First for Kingdom as Cork native named Kerry Person of the Year
A Corkman was named Kerry Person of the Year at a ceremony in Dublin last night.
For the first time in its 37-year history, the awards recognised a figure born outside the Kingdom.
Brian McCarthy, founder of Killorglin-based financial services company FEXCO, was named Kerry Person of the Year.
At a ceremony in Iveagh House, Kerry Association in Dublin cathaoirleach Leesha Duffy said Mr McCarthy had grown employment in his business to 2,300, of whom 1,200 are employed in Ireland, through his "entrepreneurial vision".
"I never thought I would be the Kerry Person of the Year.
"It's a great occasion for myself and for my family.
"It's a company that continues to grow and I'm very proud it happened in Kerry."
Also at the event, Independent News and Media Group Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae said: "I think all of us in Kerry are really proud of the success at FEXCO.
"It started off from small roots but its grown into a huge organisation, a major financial company which brings much needed employment to mid Kerry and Kerry in general, and has put Killorglin on the financial services map."
The Kingdom native paid tribute to the Kerry Association, saying: "It's absolutely important that we continue to have awareness of Kerry and all the county has to offer."
Diaspora Affairs Minister Jimmy Deenihan pointed to the prestige of the award.
"So Brian you join a very selective group of people."