Kerry Drama Festival: Another week of Drama Ahead

Kerry Drama lovers are bracing themselves for another feast of Amateur Drama this week with the 32nd offering of the annual Kerry Drama Festival, which will take place at the Ivy Leaf  Art Centre nightly.

Starting tonight Friday 1st March with the Wayside Players take on the Rael McCoy by Tommy Marren, there will be a show nightly until next Friday 8th March when John B Keane’s Sive brings down the curtain as the Sliabh Aughty Drama Group get to show their wares.

The 8 night run is, held under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland and is a qualifying ‘stage’ of the RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone in early May.

And if the form is something to go by in the past, well then some of these hopefuls could well end up on the top steps of the podium, come All Ireland time as last year two of the winning groups performed at the Kerry Drama Festival.

The festival will be officially opened by Owen McMahon while the play adjudicator will be Ailbhe Garvey-Hughes who has been involved in theatre for most of her life having worked as a professional actor, director, adjudicator and teacher for over thirty years.

The 2019 line-up of dates, plays, playwrights and groups is as follows:

Friday 1st March 1st 2019, Confined Section, The Rael McCoy by Tommy Marren performed by Wayside Players.

Saturday, March 2nd 2019, Confined Section, Unforgiven by John McDwyer performed by Kilworth Drama Group.

Sunday, March 3rd 2019, Open Section, Life Sucks by Aaron Posner performed by Corofin Dramatic Society.

Monday, March 4th 2019, Open Section, The Mill on the Floss by by Helen Edmundson/George Eliot performed by Dalkey Players.

Tuesday, March 5th 2019, Open Section, Philadelphia, Here I Come by Brian Friel performed by Brideview Drama Group.

Wednesday, March 6th 2019, Confined Section, The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh performed by Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group.

Thursday, March 7th 2019, Confined Section, The Honeyspike by Bryan MacMahon performed by Tarbert Theatre Players.

Friday, March 8th 2019, Confined Section, Sive by John B. Keane performed by Sliabh Aughty Drama Group.

Friday night is also final adjudication and presentation of prizes night. Shows nightly at 8pm.

Admission: Adults €10; Season Tickets: €60. Booking Service on: 086 10 54 515.

Kelly shoots the lights out

Castleisland’s Kelley Burke certainly shot the lights out last week at the BDFPA National Single lift championships in  Shefford England with nine white lights, setting a personal best of 95Kg and taking the junior national record by more than 2.5Kg on the previous record and all in her first serious competition.

The 21-year-old local who is certainly making a name for herself in her sport will now compete in the Full Powers European Championship in Suffolk in April.

Representing the Phoenix Fitness Powerlifting Club in Killarney, they took to their Facebook page after the event to recap on Kelley’s outing.

“It couldn’t have had a better day with Kelley. Her first competition ever and was our only lifter there so made it a tough one without having her team there with her. She was understandably very nervous but kept her nerve to go out and hit her first ever competitive lift of 80kg. With nerves a bit more settled, we went for a second lift of 87.5kg and she hit it with ease again getting 3 white lights again. Our plan was if she could hold herself together for first two lifts we would have a crack at breaking the Junior U70kg squat single lift national record, which currently sat at 92.5kg. She stepped up for it and smashed it no problem with what was a new personal best of 95kg as well.”

Split the bucket proves to be a great success

Killarney RFC have a new and exciting fundraiser up and running called Split the Bucket, a weekly draw where entrants can win money for only €2. We have buckets at various venues around Killarney – bars, restaurants, shops etc – check out our website for a comprehensive list of venues. The concept of the draw is simple, simply place your €2 into the envelope at the venue, write your name and phone on the envelope and you could possibly ‘split the bucket!’

The beauty of this draw is that there is also a prize for the serving staff who gave out the winning envelope, so there is a very nice incentive for the venues to get involved. As each entrant put the name of the server/barperson etc onto the envelope, that person can win 10% of the total brought in each week. We then split the remaining money 50/50 between the winner and the club. So, each week we actually have 2 winners!

This weekend marks the 4th weekend of the draw. The first draw took place at the Golden Nugget in Fossa with Frank Cullothy winning a cool €394 while barman Kevin Kelliher of The Shire won €87. The second draw was won by Dominic Dixon who won €320 while Pat, the barman at the Killarney Avenue won €70. Last Saturday night the draw took place at the Killarney Avenue as the Cup Final was on Sunday and David Kerins won €346 while barman Niall won the sellers prize. A different bar will be the venue each wek and we will announce the details across our social media platforms. Draws will generally take place on Sunday evenings and will be shown live on Facebook.

