Four decades of honouring high achievers

2018 Kerry Person of the Year Colm Cooperwith Kerry Association Chairperson Keelin Kissane (left) and Céiltís Ní Bheaoglaoicht

THE search is on for the new Kerry Person of the Year to succeed Kerry GAA legend Colm Cooper.

The Kerry Association in Dublin has announced that the nomination process for the Kerry Person of the Year and for the Group award, Laochra Chiarraí, is now open.

This will be the landmark 40he year that the award has been presented and previous recipients include the late John B Keane, Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, Mick O’Connell, the late Con Houlihan, Dick Spring and Brendan Kennelly.

Killarney recipients of the prestigious awards include Tidy Towns champion Archdeacon Michael Murphy, Ring of Kerry Cycle founder Denis Geaney, cancer treatment fundraiser Pat O’Connell, former Garda Commissioner Paddy Culligan, charity activist Brian O’Mahony and MEP Seán Kelly.

The Kerry Association in Dublin dates back to 1951 and it was established as a way to celebrate the people, culture and sporting achievements of Kerry people and to bind together the people from the county that made Dublin their home.

“For over 60 years it has been a strong, vibrant association and we are very proud that it continues to be so,” said PRO Maurice Moynihan.

“2019 will be a landmark year as it will be the 40th anniversary of the award and we plan to make it in an incredible night to remember by having as many past recipients there as we can and by moving Oiche Chiarrai to the iconic Croke Park – scene of so much glory for Kerry over the years,” he added.

Proud night for the Cooper clan: Colm celebrates his award with his family

One of the highlights of the social calendar is the presentation of the prestigious Kerry Person of the Year award. From Dr Michael Carmody in 1979 to Colm Cooper in 2018, the roll of honour of previous recipients is most impressive, even on a national level, and it shows just how blessed Kerry is with talented and wonderful people,” he added.

The list of past recipients is set out below.

Introduced in 2016, Laochra Chiarraí award recognises a group or organisation in the Kerry community. The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle committee was the first recipient, with the honour going to Dromid Community Development Company in 2017 and the Special Olympics Clubs of Kerry in 2018.

“As is the case for the Kerry Person of the Year, the group selected must have shown leadership, brought honour to and performed community, charitable or other services to such an extent that could be described as being beyond the norm of everyday life,” said Maurice Moynihan.

The nomination deadline is January 4 with the recipients to be formally presented with their awards at Oíche Chiarraí, which will be held on Saturday, 30 March.

Nominations can be made at and

Colm Cooper with Kerry Association Chairperson Keelin Kissane

Kerry Person of the Year Roll of Honour
2018: Colm Cooper
Ted Moynihan
2016: Brian McCarthy
2015: Danny Tim O’Sullivan
2014: Archdeacon Michael Murphy
2013: Luke Moriarty
2012: Jimmy Deenihan
2011: Crohan O’Shea
2010: Dáithí Ó Sé
Margaret Culloty
2008: Sean Kelly
2007: Tadhg O’Donoghue
2006: Jeremiah O’Donoghue
2005: Jack O’Connor
2004: Denis Geaney
2003: Mick Galwey
2002: Brian O’Mahony
2001: Páidí Ó Sé
2000: Dick Spring
1998: Mick O’Connell
1997: Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh
1996: Sr Consilio
1995: Ned O’Shea
1994: Paddy Culligan
1993: John Curran
1992: Fr Pat Ahern
1991: Brendan Kennelly
1990: Dr Paddy Moriarty
1989: John B Keane
1988: Dr Denis Brosnan
1987: Dr Bryan MacMahon
1986: Mick O’Dwyer
1985: Con Houlihan
1984: Pat Spillane
1983: Eamonn Kelly
1982: Pat O’Connell
1981: Pat Roche
1980: Sr Stanislaus Kennedy
1979: Dr Michael Carmody

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