By Ivan Hurley
It was a local success story in Kerry last weekend, as Paul Nagle landed the very cup he had sought after at the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally.
The world rally star pairing in a BMW M3, piloted by Craig Breen crossed the finish line in first place, winning the Maurice Nagle Cup, named after Paul’s father, who himself was an integral part to getting this rally on the road back in 1996.
Another Killarney man, Alan Ring, brought his Subaru Legacy home in second place, with Tyrone’s Cathan McCourt rounding out the podium positions.
There was also Killarney and District Motor Club success in the Modified section, with last year’s Historic winners Rob Duggan and Ger Conway bringing their Ford Escort Mark II home in first. Donegal’s Kevin Eves finished second with Gary Kiernan coming home in 3rd.
The rally attracted a huge crowd. Rallying had been absent in Killarney for two years with spectators travelling from every corner of Ireland and further afield. Rally supporters lined Main Street on Friday night, in the beautiful backdrop of Christmas lights and historic machinery, giving those in attendance a chance to see the cars and drivers up close.
Speaking at Saturday night’s prize-giving, an emotional Paul Nagle said that it was a dream come through to bring the Maurice Nagle Cup back to his mantlepiece. Not only did he land his father’s cup, Paul has now completed the Kerry ‘quadruple’, having previously won the Rally of the Lakes along with the two Kerry Motor Club events, the Circuit of Kerry and the Winter Stages Rally. Nagle also took the time to remember two recently deceased members of KDMC Johnny Hickey and Mike Falvey, who were integral members of the club in running of this rally.
Clerk of the Course Martin Farrell thanked everyone involved in getting the rally on the road and knocking all obstacles placed along the way. With Covid numbers on the rise it was important to ensure a smooth and safe running event for competitors, spectators and the people of Killarney. He also acknowledged the clubs dedicated sponsors Rentokil Initial, along with associate sponsors, The Gleneagle Hotel
The town saw a welcome increase in revenue in the tourist off-season, with no hotel rooms available on Saturday along with local garages, shops and restaurants all reporting a busy weekend serving the rally community.
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