NEILIE GRIFFIN: Former Gleneagle Lakers team manager Neilie Griffin with his wife Mary and grandson Kai Tangney at a Scotts Lakers match in Killarney Sports Centre earlier this season. Picture: Eamonn Keogh
By Eamonn Keogh
Killarney bid a fond farewell to popular local man Neilie Griffin, who passed away last weekend after a brave battle with illness. Neilie, from Pinewood Estate and formerly of Moulagh, Fossa, Killarney, was a familiar face in Killarney town through his dedicated work with the local Council.
Since the sad news of Neilie's death last Friday, there have been many warm tributes to the popular man on social media. The words 'True Gentleman' feature prominently by several people recalling their fond memories of Neilie.
At Neilie's Funeral Mass on Monday, Fr Jim Linehan described him as a great family man and recalled his outstanding work with the Council and his wonderful commitment to St Paul's Basketball Club.
Neilie's former work colleagues in Killarney Town Council and members of St Paul's Basketball Club provided guards of honour as they escorted the funeral cortege from O'Shea's Funeral Home through Killarney town on Sunday evening, and at The Church Of The Resurrection on Monday.
Neilie was also well-known in sporting circles where he gave tremendous service to St Paul's Basketball Club for several years. During the ‘90s and noughties, Neilie was the team manager with the St Paul's Senior Men’s National League teams that played under the Kerry Spring and Gleneagle Lakers banner. He travelled the length and breadth of the country with the team and was a popular and respected figure among the players and officials. Always reliable and obliging, no job was ever too big or small for Neilie, who was also very instrumental in spearheading various fundraising initiatives for the club.
Neilie, and all the Griffin family, have given St Paul's excellent service on and off the court over the years. His wife Mary was a very active member of the club's juvenile committee for many years and one of their proudest moments in basketball was to witness their daughter Diane representing Ireland on the international stage. Their son John was also an outstanding player winning an U19 national cup with St Paul's in 1997 and played in the SuperLeague for several years with Gleneagle Lakers. Their other daughters, Siobhan and Aislinn, also represented St Paul's at various levels.
Neilie's interest in basketball never waned and he was delighted to see the return of national league basketball to Killarney two years ago after an absence of nearly a decade. Despite battling an unfortunate illness, he was a regular at Scotts Lakers home games in Killarney Sports Centre and always had a kind word for everyone.
Neilie is survived by his wife Mary, son John and daughters Diane, Siobhán and Aislinn, and extended family.
[caption id="attachment_26250" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] St Paul's Basketball Club and staff from Killarney Town Council providing guards of honour for the funeral cortege of popular local man Neilie Griffin through Killarney town on Sunday evening. Picture: Eamonn Keogh[/caption]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
Relegation battle has town divided
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