Connect with us


Quest Kenmare kicks off the 2022 adventure season!




More than 1,200 adventurer racers braved the wind and rain in Kenmare on Saturday for the welcome return of Quest Kenmare, the first Quest Adventure Race of 2022.

Elite Winner Ellen Vitting.

Elite Winner Niall David.

Stunning views were enjoyed at Quest Kenmare 2022.

A happy adventurer scaling Esk Mountain.

Cycling and running around the stunning backdrops of Molls Gap, Bonane Heritage Park, Esk Mountain and Kenmare town, participants competed in three routes: the 28km Challenge, 43km Sport and 79km Expert route.

Despite adverse weather conditions, racers clearly enjoyed the day and were delighted to be back – and got into the rhythm with a starting send off from Nick Bailey Drums. This is the first time Quest Kenmare has been able to take place since 2019, and its absence has been keenly felt by adventure racers. The event was a super-fast sell-out as people grabbed the opportunity to get outdoors, take part in adventure events, and soak up some of the best scenery in the country.

Winners of the Expert route were Niall Davis and local woman Ellen Vitting, who defended her title successfully from 2019. Winners of the Sport route were Paul O’Brien and Niamh Cleary. Winners of the Challenge route were Brian Haugh and Aileen Crowley.

Race Organiser, Oliver Kirwan, said the continued post-pandemic popularity of the event is testament to people’s love for Kenmare and adventure racing. 

“We have some fantastic events across Ireland in the Quest Adventure Series, and the Ring of Beara Cycle also held from Kenmare. We are delighted to be able to return to Kenmare for our first adventure race of 2022, and it’s a great feeling to see everyone taking up the challenge and enjoying themselves again.

“We've been working with lots of people locally to make sure the event is challenging and fun. Residents and local businesses have yet again offered amazing support. The feedback from participants has been very positive and we certainly plan to be back in 2023. I’d like to thank KMEG and all the volunteers who came and stuck out the bad weather and gave up their valuable time to make the event possible.”

Jerry O’Sullivan of Kenmare Marketing and Events Group (KMEG) said, "Kenmare is excited to welcome back Quest competitors and visitors".

"It is fitting that our traditional first event of the year will again welcome in a new era of tourism and events in Kenmare. Quest competitors were able to enjoy the wonderful outdoors and everyone can enjoy the excellent restaurants, bars shops and friendly atmosphere Kenmare has to offer."

Quest Kenmare and Elite Event Management are grateful for the support for this event from main Quest Adventure Series sponsor Volvo Ireland Cars, official snack partner All Real, event partners Nuasan, MCG Kayaks and Gnarly Peaks, and the ongoing partnership of Kenmare Marketing and Events Group.

Quest Kenmare will be back in 2023 with a provisional date of Saturday, March 11.

Race Results

Expert full results

1st male – Niall Davis (3:16:49)               1st female – Ellen Vitting (3:37:34)
2nd male – Sebastian Giraud (3:22:27)   2nd female – Laura O’Driscoll (3:54:49)
3rd male – Darren Quinn (3:24:36)          3rd female – Nuala Cronin (4:18:54)

Sport full results

1st male – Paul O’Brien (1:49:07)            1st female – Niamh Cleary (2:07:11)
2nd male – Bernard Smyth (1:49:40)       2nd female – Geraldine Gilheary (2:12:13)
3rd male – Bryan Renton (1:50:45)          3rd female – Denise Molloy (2:13:38)

Challenge full results

1st male – Brian Haugh (1:11:54)             1st female – Aileen Crowley (1:20:50)
2nd male – William Twomey (1:12:39)      2nd female – Geraldine Breen (1:20:51)
3rd male – Graham Guilfoyle (1:16:25)     3rd female – Susan Lowe Cotter (1:24:47)



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


Continue Reading


Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

Continue Reading