Christina and Mike share top club honour

Christina Fealy and Mike Cleary were presented with the Kerry Motor Club award at the AGM

For the first time in Kerry Motor Club’s 50-year history, its person of the year award was presented to a couple.

The coveted shield is presented each year to the person or persons who made the greatest contribution to the club over the previous 12 months.

The club’s annual general meeting took place at the Rose Hotel in Tralee and nominations for the award were submitted by secret ballot.

When the votes were counted it turned out that both Christina Fealy and Mike Cleary had tied but as they are a couple, it was decided to jointly award the trophy to the one household that did so much background work over the last 12 months.

“We are extremely honoured and surprised to receive this award,” said Christina, “There are a lot of deserving people within this club.”

Gathered members were told about a successful 2022 season and the highlights included a new car show to raise funds for a seriously ill club member and the arrival of the Déjà vu motorsport event in Tralee in May. The second event provided €40,000 in funding to Recovery Haven in Tralee.

At the presentation of the cheque to Recovery Haven were, from left, Mark Sullivan, Rose Hotel, Marisa Reidy Recovery Haven, Mike Cleary, Kerry Motor Club, rally driver Paul Nagle, Jacinta Bradley, Recovery Haven and Aisling Foley, Rose Hotel

Plans for the year ahead were also announced on the night with club chairman Eoin Duffin selected to take on the role of clerk of the course for the April 2 Circuit of Kerry.

The club’s flagship rally returns this year for the first time since before the pandemic but plans are well underway for the first running of this event in four years.

A new event will run on July 16, to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Ballyfinnane Hill Climb.

While the event is still subject to Motorsport Ireland approval and course safety inspections, the club is pressing on with preliminary plans to mark this historic occasion.

There were a few changes to the committee and while both Eoin Duffin and PJ O’Dowd stay on as chair and vice chair, Jason Brick was elected as the new club secretary.

Conor Walsh was elected as the club’s new social media officer, Christina Fealy stays on as treasurer, Sarah Leahy continues as club development o0fficer, Mike Cleary retains the membership secretary role and Sean Moriarty continues as press officer. Everyone reads it – ask anyone. Call 087-2229761 to advertise