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Munster rugby women’s captain Siobhan gives her sparkling take on life

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KERRY’S Siobhan Fleming, captain of the women’s Munster Rugby team, gave her take on life and the Women’s Interpros this week. The Currow native and her teammates Leah Lyons, Orlaith Buckley and Fiona Hayes called in to Keanes Jewellers in Cork to pick out a few pieces to give them extra sparkle this Christmas. With two wins already in the Interpros, there will be plenty to celebrate during the holidays.

It was a happy day on Saturday all round for Munster. Siobhan led her team to glory over Connacht at the Irish Independent Park, in the second of two wins, in the 2016 Interpros. This Saturday the Munster Ladies will take on Leinster at Donnybrook and are hoping for another win!

Siobhan also helped Keanes celebrate 50 years in Killarney earlier in the month, a milestone for the shop and the local community.

A special needs assistant by profession, Siobhan plays in the back row for the Munster Rugby team. “I started with Tralee RFC, November 2007,” said Siobhan.
As for the best career advice she ever received, Siobhan said: “Do the best you can do… and don’t worry about what the next person is at.”

The highlight of being a rugby player is “the team spirit, the passion and the pride that goes with rugby”, according to Siobhan. The Currow lady is a sporting all-rounder, having also played football, basketball, athletics, and badminton.

As for her best rugby memory? “I have been fortunate enough to have lots, from first caps to winning silverware with my club’s mates/friends, to getting to represent my country and be part of the magic that happened when we made history winning the grand slam in 2013, and of course being part of the team that beat New Zealand in the 2014 World Cup,” said Siobhan.

The rugby star added: “Any day I get the privilege to wear the red and white jersey of Munster is special, but getting to run out onto a home pitch last Saturday, along-side our mascot Erin Haly, surrounded by family and friends cheering us on was something extra special that I will hold very dear to my heart forever. The final whistle couldn't come fast enough for us in the end as Connacht had found another gear and were willing to punish us, if given half the chance. But the fight and bravery of my teammates was exceptional.

“Not allowing Connacht to prematurely dent our hopes of retaining the Inter provincial title for the third year running. I would like to sincerely thank Keane's Jewellers for their continued generous sponsorship and to our mascot Erin for leading the Munster Ladies onto the pitch with me. I hope it will be a unique and special a memory for Erin, as it was for me and that one day, if she should choose, she might get the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of all the Munster ladies that have gone before her to represent their magical province of Munster.”
 


 
Siobhan Fleming, right, with mascot Erin Haly, at Keanes Jewellers.

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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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