Sunday Night Card Players Reach €90,840 Charity Donations Level

Members of the Castleisland Community First Responders receiving a €1,000 cheque from organisers of the River Island Hotel Sunday Night Card Players. Front from left: John O’Connell, card players PRO; Maireád O’Connell, Andrerw Foran, Oorla Casey, John Broderick and John Skevena O’Sullivan, card players charity founder. Back from left: Joanie McCarthy, Kristina Broderick, Donie Cremins, card players organiser; Eamon O’Connor, Andrew Kelly, Neil Browne, DJ Fealey, Denis Kerin, Máire O’Connell and Denise Griffin. ©Photograph: John Reidy

A group of card players based at the River Island Hotel in Castleisland on Sunday nights for the past decade or so has now reached a staggering total of €90,840 in €1,000 cheque payments to local and mainly Kerry based charities over that time.

They meet every Sunday night at 9pm and they have been doing so since the early 1990s.

The group, which began this run of Sunday night games at Skevenas Bar in 1994 to 2007, has moved house several times since and has survived to raise and hand over thousands of Euros each year to the deserving charities.

€5,000 Split Five Ways

They enjoy the hotel facilities free of charge and when they hit the figure of €5,000 they split it five ways and present a welcome bonus of €1,000 each to five local causes.
The presentations are made just before they sit to play on the nominated Sunday nights and representatives of the various charities are invited to attend.

Responders’ Life Saving Demo

Sunday night last was the most recent pay-out night they handed out another €5,000 with €1,000 each to the following charities: The recently formed and soon to be officially launched, Castleisland Community First Responders; The Leukemia Trust; The Cork Kerry Health Link Bus; Recovery Haven and Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

And the sincerely grateful responders’ full team attended and  staged a demonstration of their life-saving skills before the games began. The players then shuffled the cards, got down to the business of the night and the squirreling of funds for their next tranche of €1,000 gifts to the nominated charities.

Since September 1994

Set up by host, John O’Sullivan at Skevenas Bar and running since September 1994 the card school ran as a fundraiser for Castleisland Coursing Club for the first few years of its existence.

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.

Across the Street

When Skevenas closed its doors in January 2007 the cards and the players went across the street to the Crown Hotel for a while. Eventually, they settled at the River Island Hotel.

The ‘charity money’ is raised by means of an admission fee of €7 per player each Sunday night as PRO John O’Connell explained:

12 Tables per Night

“We have an average of 12 tables every Sunday night at €7 per entry and the players pay whatever they want to for tickets in the raffles each night. We give out up to €600 every week in prizes.

After last Sunday night presentation we will have given €90,840 to different charities.

“It was 25 years ago this week that John Skevena O’Sullivan started the game to fundraise for the coursing club and it’s still going strong a quarter of a century later,” said John.

The River Island Hotel Card Players sit down to play every Sunday night at 9pm and new players are always welcome.

Sunday Night’s Results

The following are the results of the card game held in the River Island Hotel on Sunday night after the presentations.

1st: Liam Moriarty and Dan Reidy. 2nd: Sheila Breen and Fintan Quirke. Ladies: Norrie O’Connor and Dolly McAulliffe. Gents: Patrick O’Donoghue and Mick Leahy. Mixed: Maria O’Connor and Dan McCarthy. Spots: Ann Walsh and Eamon O’Connor, Denis McCarthy and Tony Marshall, Donie Cremins and Jeremiah Kerins. Cards continue next Sunday night at 9pm Sharp.

First Responders Final Training Tonight at 6:30pm

Castleisland Community First Responders’ PRO, Oorla Casey sent a message to inform us that they will hold their final training night for new recruits on this Thursday night, September 12th. at Castleisland Fire Station at 6:30pm.