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Mystery of 1949 medal found in Killarney car park




By Sean Moriarty

A Lough Guitane man is hoping to re-unite a 1949 All-Ireland Athletics medal with the family of its rightful owner who could be a former Irish Olympian.

Pat F O’Donoghue found the medal in a Killarney car park over 20 years ago.

At the time he put the medal in his jeep for safe keeping and forgot all about it.

It only resurfaced recently when Pat changed cars and the medal was found in the pocket of the jeep when he cleaned it out before trading it in.

The story took an unexpected twist when his daughter was home from America on a holiday just after Christmas.

She decided to research the details 'Youth 1949 Mile Winner' which was inscribed on the medal and it led them to believe that the medal was won by John Joe Barry from Tipperary.

“Orla’s research shows that there was only one Youth Mile Race in 1949 and it was won by John Joe,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser.

“What I want I know is how in the name of God did this man’s medal end up in a car park in Killarney."

John Joe Barry (October 5 1925 – December 9 1994) was an Irish middle-distance runner. He competed in the men's 1,500 metres at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. He finished eighth in the first-round heat of the 1,500 metres, and failed to complete his 5,000 metres race after suffering a stitch.

This was the first Olympic Games in 12 years after disruption caused by World War 2.

Barry was born in Illinois but his mother brought the family home to Tipperary after she inherited the family farm.

He had a distinguished career as an athlete which included holding Irish, English, Scottish and American national titles at the one time in 1950.

On August 9, 1947 Barry set the Irish mile record, breaking the record set by Tommy Conneff in 1895, which was a world record at the time.

In 1950 he became the third Irish athlete – and the first middle-distance runner – to go on an athletics scholarship to the US at Villanova University.

Upon graduation he spent most of his business career in the United States, but retired to Dublin where he died in 1994.

Pat is hoping to get the medal back to a family member. He can be contacted via the Killarney Advertiser office on



Donie McCarthy to be remembered by Firies GAA with golf classic

On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a […]




On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a golf classic in his name. Donie was a key figure; player, coach, mentor and officer in the club for many years.

Michael Quirke, former team mate and part of the events’ committee, outlined the significance of remembering and acknowledging the legacy that Donie left to his beloved club. “Donie exemplified the concept of a club stalwart, his love of both the game and the development of the club was boundless. His energy towards the development of young players is truly visible today in Firies. Donie got great satisfaction from seeing young players improve, and as they got older and achieve success with Firies. During his successful playing days, he helped lead Firies to secure the O’Sullivan Cup title in 1979 and went onto manage and coach many Firies teams down through the years. Since his untimely passing in November 2022, the club has aspired to acknowledge his legacy.”

Final preparations are being put in place for the classic which takes place on Saturday, July 13, in Maine Valley Members Golf Club, Killorglin. The classic, which includes GUI handicap applied with a maximum adjusted handicap of 24 for men and 36 for ladies, promises to be a great day celebrating Donie, with top team, nearest the pin, and longest drive prizes.

Family, friends and former club mates of Donie gathered to officially launch the golf classic in Pairc Eamonn, along with Kerry Senior Footballer; Dara Moynihan to lend his support the event. The Firies GAA Club were eager to recognise L. & M. Construction, of New York City for their generous contribution towards The Donie McCarthy Memorial Golf Classic. The American company, has strong club connections and supports many of the club events. “Without this support, we would be unable to organise such events. The Club would also like to acknowledge the members who attended the launch today from young to old to recognise Donies’ contribution”. A club spokesperson said this week.

If you or your club are interested in submitting a team of four at €200 per team, you can contact Brendan Quirke 087-9172854, Dermot O’Connor 087-6958610, Michael Quirke 087-6683699 or Maine Valley Members Golf Club 066-9761979. Likewise, sponsored tee boxes are available for €50.

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Muckross Lottery goes online

Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery. The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro […]




Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery.

The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro for the benefit of local community groups and bodies including Loughquittane National School, Muckross ICA and Muckross Rowing Club among others.

Over the years, countless prize winners have also benefited in the share of jackpot and Match 3 prize wins.

The first Muckross Lottery draw was held in the summer of 1995, a year which also saw the opening of the Muckross Community Centre.
At the time, the lottery draw was a first of its kind in Killarney and was to set a fine example for the many other sports club and community lotteries that were later established in the town.

The community fundraiser has continued to be a vital support, initially securing the completion of the Muckross Community Centre and over time generating funds for the development of school, community and sporting facilities in the Muckross area.

Since 1995, the lottery has been sustained by the unwavering commitment of local sellers and a dedicated committee within the community association.

A number of the lottery’s founding members continue to sell weekly tickets to this day in support of local causes.

In a move with the times and ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Muckross Lottery, the association is now building for the future and launching its new online lottery facility.

Ahead of the online launch this month, the Association has collaborated with Irish company ClubForce, a leading provider of online lottery systems, to develop the secure online system.

It is hoped the new online facility will generate new lottery sales, extend the lottery’s reach to those living abroad and sustain the community fundraiser long into the future.

Existing lottery supporters who avail of the online option can also enjoy the benefits of new features including a weekly results email, ticket auto renewal and access to ticket purchase history. The Association are also keen to highlight that existing hard copy tickets will continue to be available and sold as normal.

The Community Association is seeking the support of all residents of the Muckross area and all those with a connection to the community, to spread the word and get behind the new online lottery.

Online tickets can now be purchased ahead of the weekly draws on June 22, June 29 and throughout July.

The jackpot for June 22 stands at €5,050 with a rollover each week if the jackpot is not won. Online lottery tickets can be purchased each week (3 tickets for €5). A single €2 ticket can also be purchased for multiple draws. The lottery’s annual ‘green’ ticket is also available online for €100 and continues to include two free draws.

Link to Muckross Lottery online.

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