The country’s only gentoo penguin colony at Dingle Oceanworld became budding artists during lockdown when they started dipping their feet in animal-friendly paint before waddling around to create their distinctive works of art.
In a nod to the county’s competing footballers this week, the Penguins have used Kerry’s colors in their designs.
“I hope they have Happy Feet on Sunday,” said Dingle Oceanworld manager Kevin Flannery.
Staff have devised art lessons for the highly social birds during lockdown to keep them stimulated.
Uisce, who was born in the million-euro arctic enclosure, did his best this week leaving green and gold imprints on his paintings which are on sale to benefit conservation at the aquarium.
“Uisce is the lead artist,” he said, “the paintings are being well received by Kerry supporters this week.”
The marine biologist said the colors of Kerry were everywhere this week among visitors who flocked to the aquarium.
“You can see the excitement building, we see people selling flags and stuff on the sides of the road.
“We see a lot of Kerry jerseys around the aquarium. Many young people wear GAA jerseys.
“We also see our neighbors with their green and white jerseys visiting us now that they have Liam MacCarthy.”
He said the paint was part of various ways to stimulate the colony.
“The keepers thought it would be a good idea during the lockdown and they put the paint on that they went through.
“It’s something different. Just stimulate them all the time.
“We give them CD players and balls and things to tackle, all sorts of things to keep them stimulated.”
He said the Dingle community hopes to double in Kerry over the next few weeks.
“The women’s football team is in the final for the first time in 10 years.
“Females deserve as much as males. They play the following week.
Meanwhile, in the Hennebery sports shop in Tralee, there is a program in the window of when Galway and Kerry last met in 1965.
“People stop at the window,” said owner Brian Hennebery, “I have a 1965 schedule from the Kerry and Galway game the last time they met and a 1965 jersey worn by the one of Kerry’s players during the final in display.
“Galway won that one, we won’t say anything,” he joked, referring to the last time the countries met in 1965.
“We owe them one since then, but I guess we’ve had a few since.”
There is also a Galway jersey worn by Ja (Jarlath) Fallon representing the western country of Ireland in the display.
brian said the buzz has been building around Tralee since the semi-final.
“I guess it was a renewal of old rivalries between Dublin and Kerry. There was a good demand for jerseys, t-shirts and flags. Most people have their tickets at this point.
“Kieran Donaghy was this week getting some flags.
“It’s been eight years since they won, so there’s definitely a pent-up demand or excitement for a result. You hear of a lot of people traveling.
“It’s a severe drought in Kerry. There is almost one expectation every year that you should collect.
He said gamers are a big part of the community.
“You have David Moran on the street almost every day in town, and Tommy Walsh and Killian Young. They are so open and accessible.
“Now this week there is no sign of anyone, generally speaking.
“Galway and Kerry are playing a good brand of open football and people are looking forward to an exciting game. Kerry is on an upswing and if he is successful he will win. It’s all in the day.
“It’s a young team. There is fierce excitement. »
He said there would be a huge reception for the Tralee side on Monday in the city regardless of the outcome.
“If they win Monday night will be packed and if the team is beaten there will always be a big crowd to welcome them home because they did exceptionally well.