Friday 24 October 2014

Hunt for a new hero in memory of monsignor

Sam Griffin

Published 15/04/2014 | 02:30

Colm O’Callaghan and Ethan Slattery, from Killarney, at the launch of the Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award

MONSIGNOR Hugh O'Flaherty famously said 'God has no country' when asked why he helped thousands of Nazi prisoners of war during World War II.

The famed humanitarian worker was subsequently hailed internationally for his efforts to help Allied POWs and Jewish fugitives flee from the authorities.

Now the Irish public has the chance to honour a modern-day person or organisation who is emblematic of Monsignor O'Flaherty's dedication to the less fortunate and committed to similar humanitarian efforts.

Nominations have opened for the Hugh O'Flaherty International Humanitarian Award which is run annually by the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Society.

The award is presented each year to a recipient who has performed "outstanding humanitarian work, either here in Ireland or further afield", the society's chairperson, Jerry O'Grady, said.

The winner is presented with a bronze medal which bears the image of Hugh O'Flaherty as well as the Vatican, in addition to a scroll presented on behalf of the people of Killarney.

Anyone who wishes to nominate a person or organisation should visit www.hughoflaherty.com.

The closing date for nominations is August.

The winner will receive their award at the seventh annual Memorial Weekend to be held in Killarney in November.

Previous winners of the award, since 2009, include Irish missionary Fr Michael Sinnott, who was kidnapped in Colombia, and suicide awareness campaigner Donal Walsh, who was honoured posthumously.

Irish Independent

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