WHILE her mother may be from Laois, TV presenter Miriam O'callaghan says she's far more inclined to profess her father's county heritage.
"He's from just out the road (Currans to be precise)," the popular presenter told over 200 people at this year's Kerry Community Awards Final.
"People say 'I constantly read in the papers that you're from Kerry but half of you is from Laois'. I say 'who wants to be from Laois, if you can be from the Kingdom you want to be from Kerry'," she continued with a smile.
The comment was met with roars of approval as Miriam was made feel very much at home in her 'native' Kerry. It's a county that she is very proud of and she particular praise on the many community volunteers present.
"To be in a room with people who constantly give to their community, surely that is what any country is about," she stated.
""On a daily basis you get up and you give back to your community and I think the Ireland of the so called Celtic Tiger is a much better place today because it values much more the people in this room."
The words sat easily within the room and as the presenter began to read out each category nominee, one by one each group was recognised for its work.
Prize winners included Castleisland Family Resource Centre (overall) which was joined by category winners Comharchumann Forbartha an Leith-triuigh, Beaufort Tidy Towns, Lyreacrompane Community Development Company, The Seanchai literary and cultural centre, Kerry Bog Pony Co-op Society and The Cove Youth Cafe.
There were many more nominees deserving of awards and each was duly recognised within the room.
Special merits went to Marian Players Rathmore, Comhchoiste Ghaeltacht Uibh Rathaigh and Tralee International Resource Centre's Peer Health Programme. An eclectic mix and rewarding winners, another successful year for Kerry Community Awards as the competition now looks forward to its 10th anniversary next year.
While the competition winds down until 2013, three groups will continue at full steam as County Manager Tom Curran also announced the Pride of Place nominees for this year: Beaufort, Rathmore and Ballyspillane.
"These groups respect the heritage and the culture of their past, so this is recognition of the work being done to create a caring, viable, vibrant and visible community. It's an opportunity for communities to tell of the pride they have in their place and highlight this for the judges in the national final," Mr Curran continued.