The split the bucket draw is a new fundraiser for Killarney RFC, whose Seniors won the Martin O’Sullivan Cup at Irish Independent Park last weekend. recently Club Captain Peter Kelly was awarded Munster Rugby Volunteer of the month while our Minis section is the current Munster Rugby Minis Club of the season. The club has recently redeveloped the main and juvenile pitches at our home in Aghadoe, spending over €120,000 on the pitches and next season we will have pitches to rival any. To this end we kicked off a sponsor a sod fundraiser last Summer which has been successful and now the split the bucket fundraiser aims to raise funds for the club. If you would like any more information, check out ourwebsite at for more details.


Disabled drivers in Kerry will hopefully find filling up their cars a bit easier from now on as Niall El-Assaad, the creator of the innovative and free fuelService app for disabled drivers,  visited Ireland last week as a guest of the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) to raise awareness of the app and encourage more Irish fuel retailers to join up to it.

The fuelService app is free for users to download while participating fuel retailers pay a small fee per station to be on it.  The Disabled Drivers Association is the charity partner for the app in Ireland and Applegreen was the first fuel retailer in Ireland to sign up to it. Supermac’s Motorway Services has just joined and will be going live on it within the next few weeks. Niall donates the entire proceeds to charity, with 50% to the charity partner in each country and 50% to spinal research worldwide.

Niall, who comes from Manchester, became disabled following a bike accident in 2013, used his own money and expertise gleaned from a decade or more working in IT to develop the fuelService app. Niall said, “If you’re not disabled, then you’ll probably never realise how difficult a simple thing like filling up your car can be.”  Niall himself never gave it a second thought until the bike accident left him paralysed from the chest down. Following five months in a spinal unit, he learned to drive using hand controls and he  thought his problems were over until the first time he went to get petrol. “If you can’t get out of your car, then you simply have to drive from station to station trying to find one where the staff can help you, hoping you won’t run out of petrol before you get there,” said Niall. “Once you arrive, there is no guarantee that staff will notice you and come to your aid. You can only hope for the best as you flash your lights, beep the horn or wave your disabled driver badge around, but that’s humiliating, particularly as other drivers have no idea you’re disabled and just see you acting as a crazy person!   It was a situation that was crying out for a simple yet effective tech solution that could be used by disabled drivers worldwide, so I am delighted and proud at how well the app has been received so far.”

The DDAI hopes that other fuel retailers will follow the lead of Applegreen and Supermac’s and sign up to the app.  Richard Ryder, marketing manager, said “Niall’s app has literally changed lives, it’s hard to express adequately the difference it has made to the quality of life for our members. We’re meeting another major Irish fuel retailer during his visit and if they come on board, then it will extend the network of participating Irish stations even further, which is very welcome news for disabled drivers everywhere.”

To download the free fuelservice app, go to

Deadline looming for Kerrymen to apply to be Rose Escorts in landmark 60th Year of the Rose of Tralee International Festival

FEBRUARY has faded into the background and as March moves in to brighten our days, it means that time is running out for Kerrymen to apply to be Rose Escorts at the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

This year is a particularly special one for the world-famous Festival as it will celebrate 60 years from Friday 23rd to Tuesday 27th August 2019.

Thursday 20th March is the deadline for gentlemen from the Kingdom aged 21 to 30 to put their names forward online at for a chance to enjoy “the best experience of their lives” as a Rose Escort at the Rose of Tralee International Festival

The primary role of a Rose Escort is to look after his Rose and ensure her time at the Festival is a memorable and enjoyable experience.

There are so many advantages to acquiring the role of a Rose of Tralee Escort as it is particularly suited to any young man possessing the desire to meet lots of new people, travel, build an international network of friends and most importantly have the best year of their life.

The 2018 Rose Escort of the Year, Paul Clabby from Co Roscommon, said: “There are so many reasons as to why I applied. I wanted to make new friends from all walks of life and immerse myself into one of the world’s biggest festivals for celebrating Irish diaspora and culture. From a young age, as a family we always watched the Rose of Tralee on the telly and it was always on my bucket list of life goals to become involved. I wish I became involved sooner.”

Interviews for candidates who have applied to be Rose Escorts will take place in Tralee and Dublin in March and April after which a shortlist of candidates will take part in a team-building Boot Camp in June at some of Kerry’s most stunning locations.

Once the final list of Rose Escorts has been confirmed, they will then participate in a range of Festival events in August including the Gala Rose Ball, three Parades and a week packed full of entertainment.

In order to be eligible to be a Rose Escort at the Rose of Tralee International Festival applicants must:

  • Be male, 21 years of age by 1st January 2019 and not have reached your 31st birthday on or prior to 1st September 201
  • Be unmarried or never been married
  • Be born in Ireland or of Irish origin by virtue of one of your ancestors having been born in Ireland
  • Be available for Selection events and if selected be available for the International Festival events from 21st to 27th August 2019 in Tralee

One of the gentlemen will be announced by Dáithí Ó Sé as the Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ television on Monday 26th August 2019.

