World War 2 Hero Remembered

World War 2 Hero Remembered

01 March 2010

It was a very poignant night last night in Killarney when almost 300 people gathered in the Church of the Resurrection to celebrate the 112th birthday of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty.  The occasion was also to remember Cllr. Michael Courtney who recently passed away, while planning this event, which had been organised as part of the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Committee's fundraising activity.

Welcoming guests, Jerry O'Grady of the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Committee, made a special dedication on the night to Michael, who was Chairman of the Committee, "Michael was the glue that kept the Committee together and we all decided that the best tribute to him was to make sure that the Concert went ahead in his memory.  He is very much missed by all of us as he is by everyone in Killarney.  I believe that his loss will be even greater in the weeks and months ahead, as Michael played such a pivotal role in so many projects in Killarney. 

The concert, which raised over €4,000 towards a permanent memorial to Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty in Killarney town centre was produced by Founder and Principal of the Kerry School of Music and Performing Arts, Aidan O'Carroll who paid his own tribute to Michael, who's family were present at the event, along with members of the O'Flaherty family.  "Tonight would not have been possible without Michael.  He was present at another fundraising event we produced in Killarney and approached me afterwards about doing something for the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial fundraising activity.   Kerry School of Music and Performing Arts has strong ties with Killarney and we are all honoured to be here tonight, honouring not one, but two great Killarney men."

The evening's highlights included Cesar Frank's "Panis Angelicus" in a completely new arrangement for soloist, choir and orchestra by Aidan O' Carroll as well as Mozart's stunning "Exultate Jubilate" for Soprano and Orchestra.

Soloists included Killarney native Niall Crowley, aged just 16 who is one of the leading Base Baritone's in the country for his age, having recently won a silver medal at Feis Maitiu in Cork in the under 19 category.

Other students of the college included Soprano Aisling O'Carroll, who picked up 5 gold medals at the same National Awards and Listowel native and Soprano Margaret Reen.

A special tribute to composer Sean O'Riada was performed by the McCrohan Brothers, John, Reggie and Stephen and there was also a special appearance by Killarney Flautist Aisling O' Dwyer, who is a teacher at the school of music.

Other soloists included Lucy Tanner and Dovile Baltonniene who are both violin teachers at the Kerry School of Music.

More detailed information on the Monsignor's life and a schedule of events and activities that are being planned to honour this great man can be found on