Freed aid workers to be honoured at Flaherty weekend

RECENTLY freed aid workers Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki will travel to Killarney next month to receive a special award in honour of one of Kerry's greatest sons.

Picking up the inaugural Hugh O'Flaherty International Humanitarian Award, the honour is in recognition of Killarney's 'Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican', the Monsignor who helped over 6,500 Jews, and American and British soldiers escape from the Germans during his time at the Vatican.

It's part of the second Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Weekend (November 6-8) and the special evening takes place in the Killarney Plaza Hotel on November 7.

Non-government organisations were invited to nominate colleagues working overseas, who they feel have displayed the same unselfish ideals and principals of the Monsignor. Seven of these agencies were shortlisted including Goal, Trocáire, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Plan Ireland, Hope Foundation and Children in Crossfire.

Out of these six agencies, four had independently nominated the hostages who spent 107 days in captivity and were subject to mock executions in the process.

"The first award of the Hugh O'Flaherty International Humanitarian Award would be very fitting way of both recognising their courage and of indicating a much wider solidarity among the broad Irish population for the importance of humanitarian work," Concern Worldwide chief executive Tom Arnold stated.

Log on to for a full schedule of events at the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Weekend