Dingle Gin wins “World’s Best Gin” as Irish gin goes from strength to strength on the world stage

Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has congratulated the Dingle Whiskey Distillery which was awarded Overall Best in World at the World Gin Awards Ceremony 2019, which took place in London last night.

Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) said:

“We’d like to congratulate all the team at the Dingle Whiskey Distillery for this wonderful accomplishment, which is another sign of Irish gin going from strength to strength on the highly competitive international stage.

“It’s demonstrates how quality and authenticity is helping brands like Dingle Gin to stand out.

“In 2018, Irish gin grew in both the domestic and export markets.

“There are now over 20 gin producers and over 50 gin brands in Ireland, with 12 new brands introduced in 2018.

“The value of exports of Irish gin from the Republic of Ireland was up 260% in 2018.

“As the Irish gin supply base expands in response to global trends, double-digit growth was recorded in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy and Germany.”

Warriors Shine As Belfast Star’s League Hopes Fade



Story by Alan Cantwell                     Pictures by Liam Ryan


Garvey’s Tralee Warriors have moved to joint second in Super League alongside UCD Marian following a vital but hard earned win away to Belfast Star in De La Salle College in the northern capital on Saturday night. The Warriors produced a performance of quality and endeavour to dominate the first three quarters but had to withstand a late comeback by Belfast in the final minutes to secure what for long periods of the game looked like being a certain win.

The Warriors stormed into the contest with their best start to a game this season to leave the Belfast side stunned. The Tralee side fired in an unanswered 14 points before Belfast even realised the game had started. Eoin Quigley continued his great form with the opening score before Dusan Bogdanovic followed suit. Two superb threes from Paul Dick and Kieran Donaghy helped the Warriors drive on and despite CJ Fulton opening the Belfast scoring with a major score, Kendall Williams and Donaghy added to see the Warriors lead 18-3 midway through the quarter. Belfast sharpshooter Mike Davis finally came to life to find his range and when Matthew Jackson and Conor Johnston also hit the mark the hosts clawed their way back into the contest. However back-to-back scores from Keith Jumper followed by back-to-back threes from Fergal O’Sullivan saw the Warriors lead 28-17 at quarter time.

The Warriors continued to win all the individual matchups on the court in the second quarter and another efficient and effective defensive effort limited Belfast to just three scores from Davis and Johnson, and a meager seven points for the period. On the offensive side Paul Dick was getting to the Belfast board with ease and with Bogdanovic, Donaghy and Jumper all getting in on the act, the Warriors took a 44-24 lead to the long break.

The third quarter was more like a proper contest between the sides and Belfast came more into the game mainly through the scoring power of Davis. Paul Dick opened with his second three of the night before Davis replied with two big scores. Quigley added again to maintain the Warriors advantage before CJ Fulton hit a three for the hosts but that was immediately cancelled out by another Fergal O’Sullivan effort from outside the arc. Keith Jumper also got to the Belfast board but the home side finished the quarter strongly through Paddy McGaharan  hitting four from four from the line and Liam Pettigrew fired in to just about keep his side in touch as they trailed 44-62 at three quarter time.

The Warriors faithful that made the long trip as well as those tuned in online would have assumed that their team would easily see out the win as the sides turned for home. But in reality there were some nervy moments as Belfast mounted a brave and sustained comeback in the final quarter. Bogdanovic made it a 20-point lead early on but Fulton and Davis kickstarted the Belfast momentum before Davis again added from play and free throws. When the fit again Conor Quinn landed back-to-back threes suddenly the apparently unassailable Warriors lead was down to 9. Davis was flawless again from the line before launching a three to fire Belfast right back into the game and cut the gap to 5. The Warriors needed a score to halt the Belfast charge and yet again it was Fergal O’Sullivan that produced a signature three before Williams added again. Davis fired in to complete his top scoring performance and the normally free scoring Sergio Vidal Baldovi added just his first score of the game to keep the Warriors honest. But Eoin Quigley sealed the deal for Tralee side with an effortless three in the final seconds to secure the vital 80-68 win.


Warriors – Paul Dick 16, Kieran Donaghy 14, Fergal O’Sullivan 13

Belfast Star – Mike Davis 34, Paddy McGaharan 9, CJ Fulton 8


Results elsewhere on Saturday night saw Templeogue easily account for DCU Saints and UCD Marian power to a big win away to Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin to keep the top three in position as the end of season drama unfolds. Next week the League leaders entertain Pyrobel Killester while UCD Marian will be looking to win the battle of the colleges when the travel to take on UCC Demons.


