Eight recipients of Fexco Kerry Heroes 2020 revealed

Eight groups and individuals have been named as the Fexco Kerry Heroes of 2020.

Over 50 nominations were received by Radio Kerry for the awards.

The winners will be presented with a specially created handcrafted vase sponsored by Louis Mulcahy Pottery in Ballyferriter.

Kerry COVID-19 Community Response Forum – The Kerry Community Response Team has been recognised for co-ordinating the response to the pandemic in the county.

The multi-agency group set up a dedicated helpline, gave service and support updates and organised food deliveries to the vulnerable during lockdowns.

Skellig Family Fáilte Group wins an award for its work to welcome 125 asylum seekers who were moved to Caherciveen in March; the group also brought the residents supplies when some developed COVID-19.

Michael Griffin from Killorglin, was nominated by his son, Ted.

Despite Michael’s own health challenges, he has helped to give his son, who is a wheelchair user his independence; so much so Ted calls his father MacGyver!

For fostering an atmosphere of generosity and goodwill in the community through her social media videos and organising a toy appeal for families in need, an award is being presented to Garda Mary Gardiner of Tralee Community Policing Unit.

Caoilinn Harte from Kilmorna, Listowel is being honoured for her response to the pandemic by sending cards to people to spread cheer; the nine-year-old also donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust and has raised thousands for Kerry Parents and Friends.

Described as a powerhouse to the people of Tarbert and Ballylongford, Kitty McElligott from Tarbert, who is in her 80s, is being honoured for raising funds for a bereaved family.

Along with fundraising and volunteering, Kitty is one of the leading lights in Ballylongford’s Active Retirement Group and its rambling house group.

Mike Brosnan and John Fleming, who drive the Kerry Cancer Support Group Healthlink bus, are being recognised for stepping up during the pandemic to ensure patients needing cancer treatment could make their hospital appointments safely.

The staff at St Mary of the Angels Beaufort, including chaplain Fr Derek O’Connell, are also getting an award to acknowledge their dedicated work and care for those with special needs and disabilities, and rising to the challenges posed by lockdown when residents and their families have been separated for months on end.