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Tributes pour in following passing of Caoimhin ‘Shaq’ O’Donoghue



The town of Killarney is in mourning following the untimely death of Caoimhin O’Donoghue, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 49. A well-known and beloved figure in the community, Caoimhin was especially prominent in local sporting circles.

Born and raised in Killarney, Caoimhin spent his life deeply rooted in the community. Party goers and those working in the local nightlife economy will fondly remember Caoimhin for the late night laughs at the door of Mustang Sally’s. Many a local were removed from the nightclub by 'Shaq' for their drunken antics but such was his forgiving nature, an apology and a handshake and he would welcome them back the following week. Having moved on from the security work a number of years back he found home as a porter at the Killarney Park Hotel. Friends close to him say he loved it there, and that his friendly personality and positive attitude made him a perfect fit for role. 

Speaking after the news broke on Thursday morning managing director of the hotel Marcus Treacy said:

“Caoimhin epitomised the perfect colleague that anyone could ever want, he had time for everyone. He came to work every day, always upbeat and always had genuine care and time for not only the guests of the hotel but also every single colleague that he worked with. There isn’t many people in Kerry that would not have known Caoimhin, and whether greeting American guests with the most up to date facts from the NBA or NFL or the local guests, he would give everyone the same welcome, care and respect. I think everyone knows that Caoimhin, in stature, was a big man, but the heart he had was far bigger. From all of his colleagues at The Killarney Park he will be dearly missed but never forgotten. We wish our sincerest condolences to all of the O’Donoghue family and I would like to say that we were proud to have been able to call Caoimhin a friend and colleague.”

His true passion was sport. Growing up playing under-age basketball with St. Pauls, he was much taller than the rest, and it was this size and power that earned him the nickname ‘Shaq’ (named affectionately after the 7-foot-1-inch tall NBA superstar). Later in life he carried his knowledge and passion for sport into countless volunteering and coaching roles with both St. Pauls Basketball Club and his beloved Dr. Crokes. 

Paul Sheehan, Chairman of St Pauls Basketball Club said in a statement yesterday, “We are both shocked and devastated to hear of the untimely passing of Caoimhin O Donoghue. He played underage with us, National League with us and coached in the club when he was finished playing. He was such a great character, known countrywide as Shaq. On a personal level, I have known him since he was 13, and I couldn't say a bad word about him. He will be greatly missed by us all. We extend our sincere sympathies to his mother Margaret, brothers Shane, Cormac, Timmy and sister Sheena.

Dr. Crokes Chairman Eoin Brosnan went on to express his clubs sadness, “All in Dr. Crokes GAA Club and the wider Killarney sports community are greatly saddened to hear of the passing of our great friend and club member Caoimhín O’Donoghue (Shaq). Caoimhín was an integral part of all that is positive in Dr. Crokes. From his younger days as a juvenile player, he continued playing into his adult days as part of Dr. Crokes junior teams. However when he finished playing it was really then that Caoimhín found his niche as a progressive coach and manager and in particular on the ladies side of the club. Caoimhín managed the Dr. Crokes ladies senior team for a number of years during which they had many successes and his work was really the foundation stone for where the ladies side of the club find themselves today, playing as a senior county championship side. All in the club would like to express our sincere condolences to all the O’Donoghue family in this difficult time. 

Good friend and local Counsellor Niall ‘Botty’ O Callaghan was deeply saddened  speaking to the Advertiser this week and said:

“He was a great friend, always so positive and just great craic to be around. We are all devastated and our thoughts are with his family, I don’t know what else to say, we are utterly heartbroken”

Caoimhin is survived by his mother, Margaret, his brothers Shane, Cormac, Timmy, and his sister Sheena, and nephews and nieces. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.



Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]




This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:-

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]




BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.


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