For the Warriors it is back to the Tralee Sports Complex for another must win game this time against Maree of Oranmore next Saturday night. Tip off as usual is 7.30pm.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors – Remaining Fixtures
Sat 2nd Mar – Home to Maree                     Tralee Sports Complex 7.30pm
Sat 9th Mar – Home to Templeogue            Tralee Sports Complex 7.30pm
Fri 15th Mar – Home to C&S Neptune        Tralee Sports Complex 7.30pm
Mon 18th Mar – Away to Moycullen                       NUIG Arena 3.00pm
Sat 23rd Mar – Away to UCD Marian                        Belfield Sports Centre 5.00pm
Sun 24th Mar – Home to UCD Marian        Tralee Sports Complex 5.00pm

Local Store supports the Mary Buckley O’Keeffe walk

People from Castleisland and further afield have been called on to come out in force and support a memorial walk on Saturday 2nd March (11am) in memory of the late Mary Buckley O’Keeffe who lost her battle with cancer last year.

Mary was a much loved and valued member of staff at Gravey’s Supervalu Castleisland.

Manager of the store Seamus O’Connor is asking people to “help us remember our dear friend and work colleague Mary Buckley O Keeffe who worked with us here in Castleisland until she lost her battle late last year.”

The store is promoting the Mary Buckley O’Keeffe Memorial Walk in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry Cancer Support House and the Kerry Cancer Support Group Health Link Transport Group.

However, there is much more than just a walk planned with Seamus outlining the day, which begins at 10am for registration for the walk.

“On the day there will be loads of spot prizes to be won and a free Barbeque afterwards. Also Aidan O Mahony, David Moran and Kieran Donaghy will be there on the day for a meet and greet, with the Star man taking part in a half court challenge”

Seamus is confident that there will be a great turnout.

“We have a fantastic community spirit in Castleisland and the surrounding areas and we are counting on this to make the day a massive success and raise as much money as possible for these fantastic organisations that help family’s every day of the week.”

Annual Kingdom Come run to be held at An Riocht in April

The annual Kingdom Come run takes place this year on Sunday 14th April 2019 in Castleisland association with Lee Strand. 

The event has two distances a 10 mile and 5km run. The event is organised by An Riocht AC which attracts participants from all over Kerry, Cork, Limerick, and as far away as Tullamore!  A flat and fast 10 mile route was chosen by Riocht club athletes last year, the feedback for the new route was fantastic with many people achieving personal best times.

Our 5km route remains the same as previous years and sees a wide variety of abilities taking part in this event.  

The 5k run often attracts “first time” 5k participants who have completed training at the An Riocht track through the popular Couch to 5k programme. 

The Couch to 5k programme is ongoing at the moment and is on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm. Sessions are approx. 30 minutes and costs €2 per session, people can join in anytime to the programme with families and walkers most welcome.  For more information on the Kingdom Come Run please find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/kingdomecomerun or through the race website

Last year almost 400 runners took part in the annual Kingdom Come Run in Castleisland on Sunday last. There was plenty of local familiar faces present from the surrounding athletic clubs in Kerry, along with a large number of runners from every corner of the Kingdom, County Cork and Limerick.  A smile was on the faces of all runners when they were presented with a finisher’s medal and souvenir along with hot food and a well-deserved cup of tea.

The 10 mile race was won by Tommy O Brien (An Riocht) in time of 57.09 and the first female home in this event was Maria McCarthy (Farranfore Mainevalley AC) in a season best time of 62.51.  Sean O Sullivan (An Riocht) won the 5k run in a time of 16.19 with Niamh O Sullivan (An Riocht) winning the female race in a time of 19.08.


Killarney Volunteers to host fundraiser for Nepal

A group of Killarney friends are hosting a fundraising night in aid of the Maya Foundation on Friday March 1st at the Curious Cat Café.  Holly de Burgh, Seamus Coffey and Tadgh Healy all from Killarney along with two friends from Limerick – Rory Dalton and Jason Moore – have all volunteered in Nepal with the foundation. The group visited Kathmandu where they met Usha – their facilitator – who works with impoverished communities throughout Nepal and provides education and relief with the help of donors both from Nepal and abroad.  The group heard about the work she is doing through Sense of Yoga Ireland who have been raising money through fundraising events which have gone towards building two schools in Kathmandu which provide free education to local children.  The group travelled to the city of Biratnagar in the East of Nepal to work with a group of people referred to as the Musahar, from the Dalit caste. These people are discriminated against and often referred to as ‘untouchable’ The Musahar are also one of the most uneducated people in Nepal with literacy rates as low as 6 per cent for men and 2 percent for women. Usually children will drop out of primary school education due to social or economic factors. Quite often, because of the caste they belong to, they are ostracised and teased at school by other students – and on occasion by teachers also. Also, although education is free in Nepal, the indirect costs, such as uniform, books and stationary usually prove crippling for the Musahar caste and this usually leads to a discontinuation in studies with about 92% of children dropping out of school before the age of ten.  The group spent time in two villages whilst volunteering. In one village they built secure doors for a number of the homes and also benches and tables for the small school that we refurbished.  We also provided books and stationary for the students in the school and teaching supplies for the volunteer teacher.  They also spent time on the border of India and Nepal, Holly said “Personally I have never seen people as poor as them. They live hand to mouth with limited access to medical care, education and employment.”  The group are looking to donate items such as buffalo and goats to the community which will give them more sustainability and hopefully help to break the cycle of poverty.  Each group member agrees that it was a rewarding experience. Their aim now is to create awareness about these people and the problems they face. The fundraising event starts at 7pm There will be a display of photographs taken during the trip and a chance to learn more about the cause. Entry is 10 euro with a complimentary glass of wine and nibbles.

