SPORTS: Cork may be attracting the lions share of
attention with its role as European Union culture capital this
year, but theres also plenty afoot in nearby Killarney, County
Kerry, where the towns 20-month-long 250th anniversary party, which
started on St. Patricks Day 2004, continues unabated. Picturesque
Killarney -- considered the birthplace of Irish tourism --
celebrates its sporting heritage in April, May, and June, with
basketball tournaments, golfing weeks, cycling and fishing events,
and guided walks through town and countryside. For more
information, visit www.killarney250.com.
INDIES: Brian Moore International Tours (BMIT) offers
independent travelers booking auto rental, accommodations and
airfare two extra perks at no extra charge: hotel upgrades
pre-booked for the first night in Ireland and free Collision Damage
Waiver (CDW) on all rental cars. Package-wise, the firm is offering
a weeklong Irelands Friendly B&B deal with air for $659 per
person, double occupancy. BMIT pays agents up to 15% commission on
their first booking and lets them determine their own commissions
on air with mark-ups on net airfares, introduced at the beginning
of this year. To book, call (800) 982-2299. For more, visit www.bmit.com.
TRACK: Irish Railways announced a $338 million order for
120 new carriages for its InterCity services between major towns.
The new cars, to enter service from 2007, will allow the railroad
to increase frequencies and offer greater passenger comfort; more
than half of all InterCity trains are now more than 30 years old.
New trains -- to feature air conditioning, closed-circuit security
TV, and catering facilities -- will operate on routes from Dublin
to Westport, Limerick, Cork and Waterford. Since 1999 Irish
Railways also has upgraded more than 420 miles of track in a $390
million capital improvement program. For more on Irish Railways,
CHAMPS: The Annual Irish Links Championship from Irish
Links Tours and Travel will be played April 26 to May 1. The
celebration of links golf is a 72-hole, stroke play tournament, played
over four of Irelands most spectacular
links courses: Ballybunion -- Old Course, Lahinch -- Old Course,
Dooks Golf Club and Waterville Golf Links. Local Irish teams will
compete against visiting Americans. For more, call Irish Links
Tours and Travel at (800) 824-6538, or visit www.irishlinkschampionship.com.