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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

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Jessie Buckley to perform live on RTE this Friday 22nd September



This Culture Night, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will present an hour-long live music and arts programme from Dún Lúiche in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht at 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.  

Actress and singer Jessie Buckley has been added to the list of stellar musicians who will perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the night. Jessie will perform a special rendition of a Sinéad O’Connor song in tribute to the late artist. 

Jessie commented: “I am very honoured to return to Culture Night 2023 to remember Sinéad O Connor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Sinéad was such a huge influence on so many women in Ireland and across the world, her courage, her mind, her politics and her intense beauty and soul. She was a warrior to humanity. I remember hearing her for the first time and feeling her uncompromising need to connect and affect. Recognising what couldn’t be said and speaking it out loud. I am so grateful for all her fire and all her love. It is such a privilege to return to Ireland for RTÉ Culture Night in Donegal to sing a song of gratitude for Sinéad and her family and friends.” 

Other artists performing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra include The Murder Capital, R&B singer and 2FM Rising star Aby Coulibaly and Irish-based Ukrainian musician Olesya Zdorovetska.  

Friday 22nd September, 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player 

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N22 Killarney to Faranfore road further delayed

The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again. Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project […]




The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again.

Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project were identified and were put out to public consultation in May 2021. These have now been whittled down to just one.

It was previously promised that the preferred route would be published late last year.

This dragged on in to the Spring and there is still no sigh of the preferred route being revealed.

A recent Kerry County Council meeting a council official explained that there are further funding requirements to allow the council complete various reports and investigations required before the road can move to its next phase.

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