Davy keeps his promise to Killarney Student

St Oliver’s National School student Michael O’Brien won the nation’s hearts when he appeared on the Late Late Toy Show back in November. The 11-year-old GAA fan stole the show during the book segment of the programme. Speaking to host Ryan Tubridy, Michael described his love for GAA and spoke about his favourite manager – Wexford’s Davy Fitzgerald. Michael, who is visually impaired, was astounded when Ryan told him that Davy had come along to meet him. Michael told Davy “I have your book in the back, right? And I need you to sign it.” Fitzgerald had a request of his own for Michael telling him that he could do with someone with his passion to give him a bit of help with speaking to his team. Davy felt that with three important league games for Wexford coming up- Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny – Michael would be the man to give them a pep talk before they headed out on the pitch. Davy fulfilled his promise as Michael took to the field at Innovate Park, as the guest of honour after he had prepped the team ahead of their Allianz League win over Tipperary. Wexford senior hurling coach Seoirse Bufflin tweeted about Michael’s powerful speech saying that it was a privilege to have had him visit, that he was an inspiration to adults and kids alike and said that you could hear a pin drop when he spoke to the team.

The Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Chiarraí Cross Country Championships


The Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Chiarraí Cross Country Championships were run in Cahersalee Tralee on Wednesday last the 13th of February. A total of 46 schools with 561 athletes competed with well over a hundred competing in each of the four races.

In front of a huge crowd of vociferous supporters all athletes gave it their all and every one of them completed the course a huge majority participating for the first time and judging from the feedback all enjoyed the experience and though the numbers were well up from last year’s inaugural event all went off smoothly on the day. The weather was perfect for the run and the underfoot conditions were also perfect for the event. In the opening race of the afternoon the 3rd/4thclass girls race Jesssie Ní Loinsigh from Scoil Eoin Baiste Lios Póil ran an outstanding race and led from the front to claim gold. She was followed home byAoibheann Mc Carthy, Scoil Eoin Balloonagh and Abby Stephenson, Spa NS. Spa NS took the gold in the team event. In the 3rd/4thclass boy’s race we were treated to an exciting finish as Tiernan Ó Loinsigh Scoil Eoin Baiste Lios Póil led all the way and appeared set to emulate the feat of his sister in the opening race. However, Isaac Vickers from Firies NS never gave up the chase and finished with a powerful sprint to catch Tiernan on the line and take the gold for the Firies NS by the narrowest of margins. Conor Mc Gibney from Spa NS finished a strong third. Dromclough NS. took the gold in the team event.

In the 5th/6thClass Girls race Rachel De Barra from Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn gave a top class performance as she led throughout the race to claim gold and add to the gold she won in the inaugural event last year. Lilly May O Gara, Spa NS came home in second spot followed by Mairéad Walsh, Knocknaderry NS. The team event was won by Spa NS.

In the final race of the evening the 5th/6thClass boy’s race in excess of 150 boys set out in search of the title. Adam Quigley from Scoil Dar Earca, Dairbhe last year’s runner up ran a powerful race to claim the gold. Aaron Horgan Scoil Erc, Glenderry and Eoin O Flaherty from Ardfert NS tried to close the gap on him but he was not to be denied gold this year. The chasing pair produced an excellent finish as they closed the final metres neck to neck but on this occasion the Ballyheigue man got over the line by the tightest of margins to claim silver. Scoil Eoin Balloonagh took the gold in the team event.

The event was an outstanding success as most schools have been working with their pupils in preparation for the event since early January. We hope that this will encourage all participants to continue with the running at a level which suits them. Mile buíochas, to all the teachers who helped, too many to mention but, a particular word of thanks to Margaret Kissane for her dedication to this hugely popular event. Special thanks also to Joe Wallace and Coiste Chontae Chiarraí for the use of the fantastic facility in Cahersalee with many of the teachers remising on their younger days when they represented their respective secondary schools in their youth at running events at the same venue.

List of medal winners.

