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Smalltalk: Jeff O’Donoghue



As Glenflesk prepare for their first Intermediate final in 19 years, Adam Moynihan caught up with influential midfielder Jeff O’Donoghue to talk about last week’s battle with Bryan Sheehan, keeping it in the family and a complicated rivalry with Kilcummin

In all your years playing with Glenflesk, how does last Saturday’s win over St Mary’s rank?

It was definitely the best day I’ve had in a Glenflesk jersey, without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve lost two semi-finals already so to get over that hurdle was great.

You were up against Bryan Sheehan in midfield. What’s it like to play against him?

Very tough. You can’t leave him shoot anyway, I learned that in the first half! He’s just an outstanding player really. One of the toughest I’ve ever marked. He’s a powerful man and his kicking… Every one of his shots just seems to curl in at the last minute. He’s an unbelievable point-kicker.

You managed to get over the line in spite of his best efforts. It was a serious team performance.

Savage. One of the best displays that I’ve ever been a part of with Glenflesk. But we’ve had a good few performances now this year since the Intermediate started.

Darragh Roche and your brother Lee were particularly impressive in the full forward line. How important have they been in your championship run?

They’re our scorers. We just get the ball to them and they do the rest. They’ve been outstanding really. The last day you could kick them in any ball and they just won it and stuck it over the bar. It was such a relief when you’re trying to hold out Mary’s at the back with the forwards they have, and Lee and Darragh were putting the ball over the bar every time we got it up to them. That was one of the main reasons we won the game. And they’ve been doing it all year. Hopefully they can keep it up for the next day.

What’s it like playing with the brother? You picked him out with a number of nice passes the last day.

We’ve been playing together now with a good few years but of course we have a better understanding than most fellas, like most brothers would have. I’m sure Darragh and Ian (Roche) are the same. But I love it.

Denis Reen has come in this year to manage the team. What kind of impact has he had?

Unreal. Adam O’Reilly is there as well and they’re two very good men football-wise. They know their tactics. I’m not cutting the management of the last few years but they’re just after bringing it to another level. They’re even after bringing in statisticians and that’s all new to us. Every training is different. We haven’t done the same drill twice. It’s very good, to be fair.

And the players have obviously bought into it?

Straight away, from our first night on the 12th of January. We had a meeting and he set the goals for the year. We’re achieving them so far anyway.

You’ll face Kilcummin in the final. Is there a big rivalry between the clubs?

I’ve very good friends in Kilcummin. I went to school with a pile of them and some of my best friends are up there. But if you lose to Templenoe, for example, you might not see them for another six months. You’ll be looking at Kilcummin people every day of the week, so that’s more of a reason to win!

We came together this year for the Oskars and it was unbelievable. The buzz around after that was great. I was up at the their semi-final the last day and there were nearly as many Glenflesk as there were Kilcummin. There was great craic between the two sets of fans when the final whistle went, and they were on about the Oskars again. It’ll be an interesting few days

What do you think their strengths are as a team?

Kevin McCarthy obviously stands out, as does Brendan Kealy. They’re very big around the middle as well. They’re physical. They have Kevin Gorman, Kieran Murphy, Shane McSweeney… Massive men around the middle. Where we’d be a young and light team, they’ve a lot of experience being a senior club for 20 years, so that will stand to them the next day. But they can mix it too. They have serious footballers: the likes of Kev, Gary O’Leary is back there this year, Podge Nagle and Matt Keane, who probably changed the game for them when he came off the bench on Sunday. They beat Templenoe, who would beat a lot of senior clubs around Kerry, so they’re some outfit to be fair to them.

It’s Glenflesk’s first Intermediate final in 19 years and only their second ever. How big would it be to win it and to go senior?

Massive. We’ve never won it. The great Glenflesk teams that people go on about – the likes of my father and a few lads who have six O’Donoghue Cups – they could never win it so it would just be massive. You can see it already with the buzz around. I was chatting to a fella from work who was in Spillane’s Bar the last night and he said you’d nearly get a belt of a ball inside there with all the talk about the match!

Haha! There’ll be a special atmosphere back in Tralee on Sunday…

Unbelievable I’d say. With the Oskars and everything, the final was just made for Glenflesk and Kilcummin. We drew earlier in the year in the County League and if we beat Listry in the O’Donoghue Cup, we’ll go on and play Kilcummin. We can’t get enough of each other.

You mentioned your dad and I know you’re from a big Glenflesk GAA family. That must make playing in a huge game like this even more special? 

Yeah it’s a big family out in Glenflesk. Everyone rows in behind each other, it wouldn’t just be my family. It’s every family, to be honest. There’s a big tradition there. If we win, the place will shut down for a week!

All the best anyway and thanks for talking to me.


No bother!


Possible return to campus for college students



By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.

This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.

From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.


A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.


I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1. 

To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on 

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Deadline for health and well-being fest fast approaching

Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching. This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10. Organised by an interagency […]




Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching.

This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.

Organised by an interagency steering group, the key focus of the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events.

“The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active – as well as raising awareness of the available supports and services in the county,” Chair of the Steering Committee, Donagh Hennebry, said.

“The Fest has a wide reach across Kerry and we want to continue to build on its success in 2021. But we can’t do this without you! We are inviting anyone who is interested in helping us achieve our goal, by hosting an event(s) during #KerryMHWFest, to register online as soon as possible.”

The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.

To register your interest to host an event for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, visit before close of business on Friday, June 25.

For more information about registration, promotion, or the Fest in general, please contact the interagency steering group at:

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Free and subsidised higher education courses for Kerry

  11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry. The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in […]





11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry.

The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in Retail Food Service Operations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business.

Over 10,000 places are available across both programmes nationwide in 2021.

Springboard+ provides free courses for people who are unemployed, people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones, or people who want to upskill. Now in its 10th year, over 75,000 people have benefited from Springboard+ to date.

Courses under the HCI Pillar 1 programme are aimed at graduates and offer incentivised places for them to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.

For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course. The programmes are managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

Launching the programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to ensure that people have the skills they need”.


Candidates who wish to participate will find full details on the approved courses on Experienced guidance counsellors will be available to advise potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 participants on their options on the freephone Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.


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