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Stupid tailgating

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EIGHTY kilometres from home on the final leg of a three-week 7,000km roadtrip taking in unrestricted Autobahn routes, nine Alpine passes, a few busy Italian cities and London’s M25 only to encounter the most dangerous leg of the journey – from Adare to Newcastlewest. Not a dangerous road but a dangerous driver. We all encounter stupid on the road and sometimes we do stupid and generally we can accept stupid as a one-off act but being stupid for a longer period of time is unacceptable.

On leaving the town of Adare I noticed in my rear-view mirror a young lady in a red VW Golf approach quite rapidly behind me. Bear in mind my journey to date and that home is close, I wasn’t hanging about. There was a long line of traffic entering Adare. An overtaking opportunity for her was greatly reduced.

She couldn’t set up an overtaking manoeuvre but she was still closing quickly until she reached the point that I was unable to see her car's headlights in my rear-view mirror. There are rules around this but I have a simple one, if I can’t see the number plate of the following car in my rear-view mirror, that car is in my space. Now we have a problem – she had well and truly entered my space. Standing in line for a rock concert, uncomfortable – 100kph in a car, absolutely looking to pick a fight. However I’m not that type of guy (on this occasion) so I slowed enough to let her pass when the opportunity presented itself.

A quick check in the mirror, she doesn’t seize the opportunity – in fact, she is looking to her left and appears to be texting. She is now driving her car using peripheral vision and my bumper as her reference. Now I am concerned, again I can’t see the headlights, that is how close she is. Her sixth sense has well and truly captured my attention.

My first attempt at creating distance didn’t work, so now I put another car between us. This only worked for a moment as that car pulled in. Maybe I should do the same but I just want to get home. However I tried it again on two more occasions but she followed on both and resumed tailgating.

On my last attempt to put distance, she races up to my bumper, this time drinking from a coffee cup and again looking to her left and still appears to be texting. For a brief moment when she looked out the windscreen I seized the opportunity to signal my concerns. A tip on the brake pedal – enough to engage the brake lights but not to slow my progress.

Her reaction caused her to spill the contents of her coffee cup on herself and drop her phone. Putting aside my fear of a potential accident I am impressed at her ability to multitask; tailgate, text and take on refreshments, all at 100kph.

Unfortunately this spillage has given her something else to do while tailgating and texting. However once all cleaned up, normal activities resume, back to texting and, oh yes, tailgating. I am impressed.

Newcastlewest only a few kilometres away; on safety grounds it may be time to concede and pull over. Thankfully on entering the first roundabout she took the first exit and removed herself from our route.

The sense of relief that this short, but potentially dangerous, journey was over, but it is only beginning for someone else. This person is a danger to herself and other road users and there is only one outcome and it is a serious accident. And it will happen, statistics prove it. Be safe on the roads – DON’T TAILGATE – FOR YOUR OWN SAKE…

On a final note, in an accident tailgaters are 100% liable no matter what the circumstances – period.

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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