The 2018 Rose Escort of the Year, Paul Clabby, said: “The streets of Tralee will come alive for a week-long celebration during which time we really do play our part as Rose Escorts ensuring that our Roses have a phenomenal experience right from the beginning. Even when the festival ends, it is really only the beginning of one of the best years of your life. To date I have travelled to many engagements all over the world. I have tapped kegs of local beer in Frankfurt, participated in various RTÉ TV shows and crossed paths with some of the world’s most inspiring people. And as we say in Roscommon the best is yet to come. Next up is New York, Philadelphia and so much more. Overall the festival has catapulted me into an exciting new life, what are you waiting for!!”

Each candidate will be charged an application fee, and should he be chosen as a Rose Escort, he will be required to obtain sponsorship of €1500.

Lads who are man enough to apply for the job of a lifetime as a Rose of Tralee Escort can do so online before the 20th of March or email for more information.




The Rally of the Lakes organised by the Killarney and District Motor Club and sponsored by Vehicle History and Data Expert are delighted to announce today (27th February) that this year’s Rally of the Lakes will feature the participation of a Hollywood A-lister.


Michael Fassbender, the Oscar-nominated-star of 12 Years A Slave, X-Men and Steve Jobs, will compete in the event. Michael grew up in Killarney, Co. Kerry and is an avid participant of motorsport, successfully competing in the North American Ferrari Challenge series and the Ferrari Challenge series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca among others.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Rally of the Lakes. It also marks the 10th year that Cartell has marked the event as title sponsor.


To celebrate the 40th anniversary this year’s event will feature “Lakes RallyFest Ireland” – a rallying festival to coincide with the addition of a pre-1990 section to the annual programme.


Clerk of the Course Dermot Healy says:

“The rallying years leading up to 1990 included the “golden age” of rallying. Many of these iconic rally cars are alive and well, but many remain out of view from the Irish rally fan.”

About was set up in 2006 to help buyers make an informed choice when buying a used vehicle – including imported vehicles – by providing a user-friendly and cost-effective vehicle data checking service. is a totally independent company and fully Irish owned.

For further information please contact John Byrne on 087 4199018 or at john at or check out  for further information.


Keep an eye on for updates.

Kerry sports clubs and community projects invited to enter the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019

Community organisations, sports clubs and projects from Co. Kerry who benefitted from National Lottery Good Causes funding are now invited to apply for the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019. This awards initiative, which was launched by Irish Olympian hurdler Thomas Barr, honours the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland

The National Lottery Good Causes Awards is now in its second year and is open to organisations making an incredible difference in their communities with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding. The televised awards carry a prize fund of €95,000.

Speaking at the Awards launch at the University of Limerick sports grounds, Barr said: ““As someone who has benefitted hugely from National Lottery Good Causes funding in my career, I am delighted to be associated with these important Awards.  I can see the impact of National Lottery funding all over the country, and its role in supporting Athletes preparing for major competitions including the Olympics.”

He added: “Irish sportsmen and women need to be funded in order to reach their full potential and the contribution of National Lottery Good Causes grants to sporting organisations in particular has been immense. And it’s not just elite athletes who benefit as this funding has made a huge difference to thousands of sports clubs up and down the country. The variety and breath of National Lottery support is impressive with the arts, culture, youth and the Irish language also benefitting.”

Current European Championships bronze medalist in the 400 metre hurdles, Barr represented Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympics where he narrowly missed out on a medal. He holds the Irish National record for the 400m hurdles and was part of the 4 x 400m relay team that holds the current Irish record. He now has his eyes set firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year.

National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, said it is fitting that the profound impact of Good Causes on villages, parishes, towns and cities all over Ireland, is recognised.

“The National Lottery is used to celebrating winners. However we have thousands of winners, unsung heroes, who work quietly under the radar to make positive change in their communities and these Awards reflect that dedication and commitment.

“National Lottery funding would not be possible if it were not for our players all over the country so I thank them for their continued support. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games – or over €620,000 per day – goes back to Good Causes all over the country in the areas of Sports, Arts, Culture, Heritage, Community, Health, Youth and the Irish Language. Last year alone more than €227 million was raised by players of National Lottery games for Good Causes. We are proud that since the National Lottery was founded 32 years ago more than €5.4 billion has been raised.”

He added: “Through the Good Causes Awards we want to show how ordinary, everyday people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their communities. This is work that often goes unrecognised and we are encouraging Good Cause beneficiaries to enter these awards to give them the opportunity to have their hard work honoured.”

Individuals, community projects and organisations in Kerry which received Good Causes funding in the years 2016 and 2017 are eligible to apply. Applications for the Awards are now open and people can enter and check eligibility at

The Awards will have seven categories, with County and Regional finals leading up to the Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday 2nd November in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge in Dublin.

