KILLORGLIN man Luke Moriarty follows in the footsteps of Mick O'Connell, Dick Spring, Mick Galwey and the late Páidí O Sé among others after he was named the Kerry Person of the Year 2013 by the Kerry Association of Dublin on Monday.
One of the capital's leading businessmen, Luke was celebrated by his peers for his massive contribution to the worlds of business, sports and the Kerry Association itself, which he served as chairman from 1998 to 2002. Close friend Jack O'Shea was among the many who described Luke as a hugely popular choice for the award in 2013. "He has done a massive amount of work for Kerry people living in Dublin over the years and is probably best known for organising the annual golf classic in aid of the Kerry team," Kerry legend Jack O'Shea - who worked with Luke for five years - said.
"He's a very popular choice and a great Kerry man through and through. He has also done a fantastic amount of work for sports in Kerry and in Dublin through his sponsorship of local clubs up here."
Kerry Association President Marian Walsh praised Luke's charitable work over the years. "I've even heard numerous stories from other people about his generosity, quite apart from the more obvious fundraising work he has done over the years for the likes of the Hospice and Our Lady's Hospital. Luke is incredibly generous and a very worthy Kerry Person of the Year."
Luke Moriarty admitted to being 'chuffed' at the announcement this week. "I'm chuffed to bits really as it is a massive honour, especially when you look at all the Kerry people to have received it over the years. It came as a great surprise really."
Luke is the owner of the Moriarty Group which runs three SuperValu supermarkets as well as the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan and the Court Yard Hotel in Leixlip.
The honour was partly given due to what the association described as his approach to business 'which is based on promoting Irish suppliers and contractors, developing staff and mentoring careers and playing a significant hands-on role in local communities.'
Moriarty's track record in nurturing and supporting communities has been widely recognised and his support has proved crucial to the development of many amenities along with the redevelopment and technical upgrades of libraries and the establishment of youth and senior citizen's community centres and facilities.
"This award is being presented in recognition of the community projects that Luke Moriarty has been involved in over the years," Cathaoirleach Maura Hughes said.