Vince named Kerry London Person of Year

Former publican is a co-founder of London's Kerry Association

Simon Brouder

Ballinskelligs man Vince Harty has been named as this year's Kerry Person of the Year 2018 by the London Kerry Association.

Vince - the long standing treasurer of the Kerry London Association - was selected in recognition of the huge contribution he has made to the life of people in both Kerry and London.

Mr Harty's role in the association goes back to its earliest days as he was a key part of the original group that created the association in the 1970s and he remains actively committed to the good work of the association today.

Vince will be presented with the Dennis Reidy Memorial trophy at the association's gala dinner dance at The Crown Hotel in Cricklewood on Friday, October 19.

He will be joined on the evening by his wife Breda, daughters Sheila, Deirdre, Orla and Niamh along with son-in-laws and his eight grandchildren.

His brothers Jack and Anthony and his sister Helen will also be making the trip from the Kingdom to join him on the evening.

2019 will mark Vince's 60th year in London. He arrived at the age of 16 and started working as a barman at The Brewery Tap in Barking.

Deciding to explore a bit further, he joined the building trade as many a great Irishman did before him.

During this time there was lots of rebuilding with new tunnels and roads being constructed post war.

These were the days that great friendships were made by the men as they worked side-by-side.

This work took Vince the length and breadth of England and although hard work, he describes it as a very happy time.

In 1965 he met and married Breda, a native of Murrioch, Dingle. As health problems led to the end of his building career, he returned to the pubs starting at The Crown in Cricklewood, eventually running his own pubs, The Windsor Castle, The Tally Ho and The Spotted Dog in Willesden where he won Pub Landlord of the year in the 80s.

He then moved into the City of London.

His last pub, The Rising Sun in Carter Lane, St Pauls is now run by his daughter Sheila, keeping up the family tradition.

Vince said he was over the moon when he received the call from Dan Tim O'Sullivan, the chairman of KAL, notifying him of his recognition.

"I am 75-years-old and feel so honoured to receive this award. It's a reward that has been given to wonderful Kerry man and women in the past. I would like to accept this with gratitude and for all those who have gone in the past with their works of goodness and kindness," he said.

Meanwhile, world champion rower Monika Dukarska from Killorglin has been named as the association's Young Kerry Person of the Year and she will receive the Christy Kissane Memorial Trophy on the night.

Ms Dukarska has represented Ireland on several occasions, including at this year's championships in Bulgaria where she and teammate Aileen Crowley won the double-scull C-final.

The Christy Kissane Memorial Trophy is presented each year to recognise a new generation of Kerry people, in London or Kerry. It is named in honour of the great Killorglin and Kilburn man who passed away three years ago.

Past winners include members of the Kerry minor five in a row football team and Kerry GAA legend Colm Cooper.