Oíche Chiarraí 2017 – by Sheila Prendergast

On Saturday night last, 4 th March 2017, those in attendance at the Ballsbridge Hotel gave a standing ovation to Ted Moynihan as he entered the ballroom on the arm of Kerry Association Chairperson, Leesha Duffy. Ted was about to be presented with the accolade, Kerry Person of the Year 2017. The award was in recognition of having spent the past 27 years of tireless service, fundraising for the Kerry Hospice Foundation – an effort which has culminated in over €11.5m being raised to date.

In making the presentation to Ted of a most beautiful painting of his local area, Blennerville, entitled – “The Windmill” – the Chairperson said that the Kerry Hospice Foundation, through Ted’s dedicated fundraising efforts, has afforded patients treatment, support and access to services both medical and non-medical and above all it provides dignity and solace to patients and their families dealing with cancer. Ted Moynihan has proved that “The power of One” still exists in Kerry.

On receiving the accolade, Ted thanked the Kerry Association in Dublin saying that he accepted the award on behalf of all those who have been involved with KHF since its inauguration. A large contingent of his family and friends were on hand to offer their congratulations and to wish him well in his future fundraising efforts.

The Chairperson made another presentation on the evening – Laochra Chiarraí – this award went to FORBAIRT NA DROMODA. This Community group in Dromid Parish provides a very wide range of services and due to an enormous amount of voluntary work it has become a shining example of what can be achieved with local support.

The Chairperson thanked Frank Hayes of the Kerry Group who has been such a generous sponsor to the Association over the years.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, our very own Michael O’Regan did a splendid job keeping the show free flowing and there certainly was no shortage of banter, ceól, ól agus craic. The melodious tones of the Jason Fallon band ensured that the Ballsbridge Ballroom resembled the set of “Dancing with the Stars” – whilst the singers in the audience came under the tried and tested batons of Marion Walsh and Christy McCarthy.

Bidding was strong in an auction which included a painting by Sean Horan, Holiday prizes, Golf vouchers as well as signed Kerry jerseys – with Mary Donohue bringing her auctioneering skills to bear. The proceeds of the auction and the raffle went to Ted for the KHF.

The fun and celebrations continued late into the night and as the sun rose over Ballsbridge the words of “The Boys of Barr na Sráide” could be heard coming from the hotel’s members’ lounge. Photos of the evening can be seen on this website under “Gallery” on the home page.