After a three-year absence, the Killarney Garda National School Blitz returns. In all, 18 teams in total will compete in this year’s blitz, 17 from Kerry and one from Cork. It will take place in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Monday, June 20, with festivities kicking off at 9.30am.
This will be the 16th edition of the blitz which was started back in 2005 and with 18 schools competing, the competition attracts over 250 students every year.
This year, a new trophy will be presented to the winners. The late Tadhg O’Sullivan’s family is delighted to present Corn na nÓg to honour Tadhg’s commitment to the promotion of Gaelic football in primary schools. In 1954, Tadhg founded the first national schools’ competition in East Kerry and the Killarney Garda National Schools Blitz carries on that tradition.
Tadhg’s son, Seán, presented the trophy on Monday at the launch of the event at Killarney Garda Station. Presenting the new trophy, the O’Sullivan family said: “We are very grateful to the Killarney Gardaí who initiated and organise the Garda National Schools Blitz and who have welcomed this trophy to honour Tadhg’s work with schools’ football.
“We are delighted to see the national school’s competition thriving. We know that Tadhg would be immensely proud to be associated with this competition.”
The sponsors of the competition include Tom Spillane Auctioneering, Daly’s SuperValu Killarney, the Kerry County GAA Board, McCarthy’s Londis Rathmore and present at the launch of the event were Tom Spillane, Sean O’Sullivan, son of Tadhg, Inspector Gary Carroll, Garda Eddie Walsh and former Kerry footballer Mikey Sheehy.
Garda Walsh co-founded the competition 17 years ago and when speaking about why himself and others organise it every year, he said it highlights good interaction between the schools, Gardaí and local community.
“It’s also good to promote sport and it’s a great opportunity for young people to play in Fitzgerald Stadium, a place where every young footballer wants to play,” he added.
Those involved in the competition will also be paying tribute to the late Paudie Twohig who passed away last year. Paudie was involved in the blitz when it was in its infancy and a tribute will be paid to him before the action gets underway on Monday.