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James O’Donoghue retires from intercounty football

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James O'Donoghue during the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final. PICTURE: BRENDAN MORAN/SPORTSFILE

by Adam Moynihan

Former Player of the Year and two-time All-Star James O’Donoghue has announced his retirement from intercounty football.

The Killarney Legion forward stepped away from Peter Keane’s panel in 2021 to focus on club football, leading to speculation surrounding his future in the green and gold.

O’Donoghue has not featured under new manager Jack O’Connor and today, speaking to Off The Ball, he confirmed that he had actually privately retired last year.

“It’s all over, it’s all over bar the shouting," the 31-year-old said.

"Last year, I was fighting an uphill battle. Realistically, I stepped away from the panel just before the going got very serious because I wasn’t really contributing. I told them at that stage that I was retiring but because Kerry were going too well, we decided not to put out a statement and throw all the good vibes out of the camp. So we just kept it under wraps.

"It’s a painful one, it’s definitely something that’s going to be hard, but it’s the right thing.”

Although he had initially resigned himself to stepping away for good, O’Donoghue did admit that he tried to get himself right for another cut under Jack O’Connor.

“I know Jack well, very well and have always got on great with him, and I know that if I was right, I could have picked up the phone and rang him and said ‘I’m thinking about changing my mind, what do you think?’

“I actually did give a go at getting into very good nick for it, just to see if I could give it one last go, but do you know what - my body wasn’t up to it, just that the way it is. I’ll go back to the club now, tailor my programme and I guarantee you that I might not see another injury, just the slight drop in intensity might suit me.

“If I was right I could have picked up the phone and we’d have had a chat, but it just didn’t feel right.”

O’Donoghue was speaking on The Football Pod, the OTB podcast which he will now host alongside Paddy Andrews and Tommy Rooney.

Despite his battles with injuries, the Killarney native enjoyed a memorable career for The Kingdom. After making his league debut in 2010, he soon became a key figure in Kerry’s forward division and was integral when Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side won the 2014 All-Ireland final against Donegal.

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Spillane brothers named as brand ambassadors

Kerry players Adrian and Killian Spillane have been named as brand ambassadors for Healy Insurances. The brother’s partnership with the local insurance broker comes as Kerry get ready to face […]

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Kerry players Adrian and Killian Spillane have been named as brand ambassadors for Healy Insurances.

The brother’s partnership with the local insurance broker comes as Kerry get ready to face Limerick in the Munster final on May 28.

“We are delighted to team up with the lads this year,” ​​​​​John Healy of Healy Insurances said.

“As talented footballers they embody our core values of integrity, efficiency, progress and of course teamwork.”

Adrian Spillane said that they are thrilled to partner up with Healy Insurances.

“John and the team provide very competitive insurance quotes and the service is second to none,” he said.

Healy Insurances is one of the leading insurance brokers in Kerry and offers competitive quotes for motor, home, property, business, liability and farm insurance.

To find out more follow them on their Facebook page for updates and competitions in the coming weeks.

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New gear leaves Glenflesk girls with happy hearts

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The Glenflesk U12 girls football team were delighted to receive a new set of jerseys recently, kindly sponsored by Mary Cahill of Happy Hearts Childcare, Barraduff.

There was huge excitement when the girls donned the stylish new shirts for the first time last Wednesday, and the O’Neills jerseys proved to be a lucky charm as they defeated Beaufort at home. One of the most striking elements of the new gear is the smiling red heart which is part of the Happy Hearts Childcare logo.

“We would like to sincerely thank Mary for her generous sponsorship and we look forward to many more years of success in our Happy Heart jerseys,” Glenflesk LGFA chairperson Derek Fleming said.

Happy Hearts Childcare was established as a preschool in Knockanes in 2009 and opened with just three children on their books. Numbers have increased steadily over the years and in October 2021 Happy Hearts Childcare moved to a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility in Barraduff village, which now caters for 68 children.

There are 10 staff employed in Happy Hearts and there are plans to expand even further in 2023 when a new extension is planned.

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