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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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