UN veteran John O’Mahony from Scartaglin. Photo: Don MacMonagle

By Sean Moriarty

The 2019 Hugh O’Flaherty Humanitarian Award will be presented toIrish UN Peacekeepers in Killarney, on June 4.

A special celebration will take place at St Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney. It will commence at 5.15pm when the Gleneagle Concert Band perform a programme of military and other music relevant to the story.


At 6pm, Donal Courtney will perform his critically acclaimed one-man play ‘God Has No Country’, – telling the true story of Hugh O’Flaherty in wartime Rome.


Immediately after, at 7pm the award ceremony will commence. Accepting the award will be Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe and Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Kieran Brennan, accompanied by a member of the Defence Forces. Also, in the accepting party will be representatives of Irish UN Veterans including Jim Casey, Chairman of IUNVA, the Irish UN Veterans Association.


Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, Killarney’s great humanitarian hero helped almost 4,000 prisoners of war escape the Nazi regime following the liberation of Rome on June 4, 1944.


“The Society wanted to mark this 75th Rome Liberation Anniversary and our Irish UN Heroes in a very special way,” Jerry O’Grady, Chairman of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society, said.