Half a century on the hoof at the track

The age old tradition that dates back half a century will be maintained at Killarney Races next week when a third generation of one local family will provide the all-important farrier service at the track.

Timmy McGillycuddy from Ballydribeen, Killarney, will follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps when he joins his dad, Pa, in the farrier forge at the racecourse for the five-day July festival.

The link with the track goes all the way back to 1969 when Patrick McGillycuddy senior – who trained at Murphy’s Forge in Barraduff – was engaged by the Race Company to put his skills as a blacksmith to good use.

He passed on his know-how and knowledge to his son, Pa, who is a legendary personality in the industry and, in turn, Timmy took up the trade to ensure the great tradition and top class service continues with father and son working side by side.

“Our 50-year association with the local racecourse is a great milestone and it’s certainly a landmark worth celebrating,” said Timmy.

While some of the raw materials used might have changed significantly over the past five decades, the essential tools of the trade remain constant and the skills of half a century ago are identical to those used today.

“There might be better nails and shoes and better quality aluminium available now but the principles of the trade remain the same,” said Timmy.

He explained that a farrier’s goal is still to make a horse’s gait as efficient as possible to ensure comfort, increased athletic ability, greater balance and smoother movement.

The McGillycuddy family operates a busy forge at Ballydribeen where pride of place goes to an anvil dating all the way back to 1800 and it has stood the test of time.

It was sourced in the historic Churchtown Estate in Beaufort – where Beaufort Golf Course now stands. The spectacular Georgian house was built in 1740 by Sir Rowland Blennerhassett and the estate was bought in 1860 by James Magill who turned it into one of the largest dairy farms in the south west.

Killarney’s July Racing Festival gets under way from Sunday 15th of July to Thursday 19th of July, for five days Killarney Racecourse will combine the very best of horse racing with a fantastic festival atmosphere for all Racegoers.

The Dawn Milk Ladies Day will take place on Thursday, July 19th and is the highlight of the July Racing Festival attracting capacity crowds at the boutique racecourse each year. The winners of the Queen of Fashion and the Most Stylish Hat Competition will enjoy Luxury prizes and receive a specially commissioned crystal vase.

Fiddles to the ready for the Fleadh

All roads lead to Milltown this Friday as Fleadh Cheoil ‘19 provides a free family-friendly festival of music and fun over the weekend. Spin City funfair is in town all week, and Saturday provides a free drumming workshop for kids in Muintir na Tíre Hall at 2. “Time to Party” frolics for kids is on Sunday from 1 to 4, and the Science Worshop will run at the same time, with fun experiments. As well as free stuff, kids have a chance to win cash courtesy of Rathmore and District Credit Union who sponsor the Dennis Courtney Street Entertainment Competition with €500 in prizes. Details on kerrycomhaltas.ie and in fleadh programme. Tune up the instruments and join in- open to under 18’s.  As well as the kids events, three major acts will play for free, Ceilidh with the Shandrum Ceilí Band on Friday night and Sunday with Uí Bhriain, and the world renowned KÍLA, who will rock the town on Saturday night. Music sessions in all local pubs all week so don’t miss Kerry’s premier music event of 2019- all for FREE!

“Duck Race defies weather to make a BIG Splash”

Promoted as “The Great Killarney Duck Race” and indeed it didn’t disappoint as the Deenagh River on Port Road in KiIlarney became the race track for hundreds of yellow coloured ducks.

“It was a sight to be seen as 350 plastic ducks passed some of the native ducks that looked on bemusedly at their plastic counter parts” joked Derek O Leary, chairperson of Kilcummin Parents Association and one of the organisers of this fundraising event.

“We had a great turn out of about 100 people to cheer on the 350 ducks as they made their way from the playground bridge to the main Deenagh bridge and this was in-spite of a deluge of rain that fell, just prior to the start of the race – great weather for the ducks but not so good for the spectators” Derek went on the say.

The ducks took just 8 minutes or there about’s, to cover the the half kilometre distance with both banks allowing the gathered crowd to survey the race and to cheer on the ducks to their conclusion, with duck number 103 making it to the finish line in first place, closely followed by duck number 17 and 374. The temporary owners of the ducks were Eoin Murphy (103) who won a family over night break in Kilkenny city, Aoibhe Sheehan (17) and Mary O Connor (374) who won a gift voucher each. Ava O Sullivan, bedecked in all things yellow won the best costume prize on the night.

“The Parents Association in Kilcummin wanted to run a fun family event that anyone could join in and we might generate some money along the way to support activities and facilities for the children in Kilcummin National School” Claire Troth, treasurer went on to explain. “ Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and we managed to raise over €1500 for the school from the event”.

Derek O Leary wanted to thank the Kilkenny Ormonde hotel who sponsored the first prize, the premises that helped to sell the ducks, the people who bought a duck and the office of public works/national parks who facilitated the use of the river for the event.

The group now plan to make it an annual event and advise everyone to put it in their diary for the same time next year where the same “quacking event” will be run all over again!

