Road May be Closed But The Races Go On

On the Ball: Castleisland Races Committee Chairman, Charlie Farrelly pictured at the Eugene Leonard Roundabout as the preparations for the 2018 race meeting at Powell’s Road go galloping on. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Castleisland Races Committee members with landowner, Maurice Brosnan at Gortatlea Mart, representatives of Scoil Íde / Curranes National School and a representation from the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club at the announcement of details of the 2018 races and associated events to be held at Powell’s Road. Included are: Liam and Caoimhe Reidy, Connie Brosnan, Neil Reidy, Hannah Griffin, Mary Claire McCarthy, Katie Griffin and MaedbhCourtney. Back row: Denise Griffin, Martina O’Mahony, Luke Scollard, Charlie Farrelly, Gary O’Sullivan, Maurice Brosnan, Lacey and Bill Reidy, Jonathan Kerins, John Ryan, Mary Flynn, Lucy Scollard, Margaret O’Sullivan and Pat Hartnett. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The organising committee behind Castleisland Horse and Pony Races claim that it’s the oldest race meeting in the country and is now in its 159th year.

There probably isn’t a road in this area which hasn’t hosted the ‘Castleisland Races’ in one of its fields down through all those years.

Settled in Powell’s

Settled in Powell’s Road now since 2002, the 2018 running of the event will take place on the lands of Maurice Brosnan on Sunday, June 10th at 1 pm.

The committee has gone out of its way to by-pass the fears of those travelling from all over Munster and possibly beyond.

AA Roadwatch

They have been listening to the constant AA Roadwatch bulletins which alerts people to the closure of the road between Castleisland and Farranfore.

‘The Road May Be Closed – But The Races Go Ahead On Sun. 10th June @ Powells Road’ according to a friendly sign among all those which carry warnings at the Eugene Leonard Roundabout.

Two Sided Coin

That there are two sides to any coin was proven by races chairman Charlie Farrelly last week.

Charlie looked at the brighter side of the said coin and tapped the main contractors of the job at Dysart Bridge for advertising for his racing programme.

They facilitated cheeky Charlie’s request and even sponsored a series of adverts for the races on Radio Kerry.

Family Fun Day

This year’s day at the races will include a sports day beginning from 12 noon in the race track this is a family fun day for all with races for the U-6s to U-16 boys and girls. There will be face painting and a bouncing castle.

The horse races will include a 10 race card with all the top jockeys on that circuit taking part.

A Local Race

The card will include a local race and anyone wishing to enter this is advised to ring Charlie Farrelly on 087 205 61 50.

Just a short few years ago, Paul Townend, Jack Kennedy and Oisín Murphy raced in Castleisland at the beginning of their careers.

Now Townend and Kennedy can be found among those lining up for the Grand National at Aintree or the Gold Cup in Cheltenham while Murphy has had some notable successes on the flat in recent years.

The Charitable Aspect

On the charitable aspect of the racing festival here, €9,086 was raised for local charities in 2017 through the various fundraisers over the weekend.

A total of €133,875 has been raised for various charities over the past 13 years. All this money went to deserving, local charities.

The 2018 Windfall

The beneficiaries chosen for the 2018 windfall are: Scoil Ide, Curranes National School; Kerry Star Olympics from the races and Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal will benefit from the Drive in Bingo which will be held in the Castleisland Co-Op Mart grounds on Sunday, June 17th.

Humphrey Murphy Memorial

Glebe Lodge will be the beneficiary of the Humphrey Murphy Memorial 5km and 10km fun run which will start at Limerick Road at 7 pm on Friday, June 8th.

Donations will also go to: Castleisland Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party and St. Ita’s and St. Joseph’s School.

ROL Main Sponsor

Knockachur native and London resident, Mortimor Reidy, ROL Construction managing director has come on board again as the main sponsor .

A host of local sponsors have thrown their weight and financial assistance behind the events again this year.

“The committe members are extremely grateful for all the support it receives from all these sources – without them it would not be possible to stage the events,” said committee PRO Pat Hartnett.


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