Tarbert Festival 2016

Tarbert Festival 2016

Over the last week or so, there has been a Festival running in Tarbert with numerous events taking place over the duration of the week. Some old favourites made a return with the Tug Of War, Fancy Dress and Regatta making welcome returns after lengthy absences for a number of different reasons.  

Like so many community events this was not planned in a short number of weeks , it took a couple of months of planning and toing and froing with committee meetings taking place to decide what events were going to take place during the Festival.

Thankfully with all meetings out of the way the serious business of actually making each event take place started with a Kids Fairy Trail taking place in the John F Leslie Woodland Walk. It culminated  yesterday with the Regatta where Yacht racing , Dinghy racing , Kayaking and Rowing took place with a Bouncy Castle to keep the kids entertained while the bellies were catered for by a Barbeque ably manned by Niall Fitzgerald and Leo O Connor.

The Fancy Dress took place on Friday evening where our local Kerry footballer Shane Enright was guest of honour to hand out the prizes to each participate. It was great to see each person make an effort and we even had some late entries aswell that involved a tractor, trailer, a table and some slightly under the weather Bar guests…

The Tug Of War took place aswell with Tarbert beating Glin in the best of three pulls in the Final. Congrats to both teams along with their willing coaches Sean Normile and Maurice “Bear” Walsh. It was great to see such a turn at each event. Hopefully this Festival will grow legs over the coming years and just get bigger and bigger.

People always say there isn’t much done in Tarbert in terms of a Festival or something similar , but in 2016 that changed and here’s hoping the work that was done this year to pull this Festival together will be continued into the future.

It was great to see smiling faces and that community spirit is alive and well in Tarbert , So let’s congratulate the organising committee and volunteers who helped put each event on and get behind this Festival’s revival and make it bigger and better in 2017.


Cian Mc Gibney


Robbie Keane Tribute

Robbie Keane Tribute

So next week as people file away from the Aviva Stadium in the immediate aftermath of Ireland’s Friendly with Oman , the International career of arguably Ireland’s greatest striker will come to a close with 146 caps to his name , he is of course Ireland record goal scorer with 67 goals to date.

He has had a wide variety of clubs during his career, beginning with Crumlin United then moving onto Wolves, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and Celtic with loan spells at West Ham and Aston Villa included while on a mid-season break from his last club on his nomadic journey LA Galaxy. He has been joined by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard in the last couple of years while David Beckham was around when he first joined LA Galaxy in 2011.

He may have had a nomadic journey in club football but his strike rate at each club is very impressive and can’t be sneezed at.  He may not have spent long at certain clubs but he seems to have found his niche at both Spurs and more recently in LA Galaxy.

With Ireland of course , he has had his greatest success with 145 caps to date and 67 goals scoring some crucial goals against Iran enroute to Japan and South Korea for the 2002 World Cup. He scored a famous goal against Germany to draw Ireland level in a Group game.

He along with Brazil’s Ronaldo were the only two men to score against German Keeper Oliver Kahn at that World Cup. To a lesser extent he also scored a goal vs Saudi Arabia  in the 3-0 win and he scored Ireland’s second penalty in normal time vs Spain after Ian Harte has his opening effort saved.

In recent years he has captained his country at Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 in France. He hasn’t always been everybody’s cup of tea but he has always given his best for Ireland and 67 International goals says he has always taken the chances that have been presented.

It’s time now for Robbie to exit the International stage that he has graced for the past 18 years after next Wednesday’s game with Oman. It is also time now for other strikers to step up to the mark and take up the baton that Robbie will leave down next week.

Thanks for all the wonderful memories Robbie and enjoy your retirement……



Cian Mc Gibney






The Olympics – Agony and Ecstasy

The Olympics – The Agony and Ecstasy

Today has been a strange day at the Olympics for Ireland, Michael Conlon saw his dreams of Olympic Gold go up in smoke after a unanimous points win for Russian Boxer Vladimir Nikitin. This decision has been with a barrage of criticism from those inside the Boxing world and also a number of people not involved in the boxing game.

The three judges from Brazil, Poland and Sri Lanka awarded the first round in favour of the Russian then awarded the second round to Conlon before awarding the third round in favour of the Russian. This particular call has caused widespread consternation with many people calling into question the officiating at these Games with a number of bouts being decided by split decision.

In the immediate aftermath of the decision, Michael Conlon was interviewed and you could see he was in total shock and really angry with the decision saying “That’s it he was done with amateur boxing “and that “Amateur Boxing is rotten from the top to the core.” Strong words but this guy has worked his backside off for the past 10 years to win Olympic Gold, he won Bronze 4 years ago in London and stated then he would be back in Rio to win Gold….

