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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!

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Massive Park Road housing development given green light

A private developer has been given planning permission to build 249 new residential units at Upper Park Road. The development, which will be built on a recently cleared site near […]




A private developer has been given planning permission to build 249 new residential units at Upper Park Road.

The development, which will be built on a recently cleared site near An Post’s sorting office, will include a variety of properties from five-bed houses to single apartments, along with a crèche and over 500 car spaces and over 300 bike spaces.

The development has been welcomed by local councillor Martin Grady.

“Killarney has a massive housing shortage so this is very positive. It will retain young families in the area, stimulating economic growth,” he said. “After 17 years of different planning applications it’s finally coming to fruition.”

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Ballydribeen residents living in fear due to anti-social behaviour

Residents in the Ballydribeen are living in fear as a result of increased anti-social behaviour in the estate. Several serious incidents in the estate have resulted in several Garda visits […]




Residents in the Ballydribeen are living in fear as a result of increased anti-social behaviour in the estate.

Several serious incidents in the estate have resulted in several Garda visits in the last week.

Local councillor Martin Grady told the Killarney Advertiser that residents are “living in fear” as a result of very serious incidents in the last week alone.

One house in the estate was badly damaged when fire crackers were placed inside a letter box.

Another house had its windows smashed in over the weekend.

“It’s a major problem,” added Grady after meeting residents there earlier this week.

One of the most serious incidents occurred on Tuesday night.

A passing motorists had rocks thrown at his car while driving along the bypass whch is adjacent to the estate.
Taking to social media, local primary-school teacher Pádraig O’Sullivan posted:

“Travelling home tonight, at 11.05pm on the Killarney side of the bypass our car was hit by a rock – not a pebble – from the Ballydribben side , which hit the passenger door.

“It was centimetres away from hitting the window where my father, who is visually impaired, was sitting.

“This could have caused catastrophic permanent injury to him.

“The Killarney Garda were on the scene within three minutes.

“They can’t be patrolling the bypass all night.

“It comes down to parenting. You should know where your children are at this hour and be able to teach them what’s funny and what ruin a person’s life or cause a fatal crash.“

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