This March, Gary O’Sullivan (30) from Castleisland, Co. Kerry will travel to Abu Dhabi to compete in Athletics at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Part of a 91-strong Team Ireland squad, Gary will represent his country at highest level of sporting competition for Special Olympics athletes.


The road to Abu Dhabi started four years ago; this week, the final preparations began in earnest for Special Olympics athletes across the country, with the official launch of Team Ireland for the 2019 World Games.


Taking place between 14-21 March 2019, Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the largest sporting and humanitarian event in the world this year. Supported by a volunteer management team of 39, Team Ireland will join 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries at the Games.


Supporters and sponsors caught up with the athletes for the official launch of the squad on Friday night in Dublin, ahead of their last residential Team Ireland training session this weekend. The 91 athletes travelled to Dublin to train together and ensure that they are ready to take on their biggest sporting challenge yet.


Emma McMenamin, Head of Delegation for Team Ireland added: “These athletes are extremely focused and determined and like any athlete facing into a major competition, they are putting 100% into their training. It was great to see how excited the athletes are to be part of this huge event. To represent Team Ireland and compete on the World Stage in Abu Dhabi is a big honour and one these Special Olympics athletes are not taking lightly.”

Ahead of the official launch, President Michael D. Higgins sent a message of support to Team Ireland athletes. He said: “Being chosen to represent your country on the international stage is a great honour indeed. It is a tribute, not only to your great talent as athletes, but also to your dedication, hard work and perseverance; qualities which make you inspirational role models and admirable ambassadors for Ireland.


“I thank you for your commitment to representing our country so proudly on the international stage and assure you that, as you travel to Abu Dhabi, you bring with you the support and goodwill of all of the people of Ireland. May I wish each and every one of you every success and many precious moments of enjoyment and happiness at the 2019 Games. May I also commend those who have encouraged and assisted you on your journey to date including your coaches and family members.


“I have no doubt that Ireland’s great reputation at the World Summer Games will be further enhanced by Team Ireland’s performance in Abu Dhabi, and that you will make us very proud indeed.”


Special Olympics Ireland is first and foremost a sports organisation and charity that supports children and adults with intellectual disabilities. As the countdown to the World Games gets under way, Special Olympics Ireland is calling on the business community and individuals to help them raise much-needed funds to send the athletes to Abu Dhabi. To cover the cost of sending Team Ireland to the Games, Special Olympics needs to raise a total of €455,000 (€5,000 per athlete).


Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, said: “2019 is shaping up to be a huge year for our athletes having worked so hard over the past three years to qualify for these Games. Companies large and small can show their support for Team Ireland by visiting and getting involved in our support an athlete campaign. The Irish community have been so generous towards us and we are calling on you again to play your part and help make the dreams of our athletes come true.”


For further information about Team Ireland and the Support an Athlete programme, visit


To keep up to date with Team Ireland’s preparations for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, follow Special Olympics Ireland on Twitter @SOIreland and Facebook, and follow the hashtags, #TeamIreland and #PlayYourPart.


Wedding bells at Muckross Park Hotel & Spa this January with a winter wedding showcase 

Muckross Park Hotel & Spa, the magnificent 5-star destination hotel in the heart of Killarney National Park will host a winter wedding tasting event on January 5th 2019. Ideal for newly engaged couples planning their special day, the event will showcase the very best that a magical wedding day at Muckross House Hotel has to offer. 
Taste the delicious wedding menus, view the wedding suites and meet the experienced wedding team. Sample dishes like shredded confit of duck leg with coconut and gin & tonic sorbet, grilled fillet of beef with roast shallot confit, seared fillet of turbot with saffron roast potato or roast supreme of corn-fed chicken served with pommes Anna, before sampling a delicious selection of desserts.
They say all the fun is in the planning and there’s plenty of fun to be had at the winter wedding event at Muckross Park Hotel & Spa with a live band and a host of local suppliers who will be on hand to offer tips and tricks to guarantee you a wedding day you’ll never forget. 
With a variety of spaces to choose from; whether you are planning an intimate or extravagant celebration, Muckross Park Hotel & Spa is the perfect setting. Any couple interested in attending the winter wedding taster event at Muckross Park Hotel & Spa should contact Wedding Coordinator, Bernie O’Donoghue, or call +353 (0)64 6623400. 

