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New novel Ring of Kerry Cycle open to even more participants

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CYCLE: Cathal Walshe pictured with Bridget and Conor O'Connell preparing for this year's virtual Ring of Kerry Cycle. Photo: Michelle Crean

 

By Michelle Crean

There could be way more entries than ever before as this year's Ring of Kerry Cycle is now open to even more people. Continued COVID restrictions means that there'll be no physical Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle for a second year running - but organisers have come up with a new and novel event.

As the '170km My Way' event is now virtual participants can take on the challenge themselves in their own localities - cycling the equivalent of the Ring of Kerry over 30 days. It can be done in a day, over a week or a month on your own doorstep as it were.

As June 3 is World Bike Day, this is the proposed start day with a completion date of July 3 - the date that would coincide with the actual cycle if it were on this year.

"It's a consolation event due to COVID," Cathal Walshe from the organising committee told the Killarney Advertiser.

​​​​​​​"We've had, in the past, 21 countries taking part. This now facilitates people in their own area and they have 30 days to complete it so don't have to train."

Registration for the event will open on May 1 on the ringofkerrycycle.ie website with a registration fee of €35 plus handling fees and it'll include a top quality T-Shirt with 170km printed on the front and back and €15 for your chosen charity.

This year's charities include Ard Churam in Listowel, Down Syndrome Kerry, St Francis Special School, Cunamh Iveragh, Breakthrough Cancer Research, Irish Heart Foundation, Alzheimer's Society Ireland together with the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.

"Charities are very badly hit by COVID and this is a way of supporting them. The committee would like everyone to get up on their bikes during the month of June and cycle the distance in your own area for your chosen charity," he said. "All charities will have their own iDonate page and cyclists can set up an iDonate page themselves. This event should also appeal to the corporate sector getting their employees involved for charity."

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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