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The secret behind Fassbender’s rally documentary



PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS: Fassbender's promotion of the Rally of the Lakes and Killarney is unmeasurable and it was down to Cormac Casey of KC Print and the 2019 Clerk of the Course Dermot Healy.

By Sean Moriarty

A new online documentary by local Hollywood A-lister Michael Fassbender has put the town of Killarney and local motorsport on the world map - and it all started in the offices of KC Print.

The Killarney-based company is Ireland’s largest trade printer and its managing director, Cormac Casey, is the son of the Killarney Advertiser’s late founder Danny.

Early last year Cormac was looking for ways of promoting the town and its motorsport heritage on the 40th anniversary of the Rally of the Lakes.

In his role as part of the event’s coordination team, he wanted to do something big to mark the occasion. Fassbender was already making waves as a racing driver in America and Cormac wanted to find a way to bring the town’s most-famous son and its biggest early summer event together.

He invited Fassbender to act as the rally’s ambassador and the Fossa man jumped at the opportunity.

Dermot Healy, the 2019 Clerk of the Course, backed the project and worked closely with Motorsport Ireland to create a ‘Lakes RallyFest’ event to facilitate Fassbender’s participation.

Cormac set about finding a suitable car and pulling together a team of rally mechanics to run the chosen Ford Escort Mk2 over the weekend. The project was independently funded through the support of the Killarney Advertiser, Dermot Healy Motors, Portwest, Irish Health Foods, and MIS Insurance.

In return, not only did Fassbender act as the best ambassador the county’s biggest motorsport event has ever seen, school road safety trips and town centre meet-and-greet sessions are examples of the hard work he put in, and he also produced a high-quality documentary on the event.

This was on top of unprecedented media attention Fassbender’s participation in the rally attracted. Major national daily newspapers, radio stations and TV channels gave coverage to the rally and its star driver.

The biggest of all was Fassbender’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show a few weeks after the rally where he spoke of the event and his home town to a worldwide audience of millions.

One year on, part-one of a three-part documentary series made its debut on Tuesday evening on social media channel VERO.

The six-minute programme, its length purposely mastered for an online audience, has been going viral since it aired.

The programme shows Killarney’s beauty at its best and also captures the thrill and excitement of rallying.

It is the perfect advertisement for both the town and the rally, especially this year when the Coronavirus conspired against the 41st running of the rally, as the show-reel captures what rally fans and the town were missing over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The show has reached millions of viewers worldwide and was even picked up by RTÉ’s Six-One main evening news bulletin on Wednesday evening.

“This was not a case of Hollywood coming to Killarney, this was Killarney going to Hollywood,” a justifiably proud Cormac Casey told the Killarney Advertiser. “People questioned the value of what we were trying to do last year, but the rewards, as we have seen this week, go far beyond my expectations.”

In another coup for the KC Print Group, the Killarney Advertiser was the first print or online media organisation anywhere in the world to reveal in last week's issue, that the documentary was to be released.

Turn to our Motoring section on page 31 for a full review of the film.

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Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]




Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

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Philip is running over 100kms for Cancer charity

Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday. Phillip has already […]




Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday.

Phillip has already completed four half marathons at various locations around Killarney – all in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group – or the Cancer Bus as it popularly called.

This is the second time that Phillip has run four half marathon and an official race for the charity.

Back in 2021 he finished with 5km Run Killarney event but his finishing race this time around is over eight times the distance at 42kms.

“We are delighted with Philip’s continued fundraising support but also with his awareness raising for the charity,” Breda Dyland, Service Manager Kerry Cancer Support Trust.

“We are getting busier all the time and still get no statutory funding so are dependent on fundraisers like Philip’s to keep us on the road. We have just put our new wheelchair accessible bus on the Cork route so Philip’s funding will be going towards the operation of this vehicle.”


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