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Killarney recognises one of its most famous daughters

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney woman responsible for saving countless lives during World War 2 was honoured on Tuesday afternoon during a special ceremony and plaque unveiling on Mission Road.

PLAQUE: The plaque pictured up close in honour of Janie McCarthy. Photo: Michelle crean

HISTORY: Lots of work and research led to the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Janie McCarthy on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Pictured were: James O'Connor (Killarney Historic Society) Mary G O'Sullivan (researcher) Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney Angela McAllen (Manager Killarney Municipal District) and Noel Grimes (Historian). Photo: Michelle Crean

HONOUR: Padraig Brosnan Maureen Somers Marie Brosnan Leahy Joe Cotter Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney Angela McAllen (Manager Killarney Municipal District) and Mary G O'Sullivan pictured in front of the plaque which was unveiled to Janie McCarthy on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Michelle Crean

Cllr John O'Donoghue Cllr Maura Healy Rae Cllr Donal Grady Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney Angela McAllen (Manager Killarney Municipal District) and Cllr Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan pictured at the unveiling of the plaque to Janie McCarthy after it was unveiled on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Michelle Crean

UNVEILED: Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney and Mary G O'Sullivan admiring the plaque to Janie McCarthy after it was unveiled on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Michelle Crean

Janie McCarthy, born in 1885 at Bohereen na Goun, New Street, played a key role in opposing the Nazi occupation of France during World War 2 and her heroic efforts are akin to those by Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in Rome.

Mayor Marie Moloney had, in the past, called for Janie to be honoured in a similar way to the Monsignor who has a life sized statue erected in his honour on Mission Road.

Cllr John O’Donoghue previously brought a similar motion to a Council meeting following calls from his uncle, former councillor Michael Gleeson who made several attempts to honour the war hero in 2005 but it never came to fruition.

Lots of work and research led to Tuesday's unveiling including a thesis by Mary G O'Sullivan alongside research by James O'Connor from the Killarney Historic Society and historian Noel Grimes.

"I am delighted, as Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, to be able to unveil this plaque to recognise the contribution of Janie McCarthy and her work for the Resistance during World War II," Marie Moloney said.

"Her contribution to the fight for freedom is the reason why we are here. Following the outbreak of World War 2, Janie McCarthy joined the resistance and saved countless lives while staying in war-torn Paris, helping rescue members of the allied forces and intelligence services and smuggling them through the various escape channels and routes to get them out of Nazi occupied France and to safety. Operating in Paris while it was occupied by Nazi forces from 1940 to 1944 she passed hundreds of American, French and other allies through her hands, losing only one."

As a result of her work Janie was awarded France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honour, the Croix de Guerre and a Croix de la Resistance. The United States of America also honoured the Killarney native with the Medal of Freedom while Britain awarded her the Tedder Certificate for assisting British personnel to escape.

Janie was educated at The Convent of Mercy and went to France in 1910 where she worked as an au pair in Brittany and as a teacher for 15 years in Vannes.

The Germans occupied Paris where she was teaching during World War 2 and she immediately joined La Résistance.

Janie’s family members, the Brosnan family and the Cotter family, were in attendance at the unveiling alongside Manager of Killarney Municipal District Angela McAllen, Killarney Municipal District councillors John O'Donoghue, Maura Healy Rae, Donal Grady, and Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan.

Janie also featured in a booked called ‘Hidden Kerry’, published in 2014, by local author and journalist Breda Joy.

"We have long honoured the exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty for his work in saving thousands of allied soldiers and Jews. I find it amazing that two Killarney people would have had so much involvement in the safe escape of allied troops during World War 2, yet it should be no surprise that they were so successful, being from Killarney. I am hugely proud that Killarney now recognises one of its most famous daughters."

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​​Bursaries presented to schools at Lions Club open night

By Michelle Crean Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group. Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St […]

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By Michelle Crean

Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group.

Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St Brendan’s College to help support students in need.

It took place at their open night recently in the KDYS Youth Centre.

The night featured different exhibitions about Killarney Lions Club activities such as the Annual Christmas Food Appeal and the Kerry Clubs Fair.

“It was great that people made the effort to come and find out more what Killarney Lions Club does, despite the weather on the night. We are a voluntary group so community support is vital for activities such as our Christmas Food Appeal which will kick off very soon.”

The Killarney Lions Club, through its members, assists various groups and individuals in and around the community. Lions do this through voluntary activities, fundraising and by holding various types of events in support of a great many local causes.

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Staff celebrated for their long service

Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently. The event was held for all […]

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Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently.

The event was held for all team members of the Great Southern and Killarney Royal who have over 10 years of service, and was hosted by Michael Jacobi, Managing Director, Hayfield Family Collection and Mark Scally, Financial Controller, Hayfield Family Collection.

32 employees celebrated on the night, with the Great Southern represented by John Fitzgerald with 53 years of service, Martina O’Leary with 44 years of service and Kathleen Bhuiyan with 31 years of service. From Killarney Royal Joseph Hurley celebrated 37 years of service with John Harrington celebrating 32 years and Nuala Doolan celebrating 30 years.

“It is an absolute pleasure for us to celebrate our long term staff members,” event host and Hayfield Family Collection Managing Director, Michael Jacobi, said.

“They have played such an integral part in achieving the high standards we are known to provide and are such familiar welcoming faces for our guests.”

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