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Spinathon a boost to 54321 fundraising drive

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DEDICATED: TJ O'Connor, one of the organisers of the 54321 Challenge, taking part in the spinathon in Killorglin on Saturday last.

 

By Michelle Crean

Three spinathons and four collections took place over the bank holiday weekend to help boost fundraising efforts for this year's 54321 Challenge - with the help of Kerry manager Peter Keane and 'Local Gossip' comedian Bernard Casey.

The charity Challenge has no option but to go back to basics this year with just five participants instead of the usual 50. This means there's a significant drop in funding for the chosen charities so organisers took to the streets of Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Listowel and Dingle on Saturday.

All but Listowel had participants take part in a charity spinathon while volunteers collected funds to help boost the cash flow - and they're planning another fundraising day on Main St in Killarney on August 15, with other venues to be confirmed.

Then it'll be time to take on the enormous task of the Ring of Kerry Cycle on day one on August 20, followed by a climb 3,407 feet up Carrauntoohil on day two, day three the five will challenge themselves further by cycling over 78kms from Killarney to the foot of Mount Brandon and then climb 3,123 ft up Mt Brandon, and day four on Sunday, August 23 they'll finish with a cycle from Dingle to Killarney.

To date the Challenge has raised almost €207,000 supporting a number of very deserving Kerry charities.

This year Skellig Stars, a group of children and adult athletes with special needs; Kerry Hospice Foundation and Enable Ireland Kerry are the chosen charities. Each charity will have a champion undertaking the challenge on their behalf.

"The spinathon was done because fundraising was quite slow this year as we've only five taking part due to the restrictions when we'd normally have 50," one of the organisers TJ O'Connor said.

"It was fantastic, it was amazing really. We had over 30 people spinning on the day. We are overwhelmed with peoples' generosity and kindness." However, he added that they haven't gotten the final figure yet from Saturday's event as it has to come in from four locations and be counted.

Anyone looking to donate can do so via www.54321challenge.org or see the individual charities Facebook pages for online donation information or donate by Direct Debit to Bank of Ireland, Killarney. Sort code 90-57-58 Account No. 74356384 (BIC BOFIIE2D and IBAN IE88BOFI90575874356384).

"Thanks to everyone who has donated so far and those who took part in the spinathon. Your kindness is greatly appreciated."

 

[caption id="attachment_33233" align="alignleft" width="329"] STARS SUPPORT: Former Kerry players Billy O'Shea and Bryan Sheehan lending their support with current Kerry manager Peter Keane.[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_33239" align="alignleft" width="302"] FUN: Having fun whilse supporting local charities was Helen O'Sullivan Murphy pictured with Seamus Kerrisk Manager of Keane's SuperValu Killorglin.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_33238" align="alignleft" width="383"] ON YOUR BIKE: Comedian Bernard Casey got on the bike to lend his support for the spinathon on Saturday last.[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_33235" align="alignleft" width="571"] SPINNING: Rita O' Sullivan, Marian Kelly, Brendan Sheehan and Michael O'Sullivan from Skelligs Stars in Cahersiveen taking part in the spinathon on Saturday last.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_33234" align="alignleft" width="566"] SUPPORT: Sean Murphy supporting the spinathon on Saturday last.[/caption]

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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