Tidy Towns priest named Kerry Person of the Year

Fr Murphy famed for his competition wins in the Kingdom

A Killarney-based priest has been named Kerry’s Person of the Year for 2014.

Archdeacon Michael Murphy, 88, brother of retired Bishop Bill Murphy, has for many years been a figure central to the Tidy Towns competition in the county and it was this tireless pursuit which saw him named for the top honour at Killarney Park Hotel this week.

During his time involved with Tidy Towns, Fr Murphy first led the town of Sneem to victory in 1987, followed by Kenmare in 2000 and Killarney in 2011.

Speaking after his naming as Kerry Person for this year, Fr Murphy said he was surprised to have been named.

“I never dreamed that this accolade would come to me,” he said, adding that it was the hard work of all in the winning towns which had led to the Tidy Towns victories.

A team

“We did it as a team. As an individual I would get nowhere, but there was great support in those three places,” he stressed.

Archdeacon Murphy joins a list of former Kerry Persons which includes Mick O’Connell, Dick Spring, Mick Galwey, Sr Consilio, Margaret Culloty and the late Páidí Ó Sé. He will receive his award during a gala dinner hosted by the Kerry Association in Dublin at the capital’s Clyde Court Hotel, Ballsbridge, on February 15.