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O’Sullivan enters race for Kerry GAA hot seat

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Experienced administrator Patrick O’Sullivan from the Dr Crokes club has announced that he hopes to replace outgoing Kerry GAA chairman Tim Murphy at the upcoming County Convention.

O’Sullivan, who previously held the role between 2012 and 2016, is set to challenge current vice-chairman Eamon Whelan of St Senan’s for Murphy’s seat. Brosna native Murphy will be standing aside at December’s Convention as he has served his term of five years, the maximum length of time permissible under official GAA guidelines.

The Bag (as O’Sullivan is affectionately known) has sampled success as Kerry GAA chair in the past; 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.

ENERGY

“I’ve the energy for it and I think I have something to offer, otherwise I wouldn’t be putting my name forward,” O’Sullivan said as he announced his candidacy in an interview with John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner.

“There are a couple of things that I started and didn’t get finished the last time and I’m hoping to achieve that this time around if I am successful."

“When you enter a race like this, some people mightn’t want you and some might feel you had your turn and now it’s somebody else’s turn. That’s a fair enough opinion but I wouldn’t be going again if I didn’t think I had something to bring to the table.”

O’Sullivan also revealed that he sought counsel from a number of former officials before arriving at his decision to once again run for the chair.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of past officers and their first reaction was ‘do you need to do it again?’ But when I’ve explained why I want to get involved again they have said that I should put my name forward.”

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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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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