys National School Kenmare with a scoreline of 3 goals 5 points beating Fossa by a point.

The Tadhg O'Suilleabháin Memorial Cup was presented to the captain of the team by Sean and Mary O'Sullivan.

The boy's winning Player of the Tournament was Samuel Scroope.

The Joint Overall Winners were Faye Lynch (Fossa NS) and Sadhbh O'Halloran (Kilcummin NS).

Eddie added that he'd like to thank all the sponsors including Liam Brosnan from Irish Drains for their support and to everyone who helped on the day. Also Brian O'Shea and Alex Hennigan and other students from The Sem provided by Vince Cooper to help out on the day.

"It's a great sporting and community event for An Garda Síochána to interact with pupils, parents, teachers and the community. This year we went past the mark of over 3,000 total players since it began. We're looking forward to 2023," he said.

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Developing St Finan’s “cost prohibitive” – Council

Converting the idle St Finan’s hospital into social housing is cost-prohibitive according to Kerry County council officials. The historic building has been lying idle since it closed in September 2012. […]

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Converting the idle St Finan’s hospital into social housing is cost-prohibitive according to Kerry County council officials.

The historic building has been lying idle since it closed in September 2012.

The hospital and adjoining lands are up for sale by the Health Service Executive (HSE) since then.

So far no realistic offer has been made on the site despite suggestions that it could be used for social housing, a catering college and a hotel.

Each year the building, which was built in the 1850s, falls into further disrepair.

There were fresh calls again this week as local councillors called for some sort of action to redevelop the site that is fast becoming an eyesore.

At last Friday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting councillors called for action at the site .

Mayor Brendan Cronin wants the building’s protected status to be removed or at least reduced to speed up potential development work which ties in with Cllr Marie Moloney’s idea that the old hospital could be converted into apartments or flats.

Cllr John O’Donoghue wants the HSE to find a way to hand over the property to Kerry County Council either by way of reduced payment or an intra-government agency ownership change.

A Kerry County Council official told the meeting that any works to potentially convert the old hospital into social housing “would be cost prohibitive.”

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Eight month wait for a driving test in Killarney

A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at […]

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A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney

The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at eight months.

Cllr John O’Donoghue raised the issue at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

He proposed that driving instructors should be employed to carry out the final test to reduce the current backlog.

At Monday’s meeting he asked that hat Kerry County Council would write to the Minister for Transport to ask him to consider giving driving instructors temporary powers to issue a temporary Driving Licence/Certificate of Competence to those on the waiting list for tests.

“The wait is currently far too long and the system is in danger of becoming completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“The huge waiting list for young drivers is well documented at this stage. In a case I am familiar with, a young person passed their theory test in January 2022 and he immediately applied for his mandatory 12 driving lessons. When these were completed, he applied for his driving test on the 2nd of December 2022. Some weeks ago, he still had not received an application to apply for his driving test. This wait is placing him and his family under considerable extra cost and stress which is completely unacceptable.”

In the course of his research into the matter Cllr O’Donoghue discovered that the next available date for a driving test in Killarney is May 25, 2024, while Tralee is June 3 2024.

“Bear in mind, these are only the dates on which you receive an invitation to book your test, the test itself will then be an estimated three to five weeks later.

“This is an appalling situation and one which needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency. I am proposing that driving instructors, which presumably are fully trained up on the rules of the road, be granted temporary powers to be allowed to issue temporary driving licences to young people. When the waiting list time has been reduced, I would still propose that these people sit the test as usual, but the current pressure needs to be alleviated as soon as possible. There is precedent as I believe that in the 1970s, a cohort in this country were issued driving licences without having sat a test as the wait time for the test was too long.”

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