Top of the class for Kerry's high achievers

0000LightBlue@Intro Single Col:There was RELIEF all round for students - and parents - in Kerry this week as the results of the 2019 Leaving Cert were finally released.

Four local students, all young women, achieved the maximum number of points, including Presentation Secondary Tralee students Ciara Boyd and Michelle Doody, Sarah O’Connor from St Joseph’s in Ballybunion, and Coláiste na Sceilge student Tara Whittington.

They were amongst the 1,858 teens who received their results on Tuesday.

High achiever Ciara Boyd said she was left reeling when she opened her envelope at the Pres.

“It’s so weird - obviously you put in a load of hard work, but you never know what will happen, especially with the marking schemes and examiners.


What happened in Kerry this week

As if things weren’t tough enough in the All Ireland final showdown with the mighty Dubs, some Kerry folk are pointing at another obstacle in the Kingdom’s way - the referee. Calls have been made to select another referee for the final after the so called neutrality of Dublin based man in the middle David Gough was called into question.


“Jake has never been one to give up - he just fought and fought,” the words of mother Jenny Pye who, along with her husband Alex O’Donovan, have to rotate life between Kerry and Dublin on a weekly basis after their eight-month-old son Jake was admitted to Temple Street Hospital this year, as a result of rare birth defect.


‘I watched my sister go through seven years of hell and still die’ says Tralee woman Gabrielle Harte, who, almost four years after first being diagnosed with breast cancer, is standing by her decision to refuse conventional medical treatment.


“We had one girl who was at risk of dropping out not that long ago - she did fantastically, and then we had a student who was very new into the country, hardly spoke English and passed everything,” just a couple of stories out of the 1,858 students who received their long-awaited Leaving Leaving Cert results this week.


Ben saddles up for Ireland

A 15-year-old member of the Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club - who began competitive racing just two years ago - has been selected to represent Ireland in a major international event next week.

Ben Murphy from Knocknagree is one of the six-man team who will compete in the Youth Tour of Austria, beginning on Tuesday.

The event attracts the top riders in Europe at U17 level – many of them expected to go on to ride as professionals in the coming years.

The event begins on Tuesday with a 2km time-trial before the riders compete in the following days over a 70km daily route.

Family’s life-saving gift for dad’s local

A family has provided a life-saving defibrillator to their late dad’s local - in thanks to the Lixnaw First Responders who were first on the scene the night he collapsed.

The Quilters from Leam, Kilflynn, gifted the defibrillator to the Halfway Bar on the main N69 Listowel to Tralee road.

Their dad, 64-year-old James Quilter, collapsed after suffering a heart attack near Lissahane, Lixnaw, and sadly passed away on March 28, last year. “We wanted to do something positive following dad’s death.

“The Halfway bar was always a central point and dad’s local so we felt it was the ideal place to put the defibrillator,” said Alice Quilter.

‘David’s a walking miracle’

The parents of a two-year-old toddler who almost choked to death in Ardfert have described their son as ‘a walking miracle’.

Nurse Grace Healy saved her son David’s life by performing CPR after he began to choke on peanuts.

The afternoon visit to David’s grandparents’ house in Ardfert almost turned to tragedy after David accidentally inhaled the peanuts which lodged in both his lungs.

He was rushed to University Hospital Kerry but was immediately transferred to Crumlin where he underwent two major surgeries and spent 18 days in intensive care.

Four Kerry students score maximum points

ACHIEVING TOP results in the Leaving Cert didn’t involve committing to a monastic lifestyle for Coláiste na Sceilge student Tara Whittington, who got 625 points from her six H1s and one H2.

The 18-year-old from Aghatubrid was a committed member of the Students Council and was also involved in the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) in Cahersiveen and is on course to be offered a place today (Thursday) to study Dentistry at University College Cork.

Tara was one of four Kerry students, all young women, who achieved the maximum number of points in the Leaving Cert.

Presentation Secondary Tralee students Ciara Boyd and Michelle Doody, and Sarah O’Connor from St Joseph’s Secondary School in Ballybunion pulled off the same feat.

