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South African event inspires hospice mountain run

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By Sean Moriarty

A group of local hill runners, inspired by world record holder South African Gerda Steyn, raised over €800 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation in the Gap of Dunloe last Sunday.

MOUNTAIN RUN: Colleen Coffey Stephen Griffin Denise Smith Siobhan Falvey all from Beaufort at Sunday's mountain run.

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FUNDRAISING: Martina Thompson Anna Eager Louise Riordan Miriam Beasley Claire O’Malley Colleen Coffey. Back row: Denise Smith and Stephen Griffin all from Beaufort.

FINISH LINE: At the finish line at Lord Brandon’s Cottage were Gary Landers Diarmuid O’Malley Miriam Beasley Tadhg O’Malley Noel Hyde Chris Grayson Paul O’Sullivan and Jeremy Curran.

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Steyn is the fastest woman to complete Comrades Marathon in her native South Africa.

The 98 kilometre event, run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, is the world's biggest and oldest ultra-marathon race.

In 2019 she won the Comrades Marathon in a record time of 5 hours, 58 minutes and 53 seconds, becoming the first woman to complete the run in under six hours.

Beaufort man Diarmuid O’Malley is a veteran of over 30 marathons and ultra-marathons, including the 2013 Comrades Race, and he was one of the organisers of Sunday’s event that catered for all abilities. He is planning to return to the famed South African event as soon as travel restrictions allow.

“A week after her 2019 Comrades success, I had the pleasure to show Gerda Steyn the Gap of Dunloe route and her exact comment to me was "you have no excuse not to run Comrades again with a training route like this on your doorstep",” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

O’Malley’s plans were disrupted due to pandemic related restrictions and the 2021 Comrades event was contested online. He decided to use the route he had shown to Steyn for this year’s Comrades Virtual event and roped in 35 other local hill running enthusiasts to help him out.

"I competed in Comrades in 2013 which is the year of the famous 'bird wind' edition with the highest percentage of dropouts from the warm temperatures, it was a bit like that last Sunday. I had planned to do it last year, it then got moved to this year and now moved to 2022, so fingers crossed," he added.

“35 runners and walkers gathered at the Gap of Dunloe to cover 10km, 21km and 45km routes over the hills of one of Ireland's most iconic roads to Lord Brandon's Cottage. The 45km route covered two loops and the 21km was one loop. In the true spirit of Comrades, all participants managed to successfully get to the finish line in the hottest recorded day of the year in Ireland."

Between them they raised €800 for the Kerry Hospice Foundation, helped by local women Denise Smith and Siobhan Falvey who were on the organising team, as well as members of the hospice staff.

“It was great to get out running and not chasing a time, just catching up with running friends again and all for a fantastic worthy cause,” Diarmuid added.

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Massive increase in numbers using local bus services

Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin. This is the highest […]

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Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin.

This is the highest increase nationally and is due to the investment by the Department of Transport during this government term.

“This service was lacking in former times, especially in rural areas and is a welcome addition to the countryside and villages of Kerry.’ says Green Party Candidate for Killarney,” said Griffin.

“While in the past, a taxi was the only option for those not cycling or driving. Now a service to Killarney is available every Friday morning from my townland of Barleymount. This is just one example of the network of bus routes criss-crossing the county thanks to local link.”

“This project is a notable success as the figures show. Investment in public transport helps alleviate congestion, increases community cohesion and reduces rural isolation. This is all welcome news for the locality,”

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Two weeks to go to Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’There is less than two weeks to show time for the cast of Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’

Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena. The launch was […]

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Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena.

The launch was followed by a full rehearsal and director Oliver Hurley was also there to lend a hand.

“We were delighted to introduce our lead characters to you. We had Abbey Theatre players Brigid Delia and Michael, who are the narrators throughout the musical drama. Eamonn De Valera , Harry Boland, Joe Emmett, Arthur Griffith, Cathal Brugha, volunteers and of course the beautiful Kitty Kieran were in full costume,” said KMS PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

“Mother Ireland and her five graceful dancers were fabulous. Our director and choreographer Oliver, our musical director Michael Young and the full cast of 64 were there. The singing was powerful. The music in ‘Michael Collins – A Musical Drama’ is distinctly Irish. People will definitely enjoy it.”

TICKETS
Get your tickets in the INEC box office, online at universe.com or at the pop-up ticket office in the Laurel’s Pub, Market Cross from 12 pm to 4 pm between February 29 and March 2.

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