London Kerry Person of the Year announced

Professor Michael Mythen has been named as the Kerry Association London’s Kerry Person of the Year.

Monty, as he’s been known since medical school days, is the son of Johanna (Joan) Fitzgerald of Lispole and son of the late Nick Mythen of Curracloe, County Wexford. Joan’s parents were Tom Fitzgerald of Lispole and Nel O’Brien originally of Dúnquin. Joan left Lispole for London in 1948 to join the first wave of Irish nurses to work in the new NHS. 

As a child Monty used to spend his summer holidays in Dingle each year and remembers with fondness helping his uncle, the late Senator Tomás Fitzgerald, pull lobster pots, and working for his Uncle Pat (Paudie Fitzgerald) in his store, Fitzgerald’s on Main Street.

While training at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School 1979-1984, Monty organised a memorable medics rugby tour to Kerry and when his own sons, Patrick and Tom were playing mini and youth rugby for Ealing RFC he organised three rugby tours to Kerry playing teams in Tralee and An Gaeltacht. 

Back in the 1980s, Monty became an early investor in Kerry Airport and more recently with his sisters, became an investor Dingle’s Distillery.  

In 1998, Monty had the idea of organising a medical conference at the Dingle Skellig Hotel bringing anaesthetists from all over the world to Kerry. With fellow anaesthetists from University College Hospital London and the organisational expertise of his late sister, Siobhan Mythen, the Dingle Medical Conference was born and became so successful that it became an annual event.

It is now in its 21st year and has attracted more than 3,000 delegates. Over the years delegates have got a real flavour of the Gaeltacht with a reception each year at the Blasket Centre, dinner at Dingle restaurants, entertainment by local Irish dancers, yacht racing in the bay, golf at Ceann Sibéal, Ballyferriter and walks to the South Pole Inn in Annascaul.  

“We’re delighted to have such an accomplished winner in Prof. Mythen this year,” KAL Chairperson Tom O’Sullivan said. “Not only distinguished and renowned worldwide in his own field of medicine, but his contribution to Kerry over the decades has been invaluable – be it from his early investments in Kerry Airport through to launching a leading medical conference in Dingle – and truly underscoring the values of the association and its membership across Kerry born and further London born generations of Kerry associated people.

Monty will be presented with the award at the KAL’s annual gala dinner on October 18 in what will be a fantastic evening of craic and Kerry connections with Daithí Ó Sé as MC and appearances from Portmagee comedian Bernard Casey, and many more.