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This year’s 54321 Challenge an all female event

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By Michelle Crean

 

This year's 54321 Challenge is all set but with a difference this year as it's an all female event.

The event originally started nine years ago with a team of five people over four days, completing three cycles, and climbing two mountians for one cause – a local charity.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this year again will see restricted numbers taking part in the event.

The 54321 Challenge’s top priority is to ensure the safety of its participants and in the current climate, this extends to their families, neighbours, friends etc.

This year the 10 ladies will take to the roads and mountains in two teams of five over the four days of the event from Thursday August 19 to Sunday 22 inclusive.

It will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohill on day two (Friday 20th), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day 3 (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22nd).

The committee are currently looking at ways other people can participate in an online version of the Challenge while representing and raising funds for their chosen charity, and they will be announcing details in the coming weeks via their website and social media.

The Challenge has raised almost €242,000 to date supporting a number of very deserving Kerry charities. This year’s selected charity is Comfort for Chemo Kerry, whose misson is to fundraise €5 million to build and equip a state-of-the-art purpose built chemotherapy unit as a centre of excellence for the patients of Kerry, who need chemotherapy and oncology treatments.

"When choosing this year’s charity the organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend to us all Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer," Tony Dunne, PRO for the Challenge told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry. Little did we think that Mairead would be actually contemplating taken part in the event but in true style and testament to the person that she is, she will be one of the 10 participants. We would be very grateful for any contribution to this worthwhile cause and supporting the participants of this year’s Challenge."

You can donate via www.54321challenge.org or go to the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

To see more about the challenge and the people taking part and to donate go to Facebook: 54321challenge.

"With your support and donations, we can support this very deserving cause."

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Roger and Brendan really into the SWING of things

A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves […]

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A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves a regular challenge against local players.

Roger O’Sullivan, originally from Loreto Road and a member of the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, has linked up with another Killarney man, Brendan Keogh of SWING Golf, on several occasions to bring a group of golfers from the Seattle club to play a number of Kerry and Irish courses.

They compete for the Cider Cup which is their own unique take on the Ryder Cup.

In 2010 Roger led a group of 18 golfers from the US to play in Ireland and they repeated the journey and the adventure again in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

They had another trip planned in 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid but they returned again in 2022 and a group of 44 golfers were back in Killarney in recent weeks to test their skills on the Kerry courses and against local players.

“Since we first started doing this in 2010 we have had 102 different golfers travel from Seattle,” Roger explained.
“I met Brendan Keogh on one of my visits home and he travelled to Seattle, at my request, and organised sponsorship at my golf club.

“Since then our trips have been expertly organised by SWING Golf who book us preferential tee-times, set up the schedule and coordinate our bus drivers. We have never had an issue or anything to worry about. Being friendly with Maurice O’Donoghue, we have always stayed at Scott’s Hotel,” he added.

The US visitors take on local players when in Killarney and this year there was 100 golfers playing on the Killeen course on the first day of their visit.

“The support of the locals has been incredible and I wouldn’t do this without them,” said Roger.
“There have been numerous friendships made over the last 14 years. We have supported a local charity on every trip and for the last two it has been the palliative care unit at University Hospital Kerry. This year we raised €5,100,” he said.

A former student at St Brendan’s College, Roger’s parents were Tony and Juliette O’Sullivan and his father was the head chef in the Gleneagle Hotel for over 20 years before the family purchased Danesfort Lodge at Woodlawn Cross on the Muckross Road.

Roger has been married for 20 years to Amy from Tampa, Florida and they have one daughter, Gracie.
Brendan Keogh joined SWING in the early days of its operation as financial operations manager, working alongside the late Paddy O’Looney.

A member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for 40 years, he is the current CEO and he will have served 33 years next September.

SWING, the brainchild of former Kerry Group chief, Denis Brosnan, markets and promotes the premier golf clubs in the south west and also runs an incoming golf agency.

Records show that the company has booked over 350,000 rounds of golf in the south west alone but it also facilitates golfers wanting to play elsewhere in the country.

The company’s senior team of Brendan, Eileen O’Sullivan and Tommy Pierce have 60 years of experience bringing golfers to these shores.

Killarney has been a huge beneficiary as it is a base for most visiting golfers while on the Kerry part of their trip. The locals like seeing the high spending golfers arrive in April for a season than runs until mid October.
2024 is busy and it is also looking positive for 2025.

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Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

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Over 30 members, past and present, gathered last Tuesday in The Dromhall Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Killarney Toastmasters club.

Several founder members were present including Frank O’Sullivan and Bernadette Noonan, who are still current members of the club.
Members embrace the core values of Toastmasters International which are “respect, integrity, service and excellence”.
This year Killarney Toastmasters welcomed eight new members of various nationalities, who have brought many talents with them to this international club.
Outgoing president Anthony Walsh said: “I am heartened by the progress of new members and, following the success of the current year, I am looking forward to a bright future for the club.”
Anthony passed the chain of office on to incoming President Ann Hannan, who is very excited about leading the club in the year that Toastmasters International celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

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