Launch of Still In The Dreaming – An Anthology of Kerry poets

Muckross House was the beautiful venue for the launch of a stunning new book ‘Still In The Dreaming’ on Wednesday 28th November last. Leas-Cathaoirleach Cllr. John Joe Culloty launched the book, praising the quality of the poems and the dedication of the writers to their craft.

Last June a call-out for submissions to Kerry County Council’s writer in residence Annemarie Ní Churreáin, on social media, newspaper and radio as well as through the Arts Office’s own e-newsletter drew a huge response. Sixteen poets were selected, and they worked with Annemarie to polish and hone their poems in preparation for publication.

These poets are Barbara Derbyshire, Bernadette Ní Riada, Conor Cleary, Elizabeth Murtough, Faye Boland, John McGrath, Kevin Griffin, Lola Scollard, Lorraine Carey, Marian Relihan, Mary Lavery Carrig, Michael Joyce, Noel King, Paul Murphy, Philomena Hearne (nee Stack) and Victoria Kennefick.

The workshops took place in Kerry County Museum and Annemarie has now overseen the editing and publication of these poems.

‘I chose ‘Still In The Dreaming’ for the title of the book as a tribute to the late John Moriarty,’ she explains. ‘John was a poet who was deeply inspired by nature and he described Kerry’s landscape as one that was still in the dreaming.’

Kate Kennelly, Arts Officer, adds, ‘These new poems all capture in their own way the deep connections of nature and nurture that Kerry people feel for the world and people around them. Each poem is a worthy addition to the treasure that is Kerry literature and the book is something to be proud of.’

‘The residency was supported by Kerry County Council, The Arts Council, The Trustees of Muckross House and Gardens, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Creative Ireland Kerry, and along with Kerry County Museum’s hosting of the workshops and Kerry Library hosting workshops also, reflects the strong support there is for writing in the county.’

The writer in residence programme will recommence in March 2019 and further details will be posted on @KerryCoArts on twitter and facebook and in the e-newsletter which can be subscribed to through Kerry County Council’s website.

Copies of Still In The Dreaming will be available to purchase on the night and can be bought for a limited time through the Arts Office at Kerry County Council. They will also be available for loan through Kerry Libraries.

Launch of The Kerry Magazine, No. 29, 2019.

The Kerry Magazine (No. 29, 2019), which is published annually by the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, was launched in Killarney library on Tuesday night, by Patricia O’Hare, Research and Education Officer, Trustees of Muckross House, Killarney. This year’s magazine contains 21 articles and other material including a list of publications about Kerry, relating to Kerry and by Kerry authors received by Kerry library during the period October 2017-October 2018. As usual the range of subject matter reflects Kerry’s rich and diverse culture and heritage. The geographical spread of material throughout Kerry is as varied as possible. It ranges from Dingle, Tralee, Ballymacelligott, Killarney, Milltown, Farranfore to Brosna. Speaking at the launch editor and Society president Marie O’Sullivan, reflected “where in any other publication would one find an article about the 60th anniversary of The Rose of Tralee alongside an article on Martin Luther and the impact/legacy of the Reformation in Kerry 500 years on”! She further stated “this just proves that there is a place in the Magazine for a wide range of subject matter and for a broad readership”. Marie reflected on the article commemorating the 50th anniversary of Siamsa Tíre, and how our National Folk Theatre, which is based in Tralee, has highlighted that particular aspect of our culture on the world stage, during the last 50 years. On behalf of the Society, Marie thanked county librarian Tommy O’Connor, for the support of the library service and Kerry County Council, down through the years. She further thanked the contributors, designer Catherine Teehan and Walsh Colour Print. The Magazine, which is distributed free to Society members, will also be available for sale for a limited period of time in local shops and bookshops throughout Kerry. In conclusion, Marie suggested that it would make an ideal Christmas gift for anyone at home or abroad, as would membership of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society,

Rock n’Roll Night was a Festive Success

Ballygarry House Hotel hosted the fabulous ‘Rock n’Roll Christmas’ themed party night last weekend where 350 guests were invited for a festive celebration. Businesses from Tralee, Cork and Limerick joined in a shared party night where everyone was dressed to impress.

