Tribute paid to Kerry’s heroes and high achievers

Tribute was paid to the county’s heroes and high achievers at an awards ceremony last night.

The annual Kerry County Council and Municipal District Awards were presented to teams, organisations, groups and individuals who had achieved notable success and brought distinction and honour to their communities.

A civic reception was also held for Ian O’Connell to honour his courage and positive attitude in the face of adversity.

The awards were presented to 19 recipients across the five municipal districts, while there were nine additional awards presented by the local authority itself.

Among the award winners were Sgt Dermot O’Connell for his Operation Páistí safety initiative; Kerry’s All-Ireland camogie winning team; Gary O’Sullivan, the county’s Special Olympics gold medallist; and the Irish Red Cross Kerry Branch for their volunteering spirit and dedication.

Mike Moriarty, who rescued two tourists from drowning in Valentia, was honoured, as was Nuala Moore, the Dingle sea swimmer who was the first woman to swim the Drake Passage off the tip of South America.

A civic reception was also presented to Ian O’Connell to honour his courage and positive attitude in the face of adversity; the Killarney man suffered life-changing injuries in a biking accident in 2017.

County Council awards were presented to:

  • Sgt Dermot O’Connell for his creation of the Operation Páistí safety initiative
  • Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society for their role in preserving and promoting the history and heritage of the county
  • Irish Red Cross Kerry Branch for their volunteering spirit and dedication
  • Kerry Academy of Dance for achieving success nationally and internationally
  • Gary O’Sullivan, Special Olympics gold medallist
  • Kerry All-Ireland Camogie Winning Team 2019
  • St Michael’s College Cadet Volleyball Team on winning the all-Ireland title 2019
  • Kevin Lynch for his achievement at the European Masters Athletics
  • Vincent O’Connor and Martin Guerin for their heroic rescue from drowning of John Kelleher in Listowel in 1972

Listowel Municipal District Awards

Ballydonoghue Comhaltas Under-12 Dancers
Cian Horgan, Wheelchair Hurling Champion 2019
Listowel Pitch and Putt Club
MOYA Festival, Ballybunion

Kenmare Municipal District Awards

Rockmount Care Centre, Kilgarvan
Mike Moriarty who rescued two tourists from drowning in Valentia
Tara Foley, Glencar, Sheepdog Trials Champion
Timothy McGrath, Killorglin student for scientific creativity and ingenuity

Killarney Municipal District

Killarney Scorchers Cheerleading Club
Killarney Comhaltas Dancers
Rena Kennelly for creating the Christmas Crib at St Mary’s Cathedral for 46 years

Castleisland-Corca Dhuibhne Municipal District

John Lenihan, athlete
Pat Murphy, athlete
Nuala Moore, sea swimmer
Seán Mac an tSíthigh, journalist

Tralee Municipal District

Louise Quill, for her charitable work in Tanzania
Elaine Burrows Dillane, Channel swimmer
Brian Walsh, for services to the community
Francie Conway, for his work with the Christie Hennessy Festival