3RD/4THCLASS GIRLS. Jessie Ní Loinsigh, Scoil Eoin Baiste, Lios Póil. Aoibheann Mc Carthy, Scoil Eoin Balloonagh, Abby Stephenson, Spa NS, Anna Sullivan, Spa NS. Claudia Mercel, St. John’s Kenmare. Sadhb Cahill Scoil Mhuire Brosna.

Teams. 1stSpa NS, 2nd Scoil Eoin Balloonagh, 3rd Kilmurry NS.

 3rd/4thClass Boys.  Isaac Vickers, Firies NS, Tiernan Ó Loinsigh, Scoil Eoin Baiste Lios Póil, Conor Mc Gibney, Spa NS. Cormac Houlihan, Scoil Dar Earca, Dairbhe, Darragh Murphy Derryquay NS, Seamus O Donoghue, Kilgarvan Central NS.

Teams. 1stDromclough NS, 2ndTarbert NS 3rdGaelscoil Mhic Easmainn.

5th/6thClass Girls. Rachel De Barra, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Lilly May O Gara, Spa NS, Mairéad Walsh, Knocknaderry ns, Sorcha Cameron, Tarbert NS, Andrea Ní Mhurchú, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Clodagh Dwyer St. Finian’s NS Waterville.

Teams.1stSpa NS,2nd Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn,3rd Gaelscoil Faithleann.

5th/6thClass Boys. Adam Quigley Scoil Dar Earca, Dairbhe,Aaron Horgan Scoil Erc, Glenderry, Eoin O Flaherty, ArdfertNS, Fionnán Ryan, Scoil Eoin Balloonagh, Georgie O Donnell, Coolard NS, Jack ó Rodáin Gaelscoil Faithleann.

Teams1stScoil Eoin Balloonagh,2ndScoil Iognáid Rís, An Daingean,3rd  Gaelscoil Faithleann. The School of the Year Awardwent to Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn. Comhghairdeachas leo.


Saving Lives in the Community

The Killarney Cardiac Response Unit reached a milestone for saving lives in the community this week as they responded to their 600th emergency call. The voluntary unit is made up of approximately 40 volunteers, from all sectors of society, who respond to 999/112 emergency Cardiac Phone calls. The response unit is activated once a Cardiac call is made to Ambulance control and they cover an area of 6km from the centre of Killarney Town, there are numerous AEDs located in the area. Responders have a Pager/Radio on them which is linked in with a control phone through the National Ambulance Service. They complement the National Ambulance Service by providing care in the vital minutes before The National Ambulance Service arrive on scene. It is Vital that resuscitation is started as soon as possible following a cardiac arrest as an out of Hospital Cardiac arrest has the worst possible outcome for survival, mainly because resuscitation is often delayed. Killarney Cardiac Response Unit always welcome new members and full training is provided to all new members. All donations made to the unit are used to fund their activities and to purchase the lifesaving equipment used in the community. If you would like to help save lives in your community, please Find out more by visiting www.killarneycru.ie Killarney Cardiac Response Unit would especially like to thank all of their volunteers, the national ambulance service, Supporters and sponsors of the unit that made this possible.

Killarney National Park to benefit under Rural Regeneration & Development Fund

The glasshouses at Muckross House in Killarney National Park are set to receive funding for restoration following an announcement by  Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring, TD under his Department’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.

The National Tourism Development Authority said that the announcement is recognition of the importance and value of tourism to rural regeneration and development.

Killarney is among multiple national parks that will receive €3,915,000.

Works at National Parks will provide a major upgrade of National Parks and Reserves in a number of locations, including Kerry, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Wicklow.

The money will aid the implementation of the Tourism Interpretative Master Plan for Ireland’s National Parks and Nature Reserves. Works will include creating new Park trails, upgrading of access facilities and car parks, restoration of greenhouses in Killarney National Park, new signage and visual imagery, and the use of hybrid buses in selected National Parks to assist in lowering the carbon footprint of visitor activities.

Couple safely rescued on Carrauntoohill

An English couple were safely recued following a call out for the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team on Friday last.

At 13.40 the team was contacted by Killarney Gardaí after an English couple became cragfast on the north-east face of Carrauntoohill. The couple had ascended the Devil’s Ladder earlier and had decided to turn around before reaching the summit due to high winds. On their descent they became disorientated and descended unknowingly onto Collin’s Rib, a steep rocky feature adjacent to the left fork of Collin’s Gully on the north-east face of the mountain.

A full callout was initiated and the casualty’s location was verified using the SARLOC (search and rescue locator) app. Team members climbed to the summit and abseiled down steep and dangerous ground to the casualty’s position, securing them in-situ before assisting them back to the summit using a safety rope system. The casualties were then walked off the mountain via the Devil’s Ladder route.

A total of 19 team members were involved in the rescue operation which concluded at 21.30 on Friday night.