The atmosphere was electric generated from the saxophone and singing of Fergus O’Sullivan who blasted out some of the great Rock n’Roll favourites while the guests sampled the mulled wine. This was followed by a sumptuous five course gastronomical extravaganza. The night progressed on the dance floor where jovial fun and great dance moves were on display and everyone agreed the party was a festive success.

The Rock n’Roll theme night brought back many great memories for the hotel as it celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Feel the magical Christmas spirit at Ballygarry House and enjoy our specially created Festive lunch and dinner menus with clients, colleagues, friends and family. To arrange a reservation contact us on 066-712 3322 or

St Joseph’s Secondary School Craft Fair

St. Joseph’s Annual Christmas Craft Fair will take place this Friday 7th December from 9.30 to 12.30, please come along and support, lots of arts, crafts and Christmas treats. 


Ballybunion Senior Citizens
The Ballybunion Senior citizens Christmas Party takes place this year on Thursday13th December at the Cliff House Hotel. If you are entitled to a free ticket, please contact any committee member. Eileen Fogarty 086-2234965, Con McCarthy 087-4184241, Marie Houlihan 087-9542102, Mike Rowan 085-1132290. Tickets can be purchased at €25 each. Music by Stevie Donegan. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Meals on wheels will be delivered every Tuesday and Wednesday in the Ballybunion, Asdee and Ballydonoghue areas. Anyone wishing to avail of this service can contact Eileen on 086 2234965. Cost of dinners is €6 each and are delivered to your door.
Activities: There will be activities in the towers every Tuesday morning from 11 to 2pm with Mairead Hanlon so come along and join in. Excerise, Music & Arts.


Winter Solstice Gathering
You are invited to join this deeply nurturing evening on Friday 21st December at “the room of light” (upstairs at the Ballybunion community center) from 7-10pm. Our night will be honoring our year so far. Our journey with it. Honoring the shortest day in the year by celebrating the dark. It is only in the dark we see the light. As we look forward to the return of light. To the promise of longer days and spring. What promises does it hold for you? We will be creating sacred circle, Meditating, Dancing into each of the 4 directions, Drumming, Ceremony around darkness and light. Lovely warm tea and a sweet treat.
Cost is €30 and places are limited and given on a first come first served basis. Booking is essential! 
Please bring a blanket, mat and cushion. Please phone Rosarie 087-6147359


Christmas Coffee morning for Hannah
Antoinette O’Sullivan would like to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped and donated to her coffee morning for Hannah ‘The Princess Warrior’. She would like to say a special ‘Thank You’ to Namir’s Restaurant for hosting the event, and for the kindness that they showed. She would also like to thank all those who donated treats, and all the shops and businesses for their donation of spot prizes for the raffle. 
Thank you to everyone who helped on the day and made the Coffee Morning such a huge success, especially Santa who made a special visit to all the children and gave them gifts. Finally, she would like to thank the 5th and 6th year students of St Joseph’s Secondary School, for choosing ‘Hannah, The Warrior’, as one of their charity, and for presenting her with a cheque for €250.00 for Hannah. Over €1400.00 has been raised from the coffee morning for Hannah’s care. When she comes out of hospital, this donation will go towards physio and rehabilitation. Thank you very much

Warriors stunning comeback downs Demons

Alan Cantwell was at the Tralee Sports Complex as Fergal O’Sullivan kick started an amazing comeback for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors as they booked their place in the final four of the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup with victory over UCC Demons

 Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 85 UCC Demons 79 


For the first time in their short history, Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are through to the semi final of the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup after overcoming UCC Demons in a pulsating and at times dramatic quarterfinal at the Tralee Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.

The Warriors looked like exiting the competition midway through the third quarter before two big three point scores from Fergal O’Sullivan kick started a comeback to rescue the game from the brink and ultimately see the home side overpower their keen rivals in the final quarter. However up to that point it looked like the game had only one likely winner as Demons powered their way through the first two quarters to lead by 16 at half time with the Warriors uncharacteristically struggling at both ends of the court.