Hope to shine at Celebration of Light ceremony

Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher will be the special guest at this year’s Recovery Haven Celebration of Light.

The cancer support charity is extending a warm invitation to the people of Kerry to join them at Tralee Bay Wetlands on Thursday August 22 for their eighth annual Celebration of Light ceremony.

The heartwarming event is run in conjunction with the Rose of Tralee Festival and Kerry Choral Union.

“This poignant candle-lighting ceremony has become a hugely important event for those touched by cancer, offering them a welcome opportunity to come together to share experiences and celebrate the lives of family and friends,” said PRO Marisa Reidy.

Heritage at the heart of Ballyheigue concert

A concert took place in the White Sands Hotel last Friday night as part of the Ballyheigue Heritage celebrations marking the culmination of a year of hard work and preparation.

“In any organisation,” said PRO Tom Lawlor, “you can have 50 members but you only need five good workers. We have been very lucky to have two stalwarts, Micheál Ó hAllmhúráin and Brian McMahon.

“They don’t rest on their laurels, they took an interest in the parish and because of that, the ethos of the parish is in a healthy state.

The Heritage celebrations welcomed singers, performers and storytellers from the parish and further afield.

Thousands rock Listowel at Revival fest

Talented Coronas frontman Danny O’Reilly paid tribute to the thousands who packed Listowel town square on Saturday for the most successful Revival Music Festival to date.

Over two nights of epic performances, world-renowned bands like Mundy, The Delorentos and Hermitage Green rocked the North Kerry capital with some of their greatest hits and had the crowd begging for more.

The infinitely-gifted Sinéad O’Connor had the undivided attention of the crowd on Friday night with her show-stopping performance while traditional music extraordinaire Sharon Shannon created an electric feel on the night.

Spirit of Puck reigns through the downpours

PUCK FAIR organisers didn’t know if the traditional annual horse fair would go ahead this year because of the difficulty in getting insurance.

Festival chairman Declan Falvey said the organising committee had an anxious few weeks in the lead-up to Puck trying to get insurance organised ahead of the event.

Speaking to Kerry’s Eye, he said just two weeks before the annual gathering, FBD came on board to insure the horse fair in Evans’ Field.

“You know what they say about traditions, ná déan nós nó ná bris nós (don’t make them or break them) and we thought for a while we’d be forced to break a tradition this year,” Declan said.

Fans hit road to Croker

Thousands of steadfast football supporters cheered the Kingdom to victory at the weekend against a formidable Tyrone side.

With just over 33,000 people in attendance, Sunday’s battle revealed one of the lowest turnouts for a semi-final clash in recent years - due in no small part to Dublin’s dominance over Mayo the previous day.

But the unwavering support shown by these Kerry fans proved to be a decisive factor and those who made the long trip to Dublin ultimately got what they came for - a place for Kerry in the All-Ireland Final.

DJ Aoife targets the big time

 A Tralee DJ’s career is about to be amped up as she signs with a Dublin-based artist agency.

Aoife O’Neill got her first break while working behind the counter at Roundy’s Bar in Tralee - her boss got wind that she wanted to be a DJ and gave her the opportunity to play.

So she swapped serving pints for spinning records and turned the gig into a year-long residency.

In Cork, she became a resident in a number of late bars, playing gigs in the city, then Galway and Dublin - soon, she was getting noticed.

Rowing in for the All-Ireland

Anyone who casts their eyes out to sea in Dingle this weekend will be amazed at the spectacle that awaits them.

For the first time ever, the Dingle Regatta and the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships have come together in an event that will see 600 crews take to the waters of Dingle Bay over the course of three days of racing.

“This will be by far the largest coastal rowing weekend in the country and we are very proud to be having it in Dingle,” says Mary B. Teahan, one of the organisers of the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

“Entries are coming in from Donegal, Louth, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Kerry so spectators can expect to enjoy a huge feast of coastal rowing.”