Local Kerry Businesses partner with Cycle Against Suicide

LOCAL KERRY BUSINESSES, TLI Group and Kerry Coaches, Ireland’s leading Luxury Coach Company, were proud to sponsor the recent 780km main cycle organised by national charity Cycle Against Suicide, in which hundreds of cyclists took part.

The Kerry businesses have been stalwart supporters of Cycle Against Suicide and the success of this year’s cycle is thanks to the involvement and commitment of families, friends and the wider community, including businesses such as TLI Group and Kerry Coaches.

Using pedal power to promote conversations about mental health and suicide awareness, the 2019 main cycle saw hundreds of cyclists, travel through 63 towns and villages across Ireland. TLI Group and Kerry Coaches provided multiple vehicles for leading and supporting all aspects of the 10-day cycle, demonstrating their strong commitment to driving positive social outcomes in the Kerry community where they live, work and serve.

These steps in raising awareness on mental health are helping to break down the barriers around mental illness, connecting those affected with available treatment options and breaking down, one day at a time, the stigma attached to mental illness.

Cycle Against Suicide is currently introducing an evidence-based Schools’ Programme that educates students on mental health issues, helps build resilience and empowers young people to become mental health champions for their peers.

Local Kerry Businesses partner with Cycle Against Suicide

Quest teams drive on with Volvo

Quest Adventure Series, managed by Elite Event Management, Killarney, this week welcomed Volvo Car Ireland as their official event vehicle partner across events for 2019.  Quest adventure races involve running, cycling and kayaking across various distances in remote, beautiful and challenging locations.

Volvo will sponsor two event vehicles for Quest over the next six months and be on hand at Quest 12/24, Quest Lough Derg and Quest Killarney so adventure racers can get to grips with the vehicles themselves.  Adventure racing has become a very popular past-time in Ireland in recent years with more than 10,000 participants taking part in Quest events across the year. An alternative to triathlon and the popular mass participation half-marathons and other runs on offer, adventure racing extends beyond the physical and fosters a great sense of camaraderie and fun as part of the races.

Oliver Kirwan(pictured), Quest founder and Race Director said, “We are really pleased Volvo have come on board as official vehicle partner for Quest. It’s a brand that has great synergies with Quest and we know that adventure racers value high quality experiences in the outdoors. To be able to get out into the countryside or coastline with your gear and taking on an escape or an adventure weekend is what it’s all about. I’d like to welcome Volvo to Quest Adventure Series, we look forward to a really positive and productive partnership.”

Quest 12/24 is a long-distance adventure race takes place on Saturday 31st August, this is followed by Quest Lough Derg on Saturday 14th September and Quest Killarney on Saturday 12th October.

Global Wellness Day at The Brehon

Global Wellness Day took place on Saturday, June 8 and to celebrate The Brehon and Angsana Spa, Killarney hosted a wellness morning featuring complimentary massages and yoga.

Wellness enthusiasts from Kerry and beyond gathered at The Brehon on Saturday morning for apple and ginger shots, followed by a Vinyasa yoga class with Deirdre McKenna from Navé Yoga. The wellness morning continued with head and shoulder massages given by the Angsana Spa therapists.

Global Wellness Day is an international not-for-profit initiative aimed at encouraging people to live healthier and feel better both physically and spiritually. It is celebrated every year on the second Saturday in June. This year it was celebrated in 110 countries at more than 4300 different locations.

Global Wellness Day encourages seven simple daily steps in order to make wellness a way of life; walk for an hour, drink more water, don’t use plastic bottles, eat healthy food, do a good deed, have a family dinner with your loved ones and be asleep 10pm.

For more information visit www.globalwellnessday.org

Niall to be remembered at annual Garda 7-A-Side Blitz

A young footballer who passed away last year will be remembered at the 15th annual Killarney Garda 7-A-Side which was launched at the Killarney Garda Station this week.

Niall MacGillycuddy lined out with The Mon team at the 2014 blitz and this year the 18 schools involved will remember Niall with a minutes silence.

“Kerry Gardai want to hold their own special tribute to Niall and we felt this was a fitting occasion to remember the talented young footballer”, Garda Eddie Walsh, organiser of the tournament told the Killarney Outlook.

“This year marks the 15th year of the blitz and  after this year 2,500 children from schools in the Killarney area will have taken part in it”, Garda Walsh added.

Among those who attended the launch were current Kerry footballers Sean O;Shea, Gavin White, Dara Moynihan and Micheál Burns along with Kerry team manager Peter Keane who is sponsoring footballs for the blitz.

Representatives from An Garda Siochana,  including Supt Flor Murphy,  Tom Spillane, Auctioneer  who sponsors the event and Sunday Game analyst Colm Cooper, along with students from some of the schools taking part were on hand to launch the tournament which will take place on Wednesday next at the Fitzgerald Stadium.

“It is everyones dream to play in Fitzgerald’s Stadium, at a young age this would not be possible without the generosity of Fitzgerald stadium Commitee”, Garda Eddie Walsh said.

