FIVE cheques of €1,000 each were allocated by the organisers of the River Island Hotel weekly, Sunday night 31 card drive at its most recent gathering. The following charities will benefit from the rolling generosity of the players: Pieta House, Castleisland branch; Recovery Haven, Tralee; Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Dublin; Kingdom Care, Tralee and Saint Mary of the Angels, Beaufort.
“The card players of the River Island Hotel have contributed €35,000 to charities since it began and we would like to thank all our players who helped raise the funds and the management and staff of the hotel for the use of the facilities here over the years,” said organising committee PRO, John O’Connell.
The results of the game held at the hotel on Sunday night are as follows: 1st: Nick and Bob Kearney. 2nd; Siobhán and Gene Kelliher. Ladies: Peggy Flynn and Kathleen O’Connor, Ann and Jean Walsh, Anna Burke and Peg Lenihan.
Gents: Johnny Healy and Frank Moran. Mixed: Pat and Dom O’Donnell, Noreen Fleming and Patsy O’Connor. Spots: Joan Nolan and Tony Fleming, Joe Walsh and Bridget Gray, Fintan Leahy and Sheila Breen. Cards continue next Sunday night at 9pm sharp.
This particular card school is running since September 1994 and was set up by host, John O’Sullivan at Skevenas Bar as a fundraiser for the Castleisland Coursing Club. The club was about to buy and develop its own grounds just off the Black Road in Tullig at the time.
When that mission was accomplished and the bills paid they decided to keep the school going and turn their financial attentions to local charities.
When Skevenas closed its doors in January 2007 the cards went across the street to the Crown Hotel for a while. Eventually it settled at the River Island and the players are collectively known as The River Island Hotel Card Players.
The ‘charity money’ is raised by means of an admission fee of €7 per player each Sunday night. The weekly gathering attracts an average of 60 to 70 players per night and they come from all corners of Kerry and from well beyond the borders of Cork and Limerick.
From the player’s admission fee the organisers, John Skevena O’Sullivan and John O’Connell, pay out winnings and place prizes of €150 / €75 and several €20 awards for best ladies, best gents and mixed as well as the odd cash spot prize.
Their considered charities are chosen from the local pool or those in which there is a local involvement. There are many charities throughout the locality and beyond which have benefited from their kindness down through the years. Card players are always welcome at the Sunday night gatherings. The games begin at 9pm.