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Brian McCarthy hailed as ‘representing very best of Kerry’

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Brian McCarthy, Fexco.

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AS ONE of his first duties as mayor of Kerry, Councillor Michael O’Shea led tributes to FEXCO founder Brian McCarthy. Friends, family and colleagues of Mr McCarthy gathered at Kerry County Buildings for the civic reception today.

Mayor O'Shea said: “I am really delighted that one of my first official functions as Mayor of Kerry since I took up the role last month is the hosting of this very special occasion for a man who represents the very best of Kerry."

He added: “I can think of no more deserving recipient for a civic reception than Brian McCarthy. Kerry has many heroes, for example in our Gaelic Games, in social services, in tourism, community groups and the economic and business sectors. Nobody can dispute that Brian McCarthy is another of those heroes – a true Kerry hero.”

Describing Mr McCarthy as “one of life’s gentlemen”, the mayor added: “He is a quiet, polite and humble man – but that humility disguises a sharp brain, a steely tenacity and a strong determination to achieve goals. A small financial services business founded in Killorglin in 1981 would not have become the international success story it is today without that tenacity and determination.”

Brian McCarthy has overseen the enormous development and growth of FEXCO during the 35 years since its foundation – and with remarkable success. Prior to founding the company, Brian had worked with AIB for almost 20 years. “He clearly saw an opening for a specialised financial services company and he did not hesitate in following his dream,” said Cllr O’Shea.

The pursuit of that dream now means that FEXCO employs more than 2,000 people in Ireland and across the globe. “It has been a remarkable success story. From its Killorglin headquarters it provides a range of financial services to some of the world’s biggest brands. I think it is significant that Brian and his company have never forgotten their roots and that FEXCO has retained its base in Killorglin as its international base. That shows Brian’s love for his home town,” said Cllr O’Shea.

“In that regard, Brian McCarthy has made a wonderful contribution to rural Ireland. I read that Brian was once asked about why FEXCO would not move to the Financial Services Centre in Dublin. Brian said (and I quote): ‘This business can be run from the North Pole provided you have the right people. But the view is better here in Killorglin.’

“They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and today, Brian’s sons Denis – who is now CEO – and John, who is Executive Director, are continuing their father’s effort and tradition in the company. Brian has recruited the very best of directors, managers and staff over the years and they have worked closely together to ensure that FEXCO continues to be such a success.”

Mr McCarthy was named Ernst and Young International Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 and has also received the Seán Lemass Award for Excellence in Marketing.

Earlier this year, he was chosen as the Kerry Person of the Year by the Kerry Association in Dublin. “It was the first time somebody not born in Kerry – Brian being born in Cork of course – had received this particular honour,” noted Cllr O’Shea.

The mayor concluded: “Brian – you are an inspiration to our county and a treasure in Kerry. No words can adequately describe the gratitude of the people of Kerry for what you have achieved.”

Councillor Michael Cahill had proposed the honour for Mr McCarthy “in recognition of his contribution both as an employer and for his wonderful work and generosity to charities and voluntary groups in Killorglin, in Kerry and throughout the country”.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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