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O’Sullivan toast of Killarney as Muckross man wins Rally of the Lakes

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney competitors took the top honours in all four categories of the Rally of the Lakes at the weekend.

JUNIOR CHAMPS: Junior Category winners Jason Farrell and John McCarthy with club officers Martin Farrell and Diarmuid Lynch at the prizegiving ceremony of the International Rally of the Lakes at The Gleneagle Hotel on Sunday. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

CLASS WINNERS: Local crew Pat Looney and Amy Burke with Joe McCarthy (Vice Chairman) and Ann O'Donoghue (Entries Secretary) at the prizegiving ceremony of the International Rally of the Lakes on Sunday. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

WINNERS: National category winners Rob Duggan and Ger Conway with Michael O'Mahoney (Rentokil Initial) and Paul Ahern (Ahern's Motor Group) at the prizegiving ceremony of the International Rally of the Lakes at The Gleneagle Hotel on Sunday. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

TWO IN A ROW: Historic category winners Alan Ring (right) and Adrian Deasy with Darren McCormick (Clerk of the Course) at the prizegiving ceremony of the Killarney and District Motor Club International Rally of the Lakes at The Gleneagle Hotel on Sunday. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

FAMILY OCCASION: Winning co-driver Noel O'Sullivan Jnr with his parents Noel Snr and Marion O'Sullivan at the prizegiving ceremony of the International Rally of the Lakes. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Killarney and District Motor Club (KDMC) member Noel O'Sullivan said it was the stuff of dreams on the finish ramp on Sunday evening after he and his driver, Derry man Callum Devine won the rally in dramatic circumstances.

Drama is a word often thrown around in sport, but on Sunday last, the final stage of the International Rally of the Lakes will go down in history.

Overnight leader Alastair Fisher had a 7.7-second lead coming into Sunday but a quick run up Molls Gap and Ballaghbeama by Devine early on Sunday morning cut the gap to 5.8 seconds.

Following a dead heat on the second run over the Gap, the battle came down to the final stage of the event, Caragh Lake, with just 3.1 seconds between the pair. Alastair was first on the road and halfway through when his Volkswagen Polo left the road and he couldn’t get back out to finish the stage.

Devine and O’Sullivan held on to claim a memorable victory for the local man.

“I am speechless, it is not often I am caught for words,” he said one week after he won the opening round of the British Rally Championship alongside Osian Pryce.
“The pace is up there with all the British, European and world events I have done.”

It was a special weekend for the O’Sullivan family. Noel’s father, Noel Snr, on his 38th attempt (out of 41 events) at the Rally of the Lakes, finished second in his class in his Ford Escort. Co-driver Nicky Burke started the rally for the 25th consecutive time.

The 'Acesigns' Irish Tarmac Rally Championship leader Josh Moffett, said he was finding the going difficult all weekend, left Killarney in second place, a result which he said he was happy with. Belfast’s Jonathan Greer rounded out the podium places in his Citroen C3.

National Rally

National honours went to Killarney club man Rob Duggan and Ger Conway. Having complained of clutch issues from the word go, Rob battled hard throughout setting multiple fastest stage times to win out by 48.9 seconds from Donegal man Kevin Eves in his Toyota Corolla Twin Cam.

“Sunday was a long day,” Duggan said, after nursing his car through the final day. As well as his clutch problems his Ford Escort suffered from a leaking head gasket and starter motor issues.

Conor Murphy and Sean Collins brought their Ford Escort home in third place overall in the national section.

“We are delighted with the clean run – drama free,” said Murphy at the finish.

Kilcummin’s Damien Fleming guided Raymond Conlon to a class in their Toyota Corolla.

Defending Kingdom of Kerry rally champion Mark Murphy and his co-driver Thomas Murphy were another crew to take top honours in their class.

Another local driver John Hickey, and his north Kerry co-driver Maurice McElligott, won their class in their unusual Fubaru Escort RS 4x4 while Denis Nagle and Brian Rowan won the 1400cc class in their Nissan Micra.

Historic Rally

Alan Ring went one better than his second place result in the Killarney Historic Rally last November by taking the historic win on his home rally in the Subaru Legacy.

Alan and his co-driver Adrian Deasy had 45.8 seconds to spare over another local crew Fergus O’Meara and Ronald Riordan in their Ford Escort.

Ring suffered brake problems on Saturday but recovered the lost time over the Sunday loop of stages.

“The pedal went to the floor,” said Ring in Parc Ferme on Saturday evening. "It did not inspire confidence.”
His win on Sunday was the second time in a row that he won the historic section of his home rally – his previous victory coming in 2019, the last time the rally ran.

Local garage man Pat Looney and his co-driver Amy Burke, who is better known for her equestrian skills, won their class in a Ford Escort Mk1.

Junior Rally

Killarney and District Motor Club member Jason Farrell has extended his lead at the top of the standings in the Irish Junior Tarmac Rally Championship following an emphatic Junior rally win. This was his third victory of the year.

Local debutants Gary Healy and Gearoid Moynihan brought their Honda Civic home in third, a fantastic result for them given it was their first outing on home soil.

The rally was held in some glorious weather over the weekend, with just some showers early on Sunday morning to test the driver’s skill and technique. Thousands of spectators lined the stages in what was one of the biggest crowds seen at the International Rally of the Lakes for years.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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