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Spa captain: Last year made us take a look at ourselves

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The Intermediate has been Spa’s Holy Grail for a number of years but early exits in 2016 and 2017 have raised a lot of difficult questions. Ahead of their championship opener on Sunday, Adam Moynihan spoke to club captain Dan O’Donoghue.

Hi Dan. Thanks for talking to me.

No bother.

It’s time for another crack at the Intermediate. What do you think of the new group format?

I think it’s a great idea really because you’re training with the focus on three or four weeks of definite games, compared to other years when it was a bit scattered. I think it’s a good improvement.

The Intermediate has been Spa’s priority for a long time now. Why is it so important to the club?

It’s the biggest competition we’re in as a club so you’re always aiming to win the biggest things, and every club wants to win a county title as well so I suppose that’s why it’s so important. Especially after winning in 2009, fellas want to do it again. We’re in Division 1 now so we wouldn’t mind taking the step up to senior as well.

You made three finals between 2012 and 2015 but lost in the early rounds the past two years. How disappointing was that?

Yeah, I’ve lost two finals myself already and then last year we lost in the first round which was very disappointing. We weren’t used to losing in the first round. But it made us take a look at ourselves and what we were doing. There were teams passing us out and we had to see what was going wrong.

The team is under new management this year (Ivor Flynn, Kieran Herlihy, Brian Gleeson and Neily Kerins). How much of a difference have they made?

They’re doing a great job. They’re very professional about whatever they do and everyone’s enjoying training. The numbers are better than they’ve ever been in my time with Spa so they must be doing something right.

The club recently completed work on a new floodlit pitch. That must be a welcome addition.

It will definitely have an impact on our progress because for the last few years we’ve been training under what are nearly like street lights on the main pitch. This pitch with the floodlights is a serious asset to have.

Spa have made an excellent start to the County League with big wins over Rathmore and An Ghaeltacht. What has been the most pleasing aspect of your current form?

Yeah, they were two massive wins. Against Rathmore we were drawing at half time and against An Ghaeltacht we were losing at half time, so I think the overall performances over 60 minutes… We never gave up, we kept battling away and that’s kind of been lacking in other years. The way we are grinding out wins is very pleasing.

Gneeveguilla, who are currently in Division 4, are your first opponents in the Intermediate. Are you expecting a tough game?

Definitely. Whatever competition you play Gneeveguilla in, it’s gonna be a tough, physical battle. Especially in championship. It doesn’t really make a difference what division you’re in. They’ll be well up for it.

You have Liam Kearney back from injury now. How much of a difference can he make to the team?

Whatever team he plays with, he’d make a difference. The Ghaeltacht game now was his first full game in, Jesus, I don’t know how long… You’d be talking two years. We’re absolutely delighted to have him on the pitch. Whatever we get after that from a player of his calibre is a big bonus.

How have you been playing yourself? What are your goals for the season?

The season is only beginning really but I’ve been happy so far… I haven’t won a medal with the Spa senior team in four or five years playing with them so I’d love to win something this year.

Good stuff. All the best on Sunday.

Thanks Adam.

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Applecroft B&B named in Ireland’s Top 10

By Michelle Crean What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic. Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s […]

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By Michelle Crean

What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic.

Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s Top 10 B&Bs for 2022 by the Irish Independent ‘Reader Travel Awards’ while Ireland’s Best B&B was named as Dingle’s Pax House.

The couple began their business in 1997 and are very happy with the feedback from visitors who voted for their B&B, especially after two difficult years.

“I’m thrilled, especially as we’re celebrating our silver jubilee this year,” Kathy told the Killarney Advertiser.

The couple built their house in the early ’80s and aptly named it ‘Applecroft’ as it was built in a field which has an orchard.

In the late ’90s they opened five spacious rooms up, each with its own theme; 
‘Poet’s Corner’, ‘Past Times’, ‘The 19th Green’, ‘The Race-goer’s Club’ and ‘The Kerry Way’, for guests as Kathy, who worked in The Europe Hotel and the Great Southern Killarney for many years, had a passion to bring a great stay experience to guests visiting Killarney. They kept themselves busy planting in their two acre garden during the pandemic.

They have won numerous awards over the years and have had film crews in but this latest award is the icing on the cake for the couple who are looking forward to reopening in late March.

“It’s amazing, and a bonus especially with the two years we’ve had. We’ve never experienced anything like that. It was “wow” – we were preparing to reopen on St Patrick’s Day that year and all of a sudden everything closed down on the 16. It was a big shock.”

Don creates amazing bread and scones which guests rave about, she added.

“I was delighted as we came tenth for breakfast and sixth for the B&B.”

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Tributes paid to life-long Legion supporter

By Sean Moriarty Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday. Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage. As well as a life-long supporter of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday.

Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage.

As well as a life-long supporter of Legion, he played basketball in the famous town leagues of the 1970s and the seven-a-side soccer ‘Wipeouts’ competitions.

“He was a very proud Legion man and always flew the green and white flag out his window whenever the club was playing in a big game,” PRO Enda Walshe told the Killarney Advertiser. “He was a fervent loyal club supporter but was also one of the characters of the winter basketball leagues.”

Tim was also a regular participant in Dart Pub Leagues back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tim’s funeral took place today (Friday). He was laid to rest at Killarney Burial Ground after 10am Mass St Mary’s Cathedral.

Tim is survived by his wife Nuala, his children Joanne, Paudie and Timmy, and was a much loved grandfather to Stephen, Makaela, Chloe, Padraic, Keelan, Alex and the late Lorna. He will also be sadly missed by his daughters-in-law Margaret and Sharon, son-in-law Tony, sisters Kathleen, Sheila and Ann, brothers Lewis-John and Paddy, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, relatives, neighbours and many great friends.

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