The seven categories are:

  • Sport
  • Health and Well Being
  • Arts/Culture
  • Heritage
  • Community
  • Youth Affairs.
  • Special category: Irish Language

Each category winner will received €10,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year will receive an additional €25,000.

Jigsaw are calling on people from across County Kerry to take a stand

Jigsaw are calling on people from across County Kerry to take a stand with them for young people’s mental health on Saturday 4th May at their Croke Park abseil, proudly supported by Arthur Cox. 

There are just 60 places up for grabs to take on this challenge, which aims to raise over €30,000 to support Jigsaw in delivering their vital services for young people experiencing mental health difficulties.

“I absolutely loved the Jigsaw Croke Park Abseil,” said Justin McDermott, who took part in last year’s abseil. “It was an incredible experience to be in the GAA HQ for the day with Jigsaw. I was terrified at the top, but once I had my feet firmly on the pitch I wanted to do it all over again! It’s a great way to support Jigsaw and youth mental health whist having an amazing and memorable experience.”

You can register your interest in taking part online at, or by calling the Jigsaw Fundraising Team on 01 472 7010.

There is a €50 registration fee, and participants are asked to raise a minimum of €300. Jigsaw will be there with you every step of the way, giving ideas and support to help you reach your fundraising target.

Fáilte Ireland awakens the force in Kerry

 ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival returns from 3rd – 5th May 2019  to celebrate the Star Wars Universe along the Wild Atlantic Way  

Following the success of Fáilte Ireland’s first ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival in May 2018, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, today announced that the festival will take place again this year, with events along the Wild Atlantic Way in both Kerry and Donegal.

Kicking off on May the 3rd in the Kerry village of Portmagee and for the first time, across Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula, the three-day festival will include a host of fun activities for all-ages to celebrate May the 4th, the day when fans across the globe commemorate the Star Wars Universe.

Announcing this year’s ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin said:

“Last year, we marked May the 4th with a wonderful celebration of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Star Wars Universe and this year’s festival promises to be bigger and better, with an amazing line up. The inclusion of iconic Irish landscapes in the Star Wars films has given the Wild Atlantic Way fantastic exposure around the world and, with events in Kerry and Donegal this year, the festival is a brilliant opportunity to promote the West Coast of Ireland and the country as a while.”

New to this year’s ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival in Kerry will be a geodesic space marquee, where fans can immerse themselves in a galaxy far far away with interactive activities from panel discussions to video game competitions. Also joining the programme this year will be a display of Star Wars themed sand sculptures, an Augmented Reality treasure trail and an epic lightsabre battle, all set against the breath-taking backdrop of the West Coast.

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals and Events, Ciara Sugrue said:
“One of the greatest movie makers in the world chose the Wild Atlantic Way as a filming location and Star Wars has raised the route’s profile amongst fans both domestically and internationally. The ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival was designed to build on this connection and attract visitors to explore the West Coast, not only over the May the 4th weekend but throughout the year.

Following the success of our pilot festival in Kerry in 2018, this year’s ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival will also take in the galactic landscapes of the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal. We have been working with local tourism businesses to make this year’s festival even bigger and we have a fantastic line up of events, which not only celebrate the Star Wars Universe but the history and natural landscape of the area.”

Filming for recent Star Wars films took place in locations across Kerry, Cork, Clare and Donegal.

A full programme of events for the ‘May the 4th Be With You’ festival will be unveiled soon, please visit:


Having been at the forefront of Junior golf development in Kerry for the past number of years, The Golf Doc Academy today announced the official launch of the inaugural Kerry Schools Cup golf competition for 12 – 16 year olds.

Teams of  six kids are being invited to represent their secondary school in the Kerry Schools Cup and unlike other sports for 12 -16 year olds teams can be mixed,  boys only or girls only.


Over the past few years The Golf Doc Academy have been requested by both parents and golf clubs to provide additional resources for the dramatic increase in  juniors taking up coaching lessons and availing of the additions to the high tech coaching equipment that James O Dowd and his team provide.

Speaking at the announcement of the Kerry Schools Cup,  James O’Dowd (known locally as the golf doctor) said :-

“I believe with the introduction of golf competitions for boys and girls through the school system will offer a real alternative to athletes that wish to partake in a non-contact sport.   My goal is make golf accessible and fun for all kids in Kerry, if they like the sport”.

The Kerry Schools Cup will be held in the beautiful Beaufort Golf Club in Killarney which is perfectly placed geographically to be accessible for schools from all over Kerry.  The competition will be held over 1 day on Wednesday 10th of April.

Registrations for teams and schools can be completed on line on website and you can reserve your place from Monday 25th February onwards.

The Kerry Schools Perpetual Cup is up for grabs for the winning school along with all the prestige and publicity that will come with being the winners of this great new sports competition in Kerry.

If you have any queries please contact :
086 4141321 or at