Did you ever know that you’re my hero?

Kerry Today presenter Jerry O’Sullivan

2021 continues to be a challenging year for everyone in Kerry but, through it all, a number of individuals and groups have shown outstanding community spirit, courage, vision and leadership.

And here is your change to reward and thank them for their efforts.

Radio Kerry and Fexco have again teamed up for the Kerry Heroes awards with eight recipients to be chosen to receive a specially created 2021 award, crafted and sponsored by Louis Mulcahy Pottery in Ballyferriter.

Radio Kerry is inviting submissions on who should be Kerry Heroes, be it a frontline worker, someone in the community or just someone that deserves to honoured and thanked.

Once all the entries have been received a panel comprising of Radio Kerry and Fexco representatives will decide on the 2021 recipients. On Wednesday, December 22, presenter Jerry O’Sullivan will name and honour them on a special the Kerry Today programme.

Nominations for Kerry Heroes of all ages are welcome and submissions, which should not be more than 500 words, should be accompanied by a photograph, if possible, and they can be emailed [email protected] or by posted to Kerry Heroes, Kerry Today, Radio Kerry, Maine Street, Tralee. The closing date for receipt of nominations is midday on Thursday, December 16.

Garda Mary Gardiner (rigjht) and Garda Gillian McEoin with cards and gifts that they arranged to have donated for a great local cause

Last year’s recipients were:

  • Kerry Covid-19 Community Response Forum: The Kerry Community Response Team was recognised for co-ordinating the response to the pandemic in the county.
  • Skellig Family Fáilte Group won an award for its work to welcome 125 asylum seekers who were moved to Caherciveen.
  • Michael Griffin from Killorglin who, despite his own health challenges, helped to give his son, who is a wheelchair user, his independence.
  • Garda Mary Gardiner of Tralee Community Policing Unit for fostering an atmosphere of generosity and goodwill in the community through her social media videos and organising a toy appeal for families in need.
  • Nine-year-old Caoilinn Harte from Kilmorna, Listowel was honoured for her response to the pandemic by sending cards to people to spread cheer and for donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust.
  • Kitty McElligott from Tarbert, who is in her 80s, was honoured for raising funds for a bereaved family.
  • Mike Brosnan and John Fleming, who drive the Kerry Cancer Support Group Healthlink bus, were recognised for stepping up during the pandemic to ensure patients needing cancer treatment could make their hospital appointments safely.
  • The staff at St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort, including chaplain Fr Derek O’Connell, for their dedicated work and care for those with special needs and disabilities and rising to the challenges posed by lockdown.