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Niamh helps Ireland to silver at European rowing championships




By Tim O’Shea

There were celebrations in Muckross last weekend, where members of the local rowing club were closely following proceedings the European U23 Rowing Championships, taking place in Belgium.

BELGIUM: Irish rowers at the European U23 Rowing Championships in Hazewinkel Belgium. From l-r: Ciaran Purdy (silver medalist in the Men's Lightweight Single) John Armstrong (coach) Niamh Coffey (winner - B Final Women's Lightweight Single) Ryan Spellman 10th overall in the Men's Heavyweight Single. Photo: Rowing Ireland

At the Hazewinkel lake venue in the north of the country, Muckross rower Niamh Coffey was making her international rowing debut having been selected to row for Ireland just two weeks earlier during a final water trial.

Her qualification however was the culmination of years of dedicated training both on land and water and followed her participation in several rounds of trials over the past rowing year.


In a sign of the highly competitive standards required for qualification, the University of Limerick student was selected as the sole female representative for the prestigious competition with just two male rowers also selected, namely Ciaran Purdy of Queens University Boat Club and Ryan Spellman, a fellow student and rowing teammate of Niamh with UL.

Niamh, the daughter of Sean Coffey and Denise Casey of Muckross, continues a successful family tradition in the sport of rowing.

Niamh’s own involvement in rowing began during her first year in secondary school and from an early stage, her talent and commitment to the sport was evident.

In the past two years, Niamh has continued to develop her rowing talent and has met the rigours of a demanding training programme head on, all the while balancing her training with her studies in physiotherapy.

In 2021, Niamh caught the attention of many in the Irish rowing scene in winning not one but four Irish championship titles in a single weekend.

This resulted in Niamh’s eligibility ascending to the Senior grade of Irish rowing for the 2022 season with the Irish Championships of July this year witnessing a very memorable win for Niamh and her family.

Niamh’s talent did not go unnoticed by the Irish coaches who oversee the Rowing Ireland High Performance programme from their base at the National Rowing Centre.

Niamh’s selection for the European U23 Championships saw her train under the guidance of renowned Queens University coach John Armstrong.


On Saturday last, Niamh made her mark in the first of three heats with an impressive win over scullers from Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Finland.

This saw her qualify directly from the A/B semi-finals on Sunday morning with tough competition waiting from the competing heat races. In her semi-final race, Niamh was fourth with the competitors from Greece, Great Britain and Italy claiming the A final places and Niamh progressing to the B final.



Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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