PRIZE: Killarney London Reunion committee member Michael O’Leary with the trophy that will be presented to Jack Ryan this weekend in London. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Sean Moriarty

Over 200 people are expected to attend the Killarney London Reunion 50th anniversary tonight (Saturday) at the famous Crown Hotel in Cricklewood.

The annual reunion, which is sponsored by the Killarney Advertiser, is one of the social highlights of the year for Killarney people living in London.

Each year the Killarney London committee select a ‘Person of the Year’ – and Jack Ryan is the deserved recipient this year.

Aside from Ryan’s celebration, the organisation, which served as a home away from home for Killarney people, will celebrate its 50th birthday.

The Killarney Association London was formed in 1969 by local priest Tom Looney, who was the parish priest in Wembley at the time, Cllr Donal Grady and the late Cllr Michael Courtney.

Former town clerk Michael O’Leary has been a Killarney side committee member since his Council days.

“One of the most important things, in practical terms, was when young Killarney people emigrated to London there was a welcome and social system in place that still exists to this day,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.
“There were always two sides to the organisation and the local committee existed to help those who wanted to move home after time away.”

BACK IN TIME: A group celebrate one of the first Killarney London Reunions at the now closed Spotted Dog in Willesden in 1970. The landmark pub was once owned by the Harty Family of Ballinskelligs.

FOUNDER: Fr Tom Looney (centre), was one of the founding members of the Killarney London Reunion.