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Record crowd present as Lakers host big Kerry basketball derby




THE big Kerry basketball derby between Scotts Lakers Killarney and Keanes Killorglin drew a record crowd to Killarney Sports Centre on Saturday night and it was the visitors who emerged victorious to maintain their unbeaten record at the top of the national league table.

The Killarney venue was full to capacity long before tip-off with almost 1000 people in attendance. With Tralee Warriors also playing at home before another huge crowd, the message went out loud and clear to all other clubs that Kerry is the real hotbed in Irish basketball circles.

Following a closely contested opening half, the Killorglin side stamped their authority in the third quarter with the outstanding three-point shooting of Kevin Gray a significant factor in the victory. Gray was well supported by talented European players Daniel Jokubaitis and Ivan Bogdanovic and Killorglin’s advantage to have three quality foreign players on court at all stages throughout the match was a luxury that Scotts Lakers just did not have.

Exchanges were even from an early stage and a three-pointer from former Neptune Superleague player Ian McLoughlin helped Killorglin to a 7-4 lead after three minutes. However Killarney's Antuan Bootle was making his presence felt at both ends of the court and a three-pointer from him gave Scotts Lakers a 12-9 lead left with three minutes left.

Lakers enjoyed a very productive spell early in the second quarter racing into a 22-14 lead. Mark Greene was in outstanding form but Killorglin's foreign trio of Gray, Jokubaitis and Bogdanovic kept their side well in contention to trail 26-24 midway through the quarter. Ten points from Mark Greene in this quarter alone and notable contributions from Mihail Kapitanov and Justin Tuason maintained the Lakers challenge and it was a tied ball game at 36 points each at the half-time interval.

Not for the first time this season, it was in the third quarter where Scotts Lakers self-destruct button and capitulation kicked into force.
Killorglin duly capitalised with American Kevin Gray emerging as a real hero sinking four huge three-pointers. Gray, who actually failed to make the score-sheet in the first and final quarters, ended up with 14 points in the third quarter alone, the actual difference between the teams at the end of this period when Keanes Killorglin led 60-46.

The game looked effectively over at this stage but Scotts Lakers did manage a strong revival with Bootle, Greene, Kapitanov and Fitzgerald all hitting unanswered baskets as the home side cut the gap to trail 60-54 midway through the final quarter. However Killorglin responded well to the stop the Lakers comeback with the outstanding Jokubaitis leading the challenge. The talented Lithuanian hit 11 points in the final period to maintain a firm grip on Killorglin's advantage to eventually secure victory.

The winning margin was 11 points for Keanes Killorglin to leave them at the top of the table. Scotts Lakers, playing in their first season in the league after an absence of nearly a decade, will be anxious to get back to winning ways again after their recent losses. The Killarney side are free this weekend and are hopeful of strengthening the quality of the squad ahead of their next outing away to Letterkenny on October 28 before returning home again to Killarney Sports Centre on November 4 to welcome Galway Titans.

Above: Mark Greene, Scotts Lakers, under pressure from Daniel Jokubaitis, Keanes Killorglin, in the national league division one basketball clash in Killarney Sports Centre on Saturday night. Picture: Eamonn Keogh



Carols by Candlelight

    St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas […]






St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas 2023, December17, at 7.00pm. Admission is free.

Ten Choirs from Killarney parish will join together and sing some of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols.
The carol service is directed by accomplished Musician and Choral Director, Paula Gleeson. Originally from Cork, her family have been involved in all aspects of choral and church music for 50 years.

“This is the best experience as director, working with Fr. Kieran O’Brien, and St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir, I get to work with so many talented people in Killarney. The commitment of Teachers, Principals, and the hundreds of students from the Primary and Secondary Schools is inspiring. The generosity of our sponsors, who were so willing to contribute has helped to make this night a reality. We are all so truly grateful,” she said.

Choirs include:
St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Choir, organist Anita Lakner
Holy Cross Mercy School Choir
St. Oliver’s Primary School Choir
St. Brigid’s Secondary School Choir
St. Brendan’s Secondary School Choir
Killarney Harmonisers
Killarney Community College School Choir
Lissivigeen National School Choir
Gaelscoil Faithleann School Choir
Presentation Monastery School Choir

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The same but different – A tribute to three great Irish musicians



Driving home from work last Friday, tributes for Shane McGowan were pouring out across the radio stations and while listening in, I got a strong sense of déjà vu.

It was only a few months earlier that we got the sad news that the talented Aslan front man Christy Dingham had passed away, and a short few weeks after that – Sinéad O’Connor.  The loss of three iconic Irish musicians that left music fans across the country reeling.

When I think about each artist individually, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Yet, for days after the passing of the Pogues frontman, I found myself wondering why I was so drawn to all three.

And then, over the weekend I stumbled across a completely unrelated article which led with a headline:

“In a year dominated by artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and disingenuity, “authentic” has somehow emerged as Merriam-Webster’s word for 2023.”

And there was my answer. The one characteristic that embodied all three of these great Irish musicians.

It was my mother that first introduced me to Aslan’s music. She grew up during their peak and loved all sorts of rock music. I regularly watch their Vicar Street performances back on YouTube and still get mesmerised by Christy’s intense stage presence. Using elaborate hand gestures to evoke a greater meaning behind the words, he always looked like he was away in his own world. Off stage, and particularly later in his career, I admired him for his honesty when talking about his struggles with addiction and mental health. He was talking openly about these issues long before it was the norm.

Sinéad O’Connor was another original soul who, because of her talent, was catapulted into a music industry consumed by artificiality; she was almost too pure for it all. I always admired her unwavering commitment to her beliefs. Her authenticity was evident in every aspect of her artistry. The way she unapologetically embraced her shaved head and boy-ish style, she challenged conventional opinions around beauty. Her music reflected her personal struggles and she never shied away from addressing issues of social injustice, religion, and gender equality. Her stances often drew criticism and controversy, but she always remained true to herself.

Shane MacGowan will always be remembered for his unfiltered nature, and while the lyrics of many songs were dark and gritty, there was also an element of empathy and compassion in what he wrote. Like Christy, he too struggled with addiction and mental health issues throughout his career. While his demons sometimes spilled over into the public eye, his honesty and vulnerability just endeared him even more to us Irish.

So isn’t it apt in a year we lost three great musicians, the word of 2023 happens to be the one undeniable trait that they all shared. Thank you Christy, Sinead and Shane for showing us that authenticity is not just about being different to everyone else; but also about possessing the courage to challenge the established, to question the norms, and to keep going, even when the going gets tough.


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