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.
“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.
Relegation battle has town divided
By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]
By Sean Moriarty
This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.
After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.
In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.
Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.
Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.
“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.
“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”
Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.
“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”
Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.
The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.
Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.
68% of fans say penalty shootouts ‘not right’ for Gaelic football
by Adam Moynihan
Local Gaelic football supporters are largely against the practice of deciding matches with penalty shootouts, a poll carried out by the Killarney Advertiser can reveal.
Over two-thirds (68%) of those surveyed said they don’t think that penalties are “right” for the GAA with the remaining 32% standing on the other side of the fence.
Traditionally exclusive to the game of soccer, penalty shootouts were first introduced to Kerry GAA competitions in 2020 as a method of settling fixtures “on the day”. This was deemed necessary as there was less time for replays due to the profound effect the coronavirus pandemic had on last year’s sporting calendar.
A number of high-profile Kerry club matches have gone to penalties since they were introduced, including last season’s County League final between Austin Stacks and Rathmore, last month’s Kerry SFC Round 1 match between Legion and Spa, and Saturday’s county semi-final between Stacks and St Brendan’s.
Stacks emerged victorious in that televised last four clash as former Kerry player Kieran Donaghy scored the winning kick to send the Tralee club through to the final.
Before penalty shootouts became the norm, drawn GAA matches either went to a replay or to extra-time and then a replay if necessary.
Sorting a match out on the day is now commonplace, although some observers have voiced concerns about introducing what is effectively a soccer exercise to Gaelic games. When asked for their thoughts on penalties, a number of respondents to our survey made the same or similar observations.
“Penalties do not encapsulate the basic skills of Gaelic football,” one reader said. “Kicking from the hand is the key fundamental skill of the sport so that seems a more fair and apt way to decide a game.”
Another fan commented: “Penalties are for soccer. Marks are for Aussie Rules. Can we come up with anything ourselves?”
On the other hand, some respondents said that penalties were “fine” and a few suggested that they be used for any game bar a final.
Kerry GAA have confirmed that the upcoming county final and relegation playoff will go to replays if the sides are level after 60 minutes. However, next Saturday’s intermediate final between Na Gaeil and Beaufort will go all the way to penalties if required.
When asked to select the “best” alternative method of deciding a Gaelic football match from a list provided by the Killarney Advertiser, over 40% of the people surveyed opted for a free-taking shootout from 35 metres.
‘More extra-time’ was the second most popular option with 23.61% of the vote.
An additional period of ‘next score wins’ was next up on just under 20%, with a 1 v 1 ice-hockey-style shootout, which would see the kicker carry the ball in hand before shooting for goal, was selected by 16% of supporters.
Whether or not the GAA are open to changing things up is uncertain. For the time-being at least, it appears as though football matches will continue to be decided using this controversial method.
Killarney Advertiser Penalty Shootout Poll (carried out online on November 23/24)
Are penalty shootouts right for Gaelic football?
If a replay is not possible, which of these alternative methods of settling a match is best:
Free-taking shootout from 35 metres 40.28%
More extra time 23.61%
Next score wins 19.44%
1 v 1 ice-hockey-style shootout (ball in hand) 16.67%
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