A CAMPAIGN to have Kerry Airport officially renamed in memory of legendary Antarctic explorer Tom Crean is gathering great momentum and the idea is being actively considered by the airport board.
A social media campaign seeking support for the Crean proposal is making considerable strides with over 1,700 people subscribing to a Facebook page set up by Manchester based Tim Foley who is a great admirer of the explorer from Annascaul.
“He’s not just a national treasure, he’s an international hero,” the campaign administrator said.
“Historians the world over now recognise his magnificent contribution and his heroics in the golden age of Polar exploration after over 80 years of his story being largely unknown and overshadowed.
“It would be a belated honour and one that’s long overdue but I believe his country and firstly, his county should bestow on him a recognition befitting of his stature.” Mr Foley added.
“Why it should take a Facebook fan page campaign to nudge decision makers is beyond me in the case of Tom Crean but if it takes an army of admirers across the world to encourage them, let’s give them that.”
Supporters of the Crean Airport proposal point out that several other airports throughout the world have been named in memory of great achievers and notable characters.
They include George Best Airport in Belfast, John Lennon in Liverpool, JFK in New York, Charles de Gaulle in Paris, Louis Armstrong in New Orleans, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Mozart Airport in Salzburg and even Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.
There is also a groundswell of support for a proposal, still in its initial stages, to rename the Farranfore facility Killarney Airport given that the town is an internationally recognised holiday destination and a very strong worldwide brand.
But is there anybody else worthy of having Kerry Airport named after them? Let us know your views and we’ll be happy to publish your recommendations.
Here, just to while away a little bit of a rain-threatened Monday evening, KillarneyToday.com comes up with a likely list of its own:
Fungi Airport: Why not? The boisterous bottlenosed mammal has been responsible for bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Dingle since he first frolicked in the local harbour in 1983. If that commercial good news story is not worthy of recognition, what is?
Crusher Casey Airport: The Sneem colossus was quite simply the greatest Kerry sportsman that ever lived having taken the worlds of wrestling, rowing and boxing by storm in a title-laden career when he spearheaded what was known as the toughest family on Earth.
Jackie Healy-Rae Airport: Again, why not? Despite the achievements of Dick Spring, John O’Donoghue et al, the Kilgarvan publican and farmer is surely the most famous modern day politician to come out of Kerry. And sure he’s probably responsible for the airport being there in the first place.
Mick O’Dwyer Airport: Having an airport named after him is probably the only honour that he hasn’t received as the most successful manager in the history of the GAA. Besides, wouldn’t that bronze statue in Waterville look really well at the entrance to the airport?
King Puck Airport: Wouldn’t it be fun? Just imagine the reaction around the world. We think it’s a grand idea altogether. After all, if we have our very own monarch then what better way to honour him that to name an airport after him
Pat Spillane Airport: Any takers?