Unfortunately for Michael Conlon, he didn’t get the decision in his favour even though he and most of the crowd felt he won the bout. The three judges didn’t see it the same way. This particular talking point along with another questionable decision from a heavyweight bout last night, that involved another Russian boxer where he was awarded victory although many people have again questioned the scoring of the bout.

The defeat , controversial as it was will not take away from the fact that Ireland travelled to Rio with 8 Boxers with at least 6 in with chances of medals alas none of boxers will return from Rio with a medal. This notwithstanding should not take away from the pleasure and great joy that each of these boxers have given us in the last 8 years or so. Conlon has stated it’s the Professional ranks for him with or without another Olympic medal. He will do great things as a Pro and I have no doubt he be a World Champ in 3 years.

Moving to the Laser Radial Medal race where Annalise Murphy was hoping to right the wrongs of four years ago where  she finished 4th in the Medal race after leading the competition from the start. She finished 5th in today’s race thus securing a first Olympic sailing medal for Ireland since 1980. David Wilkins and James Wilkinson won Silver in the Flying Dutchman Class in Moscow

Annalise Murphy realised a childhood dream today by winning an Olympic medal , Her Mam competed in Seoul in 1988 so today’s achievement will be all the sweeter in the Murphy household.

These two moments show how fickle sport can be, one moment your down and out then you’re on top of the world again. Huge commiserations to Michael Conlon, I have no doubt you’ll win a World title inside the next three years. To Annalise Murphy, well done on realising a childhood dream and delivering Ireland’s second medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Cian McGibney


Rugby – The Year Ahead

Rugby – The Season Ahead

The rugby season is about to kick start of the four provinces in the next two weeks with teams in the middle of pre-season training and heading away to play matches against teams from the Pro 12 and Premiership. Connacht are in France for a short camp and will play Montpellier in a game that will see most of the squad get a run out and then they will come back to Galway to complete their preparations for their defence of The Pro 12 they won back in May.

Connacht have added some quality to their squad brining in guys like Cian Kelleher and Lewis Stevenson  alongside Moritz Boshoff  from South Africa. Connacht will now have a different challenge this season as they are the team that are going to be chased down by all other sides in the Pro 12.

Looking to what they can do this year, they will want to try and kick on in Europe having conquered the domestic league last season. Pat Lam will know that they way Connacht played last season won’t be as much of a surprise to the opposition this year and they may need to tighten up a little bit and kick the ball more than they did last year.

Connacht will feel they can defend the crown they worked so hard to wrestle away from Glasgow Warriors. In Europe they will fancy their chances  of a least getting to a quarter final in the Champions Cup. My predictions for Connacht is a 3rd place finish in the Pro 12 and a Quarter Final in Europe.

For Leinster , it’s a season where they really need to kick start things under Leo Cullen and after a few weeks being tutored by Graham Henry he may just have a few new tricks up his sleeve. New signings like Jamison Gibson Park and Robbie Henshaw should help the Leinster backline start firing again.

 Imagine this backline Gibson Park , Sexton , Mc Fadden , Reid , Henshaw , Isa Nacewa and Rob Kearney , That’s a decent backline and with some of the talent in the forwards like Ross Molony , Mick Kearney and Tadgh Furlong I just feel it’s time that Leinster re-established themselves as a top side in the Pro 12 and Europe and this year could be the year they will do just that. My prediction for Leinster is 1ST place in the Pro 12 and a Semi Final in Europe.

Moving up North , Ulster will know they again flattered to deceive last year in the Pro 12 and in Europe , having spent big to bring in Marcel Coetzee and Charles Piutau  , many will expect them to perform well and be pushing for major honours come the end of the season. If they don’t win anything this year , many will question the recruitment policy with the hunger that may be missing in some of the stars in the squad. Les Kiss has the players and the Stadium can he lead Ulster to a first trophy in 10 years. My Prediction for Ulster is a 4th place finish in the Pro 12 and a Semi Final in Europe.

Lastly Munster , with Rassie Erasmus now at the helm with Jacques Nienber as his defence coach with Anthony Foley back in the role that suits him best looking after the forwards there is real optimism that with all these changes coupled with some shrewd signings like Darragh O Shea , John Andress and South African Lock Jean Kleyn. In the backs Sam Arnold has been brought in as a centre and he can also play on the wing. He has been signed on a two year deal. Munster will want to climb back to the top table. It may not happen in year 1 of Erasmus’s tenure but the good days may not be too far away for Munster. My prediction for Munster is 3rd in the Pro 12 and a Quarter Final in Europe.

Here is my run down on only the four Provinces.



Cian Mc Gibney