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O’Donoghue Cup to conclude with three rounds in eight days

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Favourites Dr Crokes could be facing into three big championship games in just eight days as the East Kerry fixtures crisis took another unfortunate turn this week.

With players already angry about having to play up until Christmas, the last thing the East Kerry Board needed was another delay but unfortunately a bereavement in the Gneeveguilla club meant that last Sunday’s quarter-final against Dr Crokes was postponed. The semi-final had already been fixed for this weekend and the final for next weekend so the Board had no choice but to fix the game for last Friday, December 14.

If Crokes manage to beat holders Rathmore today (Sunday), they will face Kilcummin in the decider next Saturday. That’s three knockout championship games in eight days in December. As bad as things have been with the East Kerry Championship in recent years, this will surely constitute one of the most dysfunctional stagings of the competition in its 64-year history.

To be fair to the tournament organisers, they can’t do anything about a bereavement (I will stop short of blaming them for that) but anything can happen when you try to wedge one side of the draw, from Round 1 to final, into a 16-day period in December.

The irony is that neither Gneeveguilla nor Dr Crokes wanted to play their quarter-final game last Sunday anyway. My understanding is that Gneeveguilla were missing a number of senior players and had resigned themselves to fielding a team made up of juniors and under 21s so as to avoid pulling out and incurring a hefty fine.

Dr Crokes defender Fionn Fitzgerald got married up the country last Friday so the proposed fixture was far from ideal for the Lewis Road club either.

It’s a sorry state of affairs when you’re looking ahead to an O’Donoghue Cup quarter-final and the word around town is that neither team wants to play. Sadly, it’s a sure sign of where the competition is in 2018. The tournament is being devalued at the moment, and that’s a description I’ve heard time and time again since I started writing about the issue a month ago.

Last week’s article
Last week I put forward an alternative football calendar that would see the group phase of a new-look O’Donoghue Cup taking place in January with the semi-finals and final being played after Kerry win/get knocked out of the championship.

The response to the article has been overwhelming. I knew people were unhappy with the current situation but I couldn’t have predicted how universal the feeling of disillusionment actually is. Players, officials and supporters have all reached out to me to over the past few days to voice their support. If I’m being honest, I don’t know if the schedule I shared is definitely the answer but one thing is clear: people are desperate for things to change.

It’s funny, a lot of readers have said that the piece was controversial and joked that I’d have to watch my back, but how is it controversial if the vast majority of us are on the same page?

The next step
I’ve spoken to a number of club captains this week to see what the feeling is amongst the senior teams in East Kerry and the feedback so far has been very encouraging. Some clubs are still in action so they will naturally want to focus on football, but captains of other teams have confirmed that they’ll be speaking to their teammates about putting their concerns in writing and submitting them to their clubs.

I hope to talk to the remaining captains this coming week but my advice to them will be the same. Speak to your teammates, even if it’s just in the WhatsApp group, and see how they feel.

If the majority are unhappy with the current schedule and feel as though changes need to me made, put your thoughts in writing and share them with your chairman.

As players we tend to have a defeatist attitude when it comes to things like this because the GAA and the boards never seem to listen, but have some faith in your club. They will back their players if their players let them know how they feel.

We can point the finger all day long but if we don’t act now to address this important player welfare issue, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.

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Green light for teen accommodation

By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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