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Three Killarney men take on 2,500km cycle challenge

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WILD WAYS: Brothers Donnacha Cassidy (foreground) and Benny Cassidy pictured leaving home in The Park on Wednesday for the epic challenge.

 

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By Sean Moriarty

 

Three Killarney men set off from Derry on Thursday in an attempt to cycle the entire Wild Atlantic Way.

The famed 2,500km driving route passes through nine counties and three provinces, stretching from county Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula in Ulster to Kinsale, County Cork, in Munster.

Brothers Benny and Donnacha Cassidy from The Park, and Tom Daly who is secretary of Killarney Cycling Club, have set a target of between 300 and 500kms of cycling a day and hope to arrive in the County Cork tourist town within six days. Their daily target will depend on weather and other prevailing conditions.

Benny is no stranger to ultra-cycling events and only last weekend finished fourth on the Cycling Ireland sanctioned Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Cycle. He completed that event in 19.5 hours and only stopped for a total of 20 minutes.

Last weekend’s route started and finished in Letterkenny and covered the Inishowen Peninsula as well as the entire coastline of County Donegal.

[caption id="attachment_33667" align="alignleft" width="258"] HILLS OF DONEGAL: Benny Cassidy passes through Mamore Gap on last weekend's Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Cycle with his father Brendan driving their support vehicle.[/caption]

His brother Donnacha, and Tom, revisited most of last weekend’s route on Friday before heading south from Donegal town.

The brother’s father Brendan acted as support vehicle driver last weekend but this week they are on their own.

“Cycling Ireland events require a support vehicle, especially for the night sections,” Brendan told the Killarney Advertiser. “I know how hard it was as I had to drive for those 19 hours. This week’s event is about personal challenges rather than a competition.”

The trio hope to arrive in Kinsale by Tuesday. Their finish estimate is based on Benny’s previous solo attempt in 2018 when he took six days to complete the challenge.

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Killarney woman completes every parkrun in the country

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney woman has entered the record books after completing every parkrun in the country – and more. There are one hundred open parkruns in Ireland and […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney woman has entered the record books after completing every parkrun in the country – and more.

There are one hundred open parkruns in Ireland and a further three that take place behind closed doors in prisons and in health institutions and Majella Moloney has completed all of them.

On Saturday last she completed the Irish list by finishing the Borrisokane run in County Offaly.

She was inspired to take up parkruns by her work colleague Stephen Byrne after suffering a personal crisis in 2017.

“It is so good for my mental health, I can’t explain the feel good factor,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “My personal circumstances changed dramatically in January 2017 and I needed to do something for my mental health.”

She has also done parkruns all over Europe; in total she has participated in 178 runs in countries like Britain, Germany, Poland and Italy.

She has also volunteered for 180 parkruns, often acting as ‘tail walker’ on the event she had entered.

In March this year Majella completed her parkrun Alphabet Challenge by participating in a parkrun in 26 different cities – one for each letter – York in England and Zielona Góra in Western Poland were the two most difficult letters to tick off.

“parkrun has helped me so much,” she added, “I have made friends all over the world.”

Later this year she will join her English friends Don and Sue Esslemont on a parkrun in Britain.

“Sue is doing her 500th walk this year. I first met them in Buncrana [County Donegal] and they encouraged me to travel to more events – it is one big family.”

She also paid tribute to Bertie and Bairbre Hickey from Tralee who have joined her on over 20 runs across Ireland.

SIDEBAR

A new parkrun for four to 14-year-olds has been launched in Killarney.

The first local junior parkrun will take place in Killarney House and Gardens on Sunday at 9.30am.

“Tralee has been holding junior parkruns for a while now but this is a first for Killarney,” Majella said.

The adult Killarney parkrun will take place as usual on Saturdays.

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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