In today’s Sunday Independant, there is a brief mention of the rivalry along the Cork-Kerry Border in Millstreet and Ballydesmond:
Border communities have revelled in the build-up — with Ballydesmond and Millstreet a sea of red and white — while, just across the county bounds, Rathmore and Lauragh are bedecked in the Kingdom’s green, white and gold.
Such is the rivalry — and close connections — between the two counties, that even schools are split straight down the middle with their loyalties.
In Millstreet, the rivalry has been given a little ‘divine’ twist by the fact that while the town is proudly located in Cork — in all spiritual matters it belongs to the diocese of Kerry.
Parish priest Canon Declan O’Connor admitted the divided loyalties have added a good-humoured edge to today’s showdown — but, unlike many of his parishioners, he will be cheering on Kerry.
Ballydaly native Jerry Lehane, even used the fevered border rivalry to pen a classic poem dubbed ‘The Plastic Kerryman’ — the moral of which is that if you’re on the Rebel side of the border you’d better cheer on Cork or relocate back to the Kingdom.