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Chance to honour humanitarian heroes in memory of the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican

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NOMINATIONS are being invited for the 2017 Hugh O'Flaherty International Humanitarian Award. As part of the 10th annual Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend, which will take place on Saturday, November 4, Sunday, November 5, in Killarney, the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society are inviting the public, NGOs, voluntary bodies and organisations to nominate the person or organisation they feel is doing outstanding humanitarian work and most deserving of the 2017 Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award.

Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, who was from Killarney, was dubbed the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican for his lifesaving exploits during World War II. During the course of the war he was instrumental in saving the lives of more than 6,500 anti-Fascists, Allied escapees, Jews and many others by hiding them from the Gestapo in a number of safe houses. throughout Rome. On the day Rome was liberated, June 4, 1944, his organisation was still successfully hiding almost 4000 people, despite the efforts of the Gestapo to recapture them.

The work of Monsignor O’Flaherty follows a long tradition of humanitarian service by Irish people, when he provided refuge and assistance to the oppressed in Rome without any regard for race, colour, creed or political beliefs – applying his own simple yet profound belief that “God Has No Country”.

After WW2 Monsignor O'Flaherty received many honours including Commander of the British Empire and the US Medal of Freedom. In November 2008, in recognition of his immense humanitarian deeds the people of his hometown of Killarney posthumously presented the Killarney Humanitarian Award to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty. For subsequent years, the Award was renamed in his honour and presented to worthy recipients.

Last year’s 2016 Humanitarian Award recipient was Irish Columban Missionary to the Philippines and founder of PREDA, Fr Shay Cullen. Since 1969 he has led a sustained campaign in defence of the oppressed and exploited women and children in the Philippines.

In 2013, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Monsignor’s death, a magnificent life-size bronze memorial was unveiled on Mission Road in Killarney. It is the work of Valentia Based artist Alan Ryan Hall.

Nominations in no more than 500 words should be submitted in writing to the Awards Committee at the below address, or by e-mail to hofmemorialsociety@gmail.com before Friday, June 16. The nomination should clearly outline the reasons why the nominator feels that the nominated Individual/Team/Organisation, merits consideration for this award.

An independent panel will fully consider the nominations received and will recommend a recipient to the Memorial Committee. The 2017 Award recipient will be announced in late August and the award will be presented on Saturday November 4.
 


 
Above: Fr Shay Cullen, pictured after receiving the Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award.
PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE

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Pedestrianisation poll: Our readers have their say

By Sean Moriarty The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it. A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it.

A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to traffic on a permanent basis while 24.76 want it to go back to its pre-pandemic arrangement where the street was only closed to vehicular traffic between 7pm and 7am each night.

An additional 34.29 percent want to see an increase in pedestrianisation in town centre by extending the Main St arrangement that was in place during the summer. In that period the town’s main thoroughfare was closed to traffic, day and night, during the weekend.

Only 20 percent of the respondents want to abolish pedestrianisation altogether, but that is still a significant number ensuring that this debate will linger on for a long time yet.

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National television exposure for local campaign

By Michelle Crean A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign. Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – […]

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By Michelle Crean

A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign.

Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – invited journalist Paul Byrne and Virgin Media TV crew to town this week.

It’s hoped their campaign will be broadcast tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).

The KCRU event takes place tomorrow in ANAM Arts and Cultural Centre between 10.30am and 4pm as part of the European Restart a Heart Day. It’ll include CPR demos, public information, an art display, a video launch w️ith many prizes to be won.

“The crew interviewed Community Responder Helen Duggan who explained the events taking place on Saturday,” Kevin O’Leary from KCRU told the Killarney Advertiser.

“European Restart a Heart Day was founded with the support of the European parliament and takes place on October 16 every year. We’re spreading the message that 20 minutes of your time could make all the difference saving a life.”

In 2021, the focus of the event is on survivors with the hashtag #CPRSavedMyLife.

“With this campaign we want to create awareness that everyone can learn CPR and facilitate BLS courses in schools and public locations.”

He said they hope that Kerry TDs Danny Healy-Rae, Brendan Griffin and Minister for Education Norma Foley will be in attendance throughout the day, and the public are invited to attend.

“Find out how simple actions can save lives. Prizes include a three day First Aid course valued at €300, two First Aid kits, and a voucher for a local business.”

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