“Tthis tournament continues to be a wonderful success which would not be possible without the co-operation of all the 18 schools taking part and their teachers and trainers – over the last 15 years numerous pupils that played in the tournament have gone on to play with Kerry Minors and also won the Hogan Cup, All Ireland Club title and All Ireland Minor title with Kerry”.

Celebrate Ladies Day at the Killarney Races in style at Muckross Park Hotel & Spa

Bubbles & Brunch supporting Enable Ireland Kerry Services 18th July 2019

Those looking for a great start to Ladies Day at the Killarney Races should look no further than Muckross Park Hotel & Spa. On Thursday July 18th the five star hotel will host an exclusive brunch event in aid of Enable Ireland which will take place before the Killarney Races Ladies Day.

Festivities begin in the Medieval Atrium walled gardens with a prosecco reception and entertainment provided by Code of Behaviour. Guests will then be invited to the Valencia Suite for a delicious brunch, featuring cured meats and cheeses, artisan breads, smoked salmon, pancakes, waffles, free range chicken, smoked bacon, avocado, eggs cooked to order plenty more.

Following brunch guests will be taken by private bus or jaunting car to Killarney Races to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of top-class racing.

The event is in aid of Enable Ireland Kerry Services. In Kerry, Enable Ireland provide a range of supports and services to children and adults with disabilities. All their services are provided free of charge and are geared to ensure that a disability is not an obstacle to a child or adult expressing themselves, building friendships, playing sports, accessing education and participating in the community.

Tickets for the event range from €60 (includes brunch & bubbles along with entry into races & bus transfer) or €35 (Bubbles and Brunch event & bus transfer) or €65 (Bubbles & Brunch, entry to the races & transfer by jaunting car to the race track) and can be purchased online at https://tinyurl.com/y5domzda or by contacting Muckross Park Hotel & Spa on 0646623400 or Enable Ireland on 066 712 8220.

Féile na nGael is Coming to Town!

For the first time in Kerry hurling and camogie history, the John West Féile na nGael will be hosted in Kerry combined with our neighbours in Cork. Kerry have twelve hurling clubs and four camogie clubs hosting and competing in the All Ireland tournament. This prestigious affair will be setting the county alight with the clash of the ash from June 7th to June 9th.

Local clubs, Killarney Camogie and South Kerry Hurling have put in huge efforts over the past four months to generate the necessary funds required to host and participate in Féile. Local schools were called upon to hold jersey days, bag packing took place in Dunnes Stores, a fun quiz night, several flag days and bucket collections. The clubs are extremely grateful to the schools, local businesses and the local community who have contributed to this memorable weekend.

Both clubs have a big community to pool from with South Kerry being an amalgamation of hurling clubs St. Pat’s East Kerry, Rathmore and Dr. Crokes whilst Killarney Camogie Club is made up of players from Glenflesk, Gneeveguilla, Spa, Fossa, Kilcummin, Laune Rangers, Legion, Rathmore and Dr. Crokes.

For the two clubs, their home games will take place in Spa GAA who have generously offered their facilities for the weekend. Here, South Kerry will host Cumann Micheál Breathnach from Galway and Killarney will host Four Roads Camogie Club from Roscommon.

Both clubs would like to extend an invitation to all hurling and camogie fans to come down to Spa GAA Pitch on Friday the 7th from 5.30pm to 8pm and Saturday the 8th at 10am and enjoy the skill and competition on display. If any business or kind hearted soul is interested in giving a helping hand by donating in any fashion (home baking always welcome), please do not hesitate to contact the clubs on 087 920 5924. @SouthKerryHurling

SPRAOI CHIARRAÍ 2019 is back Summer Youth Traditional Arts Concerts in Killarney

For the 15th year in a row,  Spraoi Chiarraí  the Kerry based youth, Irish Traditional Music, Song & Dance, Storytelling, performance collective is set to perform their first concert tomorrow, June 8th in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland at 8pm.

This concert will be the first of seven free Concerts  and will feature Maighreád Ní Lúasa (Accordion) Coolea Ballyvourney, and sister Caitriona Ní Lúasa (Fiddle) Coolea, will kick of this year for an hour. They will be joined by Spraoi Chiarraí Producer/Director Tim O’Shea (Guitar/Vocals/Bodhrán). Open to all, this family entertainment is sponsored this year by Kerry Co. Council  Arts Office (Arts Act & Commnity Support Funds), Killarney Chamber of Commerce who made it possibe and offer increased support and promotion, Kerry Gems Publishing (Advert Sponsor).

The  Concerts will take place at two venues in the town. There are 5 evenings (“In Concert”), at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland opposite the (Town Hall), 2 Open Air concerts (“’round the house”) for the third time at Killarney House (opposite the Cinema), in the National Park. The concerts feature Fiddle, Irish Harp, Accordion, Flute & Whistle, Irish Uilleann Pipes, Guitar, Harmonica, Bodhrán and Vocals as well as (Irish Dancing and Irish Storytelling – outdoor only). All indoor concerts are at 8pm and outdoor performances are at 2pm. This year the group have also been asked to perform again at Puck Fair in August. All shows are free and everyone is welcome.