Kerry Person of the Year

Katie Hannon, Journalist, Radio and TV presenter, employed by RTÉ, was honoured as the Kerry Person of the Year for 2023 by the Kerry Association in Dublin.

The Kerry Person of the Year award, now in its 42nd 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 beyond the norm of everyday life.

During her tribute to Katie Hannon, a native of Duagh, Co Kerry, the Cathaoirleach of the Kerry Association in Dublin, Mary Shanahan, said “this award is presented in recognition of the valuable contribution Katie has made to public service broadcasting”. She made particular reference to Katie’s work on exposing allegations of sexual assault of women in the Irish Defence Forces in a special programme “Saturday with Katie Hannon” in 2021, entitled “Women of Honour”. Following this exposure, a Government investigation was established and all 13 recommendations in the final report, published in March 2023, were accepted in full by the Government. Mary also referenced Katie’s voluntary work in the County as Patron of Kerry Hospice Foundation.

Michael O’Regan, President of the Kerry Association said, “The awards recognise the exceptional contribution made by the recipients to the broader community in the public service and sporting areas”.

Katie said ‘I am delighted and honoured to be named Kerry Person of the Year. For me ‘home’ has always meant Duagh and I will always be a Kerry woman in exile. So this is very special.

In a year when we are debating the value of public service broadcasting, it also means a lot that the Kerry Association in Dublin has chosen to highlight an example of public interest journalism that has had a positive impact – although of course the credit for revealing the challenges women faced in the Defence Forces must go first and foremost to the women who were brave enough to come forward and tell me their stories.’