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Over 30 charges struck out in Ballyspillane feud case

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Over 30 charges were struck out and a number of convictions not proceeded with after several women - representing both sides of an ongoing Killarney "feud" - withdrew complaints against each other at a special sitting of Killarney District Court yesterday (Thursday).

A large garda presence and a number of garda vans secured the court. The parties left by separate entrances.

Solicitor for six of the accused, Padraig O’Connell, welcomed what he described as “a period of rapprochement”.

Mr O’Connell described the striking out of 30 charges as “an opportunity to let the dust settle”.

A recent charge alleging a threat to kill against a man known as “Sexy” is proceeding, the court heard.

The special sitting is the second such involving the dispute between a number of closely connected families in Hazlewood Drive and Ballyspillane area of Killarney.

Last November a case before the Circuit Court in Tralee was told the feud was sparked by a row over a bouncy castle in May 2018 during a First Holy Communion gathering of closely connected families, some of them related.

The charges struck out yesterday include public order, road traffic, and assault in a dispute which had spilled over into nightclubs and shops in Killarney.

The special sitting in December, heard how traffic had come to a halt in Upper Park Road in the “feud” with females fighting and how people in Ballyspillane needed to walk around their estate with CCTV, such was the threat level between families.

Inspector John Kelly asked each of the eight women withdrawing charges yesterday if they were doing so out of their own “free will” and they each replied this was the case. Judge Waters also satisfied himself the complainants had not been under pressure to withdraw evidence. The State also withdrew a number of charges.

Convictions against two women in December were also not proceeded with and no sentence handed down.

Inspector Kelly said gardai wanted to reassure the public that they were maintaining a presence in Ballyspillane and any incidents or infringement would be met with the full rigour of the law.

A fresh allegation of a threat to kill by 34-year-old Daniel O’Brien of Piercetown, Newbridge, Co Kildare, is to proceed, the court heard.

Mr O’Brien is alleged to have made a threat to kill or cause serious harm to Patrick O’Brien (otherwise known as Sexy) and this threat was made to Margaret Avanzo intending her to believe it would be carried out on December 22 last at Ballyspillane, Killarney.

He made “no reply” when charged on Thursday, the court heard.

Ms Avanzo was not withdrawing her evidence, the court heard.

However, Inspector John Kelly said “conscious of what has gone on here this morning” the State would not seek to remand Mr O'Brien in custody and would be seeking conditions attached to bail.

Judge David Waters remanded Daniel O'Brien to appear again on March 3. The conditions include that he is to abide by a curfew in Kildare and is not to enter Kerry unless in connection with his case.

His solicitor Padraig O’Connell assured Judge Waters his client “will leave Killarney once the bond is signed”.

 

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Relegation battle has town divided

By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.

After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.

In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.

Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.

Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.

“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”

Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.

“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”

Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.

The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.

Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.

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Handball off the wall in Killarney

By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]

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By Con Dennehy

The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.

On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.

“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.

Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.

Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.

One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.

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