Nun with Tralee links scoops top Killarney humanitarian prize

Sister Orla Treacy with girls at Loreto Secondary School, Rumbek
Sister Orla Treacy with girls at Loreto Secondary School, Rumbek

Tadhg Evans

Sister Orla Treacy, a Loreto Sister based in South Sudan, has been named as the 2017 recipient of the Hugh O'Flaherty International Humanitarian Award, and will pick up her prize at a Saturday, November 4, ceremony in the Killarney Avenue Hotel.

Now in its 10th year, the award commemorates Killarney's Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, who helped save some 6,500 lives in Nazi-occupied Rome during the Second World War. The prize honours people of organisations displaying the same humanitarian ideals and principals as the Monsignor.

Sister Treacy was chosen by an independent panel having been nominated by Martin Rosney from her home county, Wicklow. A daughter of former Kerry County Secretary Blaise Treacy, she moved to Tralee in 1973 and attended the town's Presentation Convent, before moving back to Wicklow at the age of six.

Professed as a Loreto Nun in 2005, she has since established a Mission in a massive diocese offering very little secondary level education. She has spent 11 years in Africa, experiencing both the trauma of civil war and South Sudan becoming an independent state. Today, she is the Principal of Loreto Secondary School in Rumbek.

"At a young age and with a bright future ahead of her in Ireland, she decided instead to dedicate her life to those in need in what was already then a virtual war zone," Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Committee Chairperson Jerry O'Grady said. "Sister Orla possesses and displays the bravery and humanitarian commitment we have come to associate with the recipients of this Award."

Kerryman

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