The lively Brandon Watts was on the mark for Demons twice in quick succession early in the first but Kieran Donaghy and Darragh O’Hanlon also found the target for Warriors. Jordan Evans hit the first three of the afternoon for the hosts before Girts Lazdans replied in kind to leave the sides level.


Colin O’Reilly, Kyle Hosford and Lazdans combined to push Demons 17-9 ahead but Paul Dick, Evans and Dusan Bogdanovic all hit scores to cut the gap to a single point. Keith Jumper levelled the scores with his first of the day but Watts fired in from both inside and out to see Demons lead 23-18 at quarter time.


Donaghy opened the scoring again in the second for Warriors with the very first play and Paul Dick added two from the line to leave a single point between the sides. Demons then embarked on a stunning scoring spree netting a quick fire 20 points through Carlton Cuff, Colin O’Reilly, Lazdans and Watts to lay down the gauntlet to Warriors as they opened up a 17 point lead. Bogdanovic and Paul Dick hit back with scores to stem the blue and white tide but the elusive Watts finished of the half with another score from close range to see Demons take a 47-31 lead to the long break.


Janis Dumburs provided the Warriors with the perfect start by getting to the board early in the third but despite Evans with a three and Donaghy with a lay up, Demons continued their offensive attack on the Warriors net through Cuff, Watts and Colin O’Reilly to see the Leesiders build on their half time lead to go 57-39 up.


Paul Dick kept the Warriors in touch with scores from inside and out but as Lazdans and O’Reilly fired Demons back out to a 16 point lead, Fergal O’Sullivan sparked a badly needed revival for the home side with a trademark three and repeated the feat with another cracking effort after Keith Jumper had converted free throws to cut the gap to a more manageable 9. The passionate Warriors following sensed the momentum shift back to the hosts and were on their feet when Paul Dick and Bogdanovic both laid up. When Eoin Quigley converted two free throws to cut the gap to just four they were yelling for more.


The Warriors revival continued unabated in the early stages of the final quarter with Paul Dick and Bogdanovic adding to level the score at 64 apiece. Demons regained the initiative briefly with a Colin O’Reilly three but the visitors were hit with back to back blows when both Carlton Cuff and the very effective Girts Lazdans ran out of fouls and watched the remainder of this epic contest from the bench. O’Sullivan drove to the board to score and add the extra for Warriors and when Paul Dick converted two from two the home side took the lead for the first time in the game. The Complex was absolutely rocking now as Evans and Donaghy added to pile the pressure on Demons but Niall O’Reilly and Watts hit back to keep the outcome in the balance.


Evans then hit a stunning three to push the Warriors advantage out to a potentially game winning six points. But the hosts were almost immediately hit with a double blow with Kieran Donaghy and Eoin Quigley both reaching five fouls. Warriors Coach Pat Price had to quickly rethink his rotations as suddenly the game was back in the balance. Demons cut the gap to a single score when the O’Reilly brothers added a score each but Quigley eased the Warriors nerves with a lay up under the board.


Colin O’Reilly hit two from two and David Lehane made one from two to leave just a single point between the sides in the shadow of the post. The Warriors were however to see the game out with Paul Dick assisting Bogdanovic to fire in and Evans dunked spectacularly much to the delight of the ecstatic Warriors faithful. In the final act of this epic battle Bogdanovic arced in the final score of the day from the line to see the Warriors prevail by 85-79 in the end.


Garvey’s Tralee Warriors will now face Pyrobel Killester in the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup semi final in Cork over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of January.


Top Scorers:

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Paul Dick 19, Jordan Evans 15, Kieran Donaghy 12, Dusan Bogdanovic 12

UCC Demons: Brandon Watts 23, Girts Lazdans 20, Colin O’Reilly 18

Ballybunion Calendars

Gráinne Toomey has launched her 2019 Ballybunion calendars. These calendars have many beautiful photographs of Ballybunion and are just €15 + postage. Please phone Gráinne on 086-8944292 to place an order, or call into the Tourist Office as they are on sale there also.
Jason O’ Doherty has launched his calenders for sale this week, they are available in many outlets throughout Ballybunion aswell as the Tourist office. Jason’s calendar will cost €10 and money raised will go towards Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue.
Wild Ocean Studio Jerry Lane featuring some of his favorite images from Ballybunion. These calendars are €17.50 and can be purchased on the following link and are also available from the Tourist Office.
Steve Kelly a Listowel-based photographer has also produced a beautiful calendar for the Christmas market. Steve has covered a number of local events throughout 2018 and this is his first calendar, which features images from Listowel, and various parts of the county with three spectacular pictures of Ballybunion included. These calendars also cost €15 and can be purchased directly from Steve (087-2013975).  

