Oiche Chiarraí 2019

Oiche Chiarraí 2019, the flagship event in the annual calendar of the Kerry Association in Dublin, took place on Saturday, 30 March 2019 in the iconic setting of Croke Park.

The Kerry Mountain Rescue Team were presented with the Laochra Chiarraí 2019 award on the night by the President of the Kerry Association in Dublin, Christy McCarthy, while Tomás Garvey, staunch sponsor and supporter of community initiatives in Kerry and beyond, Kerry GAA and basketball incluing the recently crowned Men’s Super League Champions Garvey’s Tralee Warriors and businessman, chairman and founder of the Garvey Group, which encompasses award winning SuperValu and Centra
stores throughout Kerry and Munster, a leisure store in Dingle, Dingle Benners Hotel, and the Dingle Skellig Hotel, was presented with the 2019 Kerry Person of the Year award by Keelin Kissane, Chairperson of the Association.

Over 400 people were in attendance including a large number of past recipients of the Kerry Person of the Year award in this the fortieth year of the Kerry Person of the Year award.

The Kerry Association in Dublin were delighted to have legendary Kerry Footballer and broadcaster Dara Ó Cinnéide act as master of ceremonies for the evening and they would like Dara for being such a wonderful host of our flagship event.

President Christy McCarthy called out the names of all of the past recipients of the Kerry Person of the Year in this the fortieth year of the award and recognised all of the past recipients who were present.

Christy also led a round of applause in tribute to the 1995 Kerry Person of the Year, and great supporter and benefactor of the Kerry Association in Dublin, Ned O’Shea, who sadly passed away in August 2018.

Laochra Chiarraí Award

This award, introduced four years ago, recognises exemplary leadership in community activity in the county.

The Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, represented by their chairman Jimmy Laide, received the 2019 Laochra Chiarraí award which was presented in recognition of a selfless group of people in our county who are always willing to come to the assistance of walkers and climbers in distress. The service is provided on an entirely voluntary basis and often in very difficult and dangerous conditions to assist those in need. Jimmy summed up the selfless ethos of the Kerry Mounting Rescue Team in saying that the volunteers were just a group of people who loved the mountains and who wanted to help.

Kerry Person of the Year Award

The Kerry Person of the Year award, now in its fortieth year, recognises an individual who has shown leadership, brought honour to the county, and performed services for the county to such an extent that could be described as being beyond the norm of everyday life.

Like the Laochra Chiarraí award, this award is based on nominations by the public and the final selection is made by the Kerry Association committee. It is something particularly special to the winners that it is an honour bestowed on them, by their own people, the people of Kerry.

During her tribute to Tomás Garvey, Kerry Association Chairperson Keelin Kissane, noted that the award was presented in recognition of the enormous contribution he has made to Kerry through the business and
local employment provided by the Garvey Group and for his tireless support and sponsorship of sport and community initiatives in Kerry beyond including the Kerry Cancer Support Group, and the Tidy Towns.
Keelin noted that the Garvey Group’s emphasis, as it was at its foundation, continues to be the local communities in which the stores and hotels are located. This manifests itself in stocking produce from local suppliers and employing people from the local area.

In a warmly received speech, Tomás recalled his early days in Dingle and his college days and the decision he made to take over his family’s grocery store in Dingle and to grow to it into the enormously successful business that it is today. He noted the importance of community and family in all that the Garvey Group does and whilst he was delighted to receive the award he was quick to pay tribute to his wife, family, staff and the communities in which the Garvey Group is proud to operate and support.

A huge crowd of Tomás family and friends from Dingle and beyond were in attendance on the night.

The Committee of the Kerry Association in Dublin would like to thank all of those attended including Dingle Distillery and Dick Mack’s brewery and all those who contributed raffle prizes as well as to the Garvey Group.

The Kerry Association in Dublin would like to acknowledge the support of our sponsors and of our long-time sponsor, Kerry Group, in particular which has given hugely valuable support to the association over many many years.