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Smalltalk: Jeff O’Donoghue

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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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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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