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Two from two for Devine and O’Sullivan on Killarney Rally of the Lakes





Muckross co-driver Noel O’Sullivan and his Derry-based driver Callum Devine took their second Assess Ireland Rally of the Lakes victory in as many years after an epic two days of motorsport in the West Cork and Killarney areas.

CHAMPIONS: Noel O'Sullivan and Callum Devine won the Rally of the Lakes for the second time. Photo: Ger Leahy

The Volkswagen Polo GTi crew fought back from a puncture on Killarney’s Moll’s Gap opener to then grab the rally lead on stage four, the daunting Ardgroom stage.

Despite several challenges and dramas including a late steering rack issue they managed to hold off the advances of Robert Barrable and Gordon Noble in their Citroen C3 Rally 2 to take a 25.1-second victory

O’Sullivan becomes the first Kerry-based competitor to win the rally twice.
“I was lost for words the first time, and I really don’t know what to say this time either,” said O’Sullivan. “I grew up watching this rally, and my earlier memories are of Bertie Fisher and Rory Kennedy winning this rally. I never thought I could win, never mind twice, I am very lucky to be competing at the front of this sport and I am very grateful to all who gave me the opportunities.”

Fellow Killarney men and early rally leaders Rob Duggan and Ger Conway had a bitterly disappointing end to what was a brilliant debut performance in their first Killarney outing in a top-line rally car and Rob’s first time competing in a top car since 2018.

Starting off the event with fastest on the first stage, setting a blistering pace on Moll’s Gap to be fastest by 9.8 seconds. The defending modified champion drove a similar Polo to that of the event winners. Fastest again on the opening run over a very wet Moll’s Gap on Sunday morning, the local crew started Sunday morning in third place. Their brilliant run came to a dramatic end on the rally’s penultimate stage, Gortnagane, when they clipped a bank and broke a steering arm.

Local driver Alan Ring and his West Cork co-driver Adrian Deasy were another crew on a debut run in another Polo. They realised their pre-event plan of a top-ten finish by coming home in ninth place. It was their first outing in a frontline car in several years after concentrating on historic rallying in recent times. Ring rued the lack of seat time and full confidence in his hired machine but, nevertheless, was very happy with his run.

Local Crews:

Lawlor’s Cross crew John McCarthy and Kieran O'Donoghue put in one of the drives of the rally to bring their Ford Escort home in tenth place and third in the modified section of the rally.
“We are very happy with the result,” said O’Donoghue, “It was a very hard rally on cars and men.”
Conor Murphy and Sean Collins overcame a host of problems, including a misfiring engine and a puncture to bring their Ford Escort home in 12th place.
Dave Slattery and Denis Coffey were three places behind in another Escort. They endured a host of problems including a broken throttle and clutch cable over the two days.
Defending junior champions Jason Farrell and Donagh Crowley stepped up to the main rally for the first time and took their Honda Civic to a dominant class 11F win. Mark O'Leary and Andrew Cronin were second in the same class in their Toyota Starlet.
Robert Counihan Timmy Kelly reported a trouble-free run in their Toyota Corolla Twin Cam to finish 37t.
Shane Doyle and William Kelliher were second in their class in their BMW E30
Father and daughter John Hickey and Michelle Hickey had a very enjoyable weekend in their Fubaru.
“I could do nothing better in the world, all the holidays you can imagine, than a father a daughter competing together in the Rally of the Lakes.”
His brother Charlie and his daughter Charlene had to rely on Super Rally rules to get to the finish but also reported an enjoyable weekend.
Raymond O'Neill and Jason O'Connor finished second in class 12 in what was O’Connor’s first attempt at the rally.
Despite a few close calls on their home Gortnagane stage, husband and wife Brian Doherty and Tara Duggan had a good weekend in their Ford Fiesta.
Killarney co-driver Tommy Moynihan guided Patrick O'Connor to fourth in class 20 in their Mitsubishi Evo 10.
There was an interesting mix of local co-drivers on pacenote duty for the O’Callaghan family. Sean Nolan guided Chris to 59th overall while his mother Hazel, guided by Tony McCarthy was six places
Father and son Tom O'Sullivan and Mark O'Sullivan reported a trouble-free run, as did Maurice Kennelly and Eoin Mulvihill.
Thomas Randles and Mark Horgan had severe engine problems in their Ford Escort and had to use Super Rally rules.
Kieran Fitzgerald and Denis O'Leary survived an off-road excursion in Beallaghbeama in their Toyota Starlet to take seventh in Class 11F.
Ruby O'Riordan made her rally debut and guided her father John to fourth in class.
Steven O'Connor and Paul McGlinchy overcame fuel pipe issues to make it to the end.
For the third event in a row, Sean Hickey and Noel Fleming failed to complete the full rally because of alternator problems.
Bob Moran had alternator issues in his Escort but made it to the end.
Stephen O'Connor and Jonathan O'Shea were contesting their first Rally of the Lakes and suffered brake issues in their Toyota Starlet.
Local co-driver Ger Somers and Raymond Spence overcame a host of clutch issues to get their Ford Escort to the finish.
Billy McCarthy and John Falvey broke a steering arm in their Nissan Micra on the first run over Beallaghbeama and were another crew to use SuperRally to get to the end.
Three crews: Jack O'Shea/Darragh Lynch (Austin Mini Cooper) Gary Healy/Kevin Doherty (Honda Civic) and Amy Burke/Emel McNamara (Ford Fiesta Mark 1) all used Super Rally rules to get to the end.

Historic rally:

Co-driver Brian Duggan was the best-placed Kerry man in the historic rally. He guided Luke McCarthy to fourth place.
Brendan O'Mahoney and Darren O'Mahoney were eighth in their unusual Lada Samara.

Junior category
Brothers Damien Nagle and Shane Nagle were the top Kerry crew on the junior rally, taking fifth place at the end.
The unrelated Keith O'Connor and Aaron O'Connor were three places behind and happy to put their heavy Midlands Moto Rally crash behind them.
Brother and sister Mossie Costello and Megan Costello were ninth in their Civic.

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Fire warning in National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]




The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.

As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:

“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:

“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”

The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:

“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”

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Killarney Looking Good Competition returns

Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]




Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.

When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.

After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.

This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.

Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.

This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.

Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.

In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.

Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.

The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.

MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.

The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

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