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SURVEY: Costly Dublin trip turning Kerry fans off Mayo game

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A survey carried out by the Killarney Advertiser has revealed that a significant portion of Kerry fans will not be attending next weekend’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Mayo as travelling to Dublin is “too expensive”.

The majority of supporters who responded to the survey and said that they would not be going to the game cited financial reasons.

“The cost of fuel if I drive or the train [is too much],” one reader said. “The late throw-in means a hotel which is the price of my mortgage.”

Hotel prices in Dublin have extremely been high of late; the Kerry hurlers were forced to travel up and down the same day when they were unable to secure affordable accommodation for their recent Joe McDonagh Cup final in the capital.

As for followers of the football team, 86% of people who are going to the Mayo game said they would not be staying in Dublin overnight.

The timing of the match itself – 4pm on a Sunday – is also a deterrent according to those who won't be attending. “The game is on too late on Sunday,” one person claimed. “If it was Saturday evening then I definitely would have gone.”

One third of fans travelling alone say they expect to spend between €100 and €150 on the trip to Dublin, while 22% are expecting to spend less (€50-100). Others anticipate spending much more, however: 22% say the trip will come to somewhere between €151-200 and 13% believe they will part with €200-300 to attend the match. These estimates do not include any money spent on alcohol.

Naturally, those travelling with children expect to spend even more. 30% of adults heading to the match with at least one child say it will cost €100-200 and roughly a quarter plan on spending up to €300. Around one in ten fans in this category anticipate shelling out as much as €500-600.

When the Kingdom drew Mayo in the last eight, some locals were hopeful that the GAA would stage the game in nearby Limerick, possibly as a double-header with a minor match that features the same two counties. Instead, the senior match was fixed for Croke Park on Sunday next (June 26) with Galway v Armagh taking place at the same venue at 1.45pm.

When asked if they agree with the GAA’s practice of playing every All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at HQ, 80% of Kerry supporters said that they did not.

Despite the concerns expressed in our survey, the GAA announced on Tuesday that they had already sold 35,000 tickets (at a cost of €40 for the stand and €30 for the terrace) for next Sunday’s games. It is not known how many of those tickets were snapped up by Kerry fans.

Armagh – considered All-Ireland contenders for the first time in a number of years - are expected to be well represented at the famous Jones’ Road ground. Mayo’s fanatical supporters are also likely to travel in good numbers.

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Ladies’ Semi-Final Preview: Armagh stand between Kerry and a third shot at glory

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LGFA All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final

Kerry v Armagh

Saturday 7.15pm

O’Connor Park, Tullamore

Live on TG4

The Kerry ladies are just 60 minutes away from their third All-Ireland final in a row but they will have to bring their ‘A’ game to overcome the challenge of Armagh at O’Connor Park in Offaly later today.

The Kingdom have been installed as competition favourites after beating Meath (and after champions Dublin lost to Galway) in the quarters and they should be in confident form following that victory over the Royals in Tralee a fortnight ago.

However, they are unlikely to have it all their own way against an Armagh side who have beaten them twice already this season, in the league in March and then in the league final in Croke Park in April.

Losing star player Aimee Mackin to an ACL injury in the Ulster final came as a tremendous blow to the Orchard County. Mackin scored 2-6 (2-5 from play) and 1-4 (1-2) from play in the two games against Kerry this year so her teammates will have to make up the difference in her absence.

Kerry, meanwhile, have been buoyed by the return from an ACL injury of Síofra O’Shea, who scored 0-3 off the bench against Meath. The skilful trio of Danielle O’Leary (1-28, 3f), Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh (2-15, 9f) and Emma Dineen (4-5) have accounted for the bulk of the team’s scores this season with Hannah O’Donoghue and team captain Niamh Carmody also capable of finding the target.

Managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long will be hoping that this attacking threat coupled with the teak tough defending of Eilís Lynch, Deirdre Kearney and Aishling O’Connell will be enough to see them over the line. With the dependable Ciara Butler between the sticks, Kerry have kept three clean sheets in their last four games which is a record they would love to improve upon today.

Armagh, who haven’t played in a senior ladies’ football All-Ireland final since 2006, arrive at the semi-final stage on the back of wins over Meath and Mayo. Eve Lavery is their top scorer to date with 0-11 (7f) to her name. Blaithin Mackin, younger sister of Aimee, has chipped in with 1-5.

Kerry v Armagh will be preceded at O’Connor Park by the other All-Ireland semi-final between Galway and Cork. The Rebels last made the final in 2020 while The Tribeswomen are aiming to reach their first decider since 2019. Both counties lost to Dublin in those respective finals.

Galway v Cork starts at 5pm. Both matches will be shown live on TG4.

Kerry team to play Armagh: C Butler; E Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, D Kearney, A Dillane; M O’Connell, A Galvin; N Carmody (captain), D O’Leary, N Ní Chonchúir; H O’Donoghue, E Dineen, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Armagh: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge (captain), R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; E Druse, A McCoy, B Mackin; E Lavery, N Henderson, K Mallon.

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Jordan Lee vows to bounce back as injury ends 2024 Paralympic dream

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Killarney high jumper Jordan Lee is determined to bounce back stronger than ever after announcing his withdrawal from the Paralympic Selection Process due to injury.

The Killarney Valley AC athlete, who represented Ireland at the Tokyo Games in 2021, was hoping to wear the green singlet again in Paris in August/September but he was forced to pull out “due to an injury that had developed over the past couple of weeks”.

“[To say that I’m] absolutely gutted is an understatement considering the season that we’ve just had and being ranked number 6 in the world rankings on the lead-up,” Lee said via Instagram.

“This is sport at the highest level and unfortunately this is an injury that couldn’t turn right in time for Paris which is only a few weeks away.”

The local lad went on to thank Killarney Valley and his coaches Tomás Griffin, Alan Delaney and Shane O’Rourke for their support, as well as his sponsors PTSB, Puma, Toyota, Kellihers Garage and Output Sports.

“To my family and my friends, I’ve always repped that Irish vest with the utmost pride, not just representing myself and my beautiful country, but my amazing family and friends that I have too. I love ye all.

“Wishing my teammates within Paralympics Ireland all the very best in Paris.

“Roll on 2025 for the Europeans. I’ll be back better and ready for vengeance. Believe that.”

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