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Monday 20 November 2017

Early start doesn't help the Rebels' bid to overthrow majestic Kingdom

Gerard Murphy from Castleisland decked out in the Kerry colours Photo: Don MacMonagle
Gerard Murphy from Castleisland decked out in the Kerry colours Photo: Don MacMonagle
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

The result wasn't a surprise - while fans agreed the Rebels had plenty of opportunities, there was no catching the Kingdom.

But it was still worth the trip across the county boundary.

Killarney publicans were granted a special exemption to accommodate fans and an earlier throw-in, opening their doors at 10.30am for pre-match drinks ahead of the game between Cork and Kerry.

Publican Ger Counihan, who owns Bunker's Bar in Killorglin, said the GAA was again helping rural pubs on a big match day.

Enda Kenny and his son Ferdia taking a few selfies in Killarney Picture: Don MacMonagle
Enda Kenny and his son Ferdia taking a few selfies in Killarney Picture: Don MacMonagle

"Visitors to Killarney from the US and Britain can't get over that the fans of opposing teams are in the same pubs, and the banter between them.

"There's no trouble at all and it would be a shame if this tradition were lost," he said.

Among the 31,000 crowd were politicians aplenty, including Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Cork East TD Kevin O'Keeffe, Martin Ferris, the Healy-Rae brothers, and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Having completed the 180km Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle the day before with his son Ferdia, Mr Kenny had recovered from a fall from his bike on the notorious Coomakista.

Niamh O’Connor, Juliette Culloty and Breda O’Keeffe at the Munster final in Killarney Photo: Don MacMonagle
Niamh O’Connor, Juliette Culloty and Breda O’Keeffe at the Munster final in Killarney Photo: Don MacMonagle

Also looking fresh after completing the Ring of Kerry Cycle was Olympic silver medallist and World champion athlete Sonia O'Sullivan, who extended her stay to shout for her home team.

"I felt I might as well stay and go to the match so it's a bonus," the Cobh native said.

Noel Kennelly, a former Kerry player and son of legendary Tim Kennelly, felt the end result, 1-23 to 0-15, was reflective of a superior Kerry side.

"When they put a few points between them, there was no coming back for Cork," he said, adding that fans would also be relieved to have seen captain Fionn Fitzgerald on the stand at the end to collect the trophy, having been stretchered off the field.

Irish Independent

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