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Derry (92) gears up for re-run of F1 race he first saw in 1938

FROM a grand prix to 'Gangs of New York', The Gathering is fast embracing a variety of events.

Derry Healy (92) said he cannot wait for the re-staging of the 1938 Formula One Cork Grand Prix in the summer as part of celebrations.

And the oldest surviving witness to a legendary Irish grand prix has vowed to take up his old vantage point for the race's 75th anniversary re-enactment. Mr Healy, who was then just 18, went with friends to marvel at the powerful racing cars as they reached then unheard of speeds of 148mph.

"It was an amazing thing to see. I think the entire city turned out that day to watch the cars as they roared along the circuit. Back then the Cork race was something as big as the Monte Carlo Grand Prix," he told the Irish Independent.

The Munster Vintage Motor Cycle and Car Club now plan to restage the race using historic cars over the same course – which started and finished on the Carrigrohane Road, over 320km.

MVMCC official Alan Cavanagh said interest in the event, which takes place on June 22 and 23, had been "astonishing".

Meanwhile, Hollywood actor Brian Dennehy is to launch the 'Gangs of New York Gathering Festival' in Manhattan later this month, which will be celebrated thousands of kilometres away in Kenmare in August.

The Co Kerry town has a unique link with the notorious Five Points district in Manhattan's Lower East Side that spawned the infamous gangs of the 1800s. These inspired Martin Scorsese's eponymous film.

But the Kenmare festival will focus on their triumph over adversity and has invited the descendants of those emigrants back to the town. The New York launch will be held on January 18 in Manhattan's 'Central Bar' owned by Kenmare native Giles Cooper.

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