 Local Free Range Eggs

Local free-range eggs based in Triple Ballybunion, can be delivered in Ballybunion, Asdee, Ballylongford, Lisselton areas. €2 for 6 eggs, Call MARK ON 089-4333966 OR Tracy 087-1842821
Tea Dance
December’s Afternoon Tea Dance takes place on Sunday 30th December at the Hibernian with dancing to the music of Matt Dillon. Dancing is from 3.00pm to 5.30pm and admission as always is €5, which includes refreshments.


Christmas Dance
A Christmas Dance night will be held on Friday 28th December at 10pm in the Hibernian Bar. Music by Ger Walsh. Admission is €5; there will be plenty of spot prizes on the night also.
In my Father’s Time
Comes to Kilcooly’s on this Saturday 8th December at 9.30pm. You will hear great traditional tales of Ballybunion and surrounding areas recounted by local & Kerry seanachai’s. A great night of stories and songs to be had. Admission is free


Christmas Jive Night.
On Fri 14th December a 5 course dinner followed by an 80’s disco with the one and only Ger Walsh at Kilcooly’s Country House. Limited availability please phone 068 27112. Tickets are €35 each.


Tommy Tiernan

Tommy Tiernan is bringing his new show “Paddy Crazy Horse to the Tinteán Theatre this Saturday 8th December at 8.30pm. Tickets are available from Namir’s Restaurant and www.ticketsmaster.ieand are €30 each it promises to be a great night out.


Ballybunion Community Centre & Beale GAA Weekly Lotto Draw

The Community Centre / Beale GAA  Lotto, Sunday 2 December, was held in “Exchange Bar”.
The numbers drawn were: 2,8,12,14.
There was no winner of the €4,750 Jackpot.
The lucky dip winners are:
€40 – Mac Muiris, c/o Courtney’s Bar
€30 – Anthony Sheehan, c/o The Railway Bar
€20 – Blaitin O’Brien, c/o Courtneys Bar
5 Free tickets: Carlos, Main Street, Ballybunion c/o Wilde
Next weeks draw will be held in “Kilcoolys Bar” 9 December 2018 at 9.30pm, and the Jackpot is €4,800.
Ballybunion Community Centre & Beale GAA would like to thank everyone for their continued support in buying our weekly lotto tickets


Ballybunion Community Forum
Ballybunion Community Forum AGM will be held on Monday 17th December at 7.30pm in the upstairs hall of the Ballybunion Community Centre. All are welcome to attend.


Turning on of the Christmas Lights
The Christmas Lights will be turned on this Sunday Dec 9th at 6.30pm. Santa will arrive at approx. 6pm to meet and greet everyone. There will be music on the street provided by local singing group “Echoes” and entertainment from our wonderful Tidy towns committee and the TY students. Afterwards, there will be a little disco and refreshments in JD’s. A draw will take place to decide which lucky child helps Santa to turn the lights on. A box is on display at Cahill’s Supervalu if you wish to enter your child’s name into the draw to help Santa turn on the lights. Do not forget the town will be open for business with delicious, festive refreshments available at Supervalu, Coast, Namirs, Gourmandaises, Thorobread and Sundaes.


New Lighting On The Men’s Beach
Phase Two works to install new Lighting on the promenade on the Men’s beach were completed last weekend. This is the first time in almost twenty-five years that it was all illuminated. Phase One which saw the installation of new lighting around the Castle Green and repairing of broken lights on the Ladies beach was completed last year, so Ballybunion will be well and truly lit up for Christmas and for the future, thanks to the hard work of the Ballybunion Community Forum. The Forum would like to thank the Community Enhancement Programme, the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Rural Social Scheme and especially their supervisor Geraldine Kelly for their hard work and commitment.