Enda Kenny to be honoured in Killarney

Mayor of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr. Niall Kelleher will bestow Killarney's highest of former Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Friday. ©Photograph of Enda Kenny by John Reidy.
Mayor of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr. Niall Kelleher will bestow Killarney’s highest of former Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Friday. ©Photograph of Enda Kenny by John Reidy.

Killarney will this week bestow its top honour on former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, who will be inducted into the Order of Innisfallen on Friday, December 1.

The longest serving TD in Dáil Éireann and one of the most successful politicians of his generation, his contribution to life in Ireland will be celebrated at a reception in Killarney House.

€10 million Refurbishment

The house was extensively reconstructed and refurbished, at a cost of approximately €10 million, during his term in office.

The award will be presented by Mayor of the Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Niall Kelleher, and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Paul O’Neill.

Mr. Kenny will be honoured in recognition of the wonderful service he gave to his country and to acknowledge the fact that he has been a great friend to Killarney down through the years.

Reducing Tourism VAT

The former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader spearheaded the administration that was responsible for reducing the tourism VAT rate to nine per cent and, by that act, he helped create and safeguard thousands of jobs in the country’s most important and vibrant industry.

Mr Kenny has great affection for and close bonds with Killarney. He has a holiday home in Kilcummin and visits the area at very regular intervals, enjoying walks on the mountains, cycling through the countryside, visiting relatives, playing golf and taking part in the Ring of Kerry charity cycle every year.

Elected in 1975

A native of Co. Mayo, Mr Kenny was first elected to the Dáil in 1975 following the sudden death of his TD father, Henry.

Over the past 42 years he served as Minister for Tourism and Trade, Minister for Youth Affairs, Minister for Defence and he became the longest-serving leader of Fine Gael, holding office from 2002 to 2017.

He was elected Taoiseach in 2011 and remained at the helm until he stepped down in June of this year.

Mr Kenny is married to Fionnuala O’Kelly – who has strong Killarney links – and they have two sons, Ferdia and Naoise, and a daughter, Aoibhinn.

Cáirde Chill Áirne

The Cáirde Chill Árne Order of Innisfallen awards scheme is a joint initiative between Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Kerry County Council.

It was established in 2005 to recognise outstanding contributions of people to the economic development of the town and its tourism industry. Those selected for the honour are invested as Members of the Order of Innisfallen.

Previous recipients include actor Michael Fassbender, entertainer Daniel O’Donnell, industrialist Isolde Liebherr, tour operators Brian Stack, Linda Roberts and Brian McColgan, travel writer Susan Poole, former ministers John O’Donoghue and Jimmy Deenihan and tourism official Margaret Cahill.

Innisfallen Island is one of Killarney’s best-known and most historic heritage sites. It began as a place of healing and became a major centre of learning where the Annals of Innisfallen, the oldest contemporary source of the history of Munster, were scripted.


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