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Donaghy “disgusted” by Irish basketball chief’s Raheem Sterling comment

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Adam Moynihan reports

Tralee Warriors and Kerry GAA legend Kieran Donaghy says he is “disgusted” by a Facebook comment made by the CEO of Basketball Ireland, Bernard O’Byrne, in the aftermath of England’s victory over Denmark in the semi-final of Euro 2020.

O’Byrne has since apologised for his controversial remark, which related to Raheem Sterling’s “dive” during Wednesday night’s high-profile match. Under a BBC article about the incident, O’Byrne replied “BLACK DIVES MATTER”, before subsequently deleting the post.

The comment – a play on words on the Black Lives Matter movement – was greeted by uproar in Irish basketball circles with O’Byrne receiving strong criticism online.

A statement released on the Basketball Ireland website at around 11.30pm on Thursday night read:

Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O’Byrne has deleted a recent social media post, which made reference to an incident at Euro 2020. The comment was made from his personal account.

Mr O’Byrne said: “My choice of words commenting on a penalty incident were not thought out. It was an error of judgement and I wholeheartly apologise for the comments.”

Basketball Ireland would like to stress its ongoing commitment to inclusion and basketball’s diverse community, which has been led by Mr O’Byrne in recent years.

For Donaghy, the apology is not enough.

“Phone on fire this morning,” the Kerryman tweeted earlier today. “Disgusted to see this. I’ve worked so hard to promote the game of basketball in Ireland in a positive light as I [love] this game. His comment does not reflect the REAL basketball people of Ireland and I don’t think the rushed apology will cut it.”

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Justin Tuason of the Killarney Cougars was also critical of O’Byrne’s comment and subsequent apology.

“The apology was the most generic one I’ve ever seen,” the Irish-American said. “I almost could have predicted that word for word.

"For a guy who was quick to lay down the iron fist and demand a public apology from a player for a critical tweet directed at him last year, I hope that the same swift and harsh justice is brought upon him.”

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Patrick O’Sullivan elected as Kerry GAA chairman

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Dr Crokes man Patrick O’Sullivan is the chairman of the Kerry County Board for the second time after he defeated fellow candidate and incumbent vice-chairman Eamon Whelan by 127 votes to 112.

O’Sullivan returns to the role he previously held from 2012 to 2016, replacing the outgoing Tim Murphy who has completed his five-year term at the helm.

Liam Lynch of Austin Stacks has been appointed vice-chair with Joe Costello (St Pat’s) coming in to fill the coaching officer’s position.

The Bag (as O’Sullivan is affectionately known) has already experienced success as Kerry GAA’s top man. He oversaw the appointment of Eamonn Fitzmaurice as senior football manager in 2012 and two years later Kerry won the All-Ireland with O’Sullivan’s clubmates Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O’Leary lifting the trophy.

That 2014 triumph under the Killarney man’s watch is the only one The Kingdom have managed in the past 12 years.

The 54-year-old proprietor of the popular Tatler Jack bar on Plunkett Street has a wealth of experience in GAA administration that stretches back to 1998. Most recently he served as chairman of Dr Crokes for three years before handing the reins to Matt O’Neill at the beginning of 2021.

He is also currently overseeing Kerry GAA’s ambitious ‘Win a House’ competition.

Patrick is the son of former All-Ireland winning Kerry selector Eddie ‘Tatler’ O’Sullivan. His brother, Edmund, is the current manager of the Crokes senior football team.

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Killarney rugby girls remain undefeated

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U16 Munster League

Killarney 30 Dolphin/Midleton/Youghal 5

Aghadoe

Last weekend a combined Dolphin/Midleton/Youghal side travelled to Killarney for the last U16 league game in the conference.

Played in cold and windy conditions, the Killarney girls started like they meant business. The girls played some terrific running rugby and ran in some very impressive scores. Killarney ran the ball at every opportunity and only kicked from hand once in the entire game.

Leading 20-0 at half-time, the girls kept on scoring in the second half. They conceded a late try to the gallant Cork side, who in fairness kept asking serious questions of the Killarney defence. Some of the Killarney girls tackling was very impressive, led by Player of the Match Ava O’Malley whose tackle count was in the teens. She was supported by Clodagh Foley, Melissa McCarthy, Fia Whelan and Bronagh Dorrian.

Any time the Cork side did penetrate the Killarney defensive wall, fullback Marina Eager dealt with it and counter-attacked very well from all areas of the field.

The defensive play of the day came in the last five minutes when birthday girl Fia Whelan wrestled possession from one of the Cork girls’ hands and put in a superbly timed pass to the onrushing winger Niamh Dorrian, who finished off the try very impressively. It was the last score of the game.

Two of our new recruits made their debuts, namely Gráinne Kennedy and Lucy O’Sullivan. Both girls are relatively new to the game but they made significant contributions and are great additions to the growing squad.

By topping their conference, the girls are now into the semi-finals of Munster. In true rugby fashion, both teams shared a warm cup of hot chocolate and some treats after the game, hosted by the wonderful parents of the Killarney girls led by team manager Anne Gabbett. Many more of the parents were, as always, on hand to support the girls and the club.

To top off a great day, the team then visited the fantastic facilities of the newly opened Reboot Recovery Suite for some richly deserved recovery, team bonding, and of course some pizza.

If you think your daughter may enjoy rugby, training for U14s, U16s and U18s takes place in Aghadoe every Wednesday between 6.45pm and 8.15pm evening. New members always welcome. Give Anne a call on 086 3125722.

KILLARNEY RFC: Annie O’Reilly, Ella Guerin-Crowley, Molly Gabbett, Joanne O’Keefe, Melissa McCarthy, Katie O’Donoghue, Clodagh Foley, Ava O’Malley, Robyn Landers, Fia Whelan (captain), Ali O’Donoghue, Bronagh Dorrian, Holly O’Sullivan, Niamh Dorrian, Marina Eager, Miriam O’Sullivan, Grainne Kennedy, Isabella O’Leary, Kate Mangan, Lucy O’Sullivan, Jess O’Sullivan.

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