Holocaust survivor is keynote O’Flaherty speaker

The keynote speaker at this year’s commemoration of Second World War hero Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty will be Tomi Reichental, a survivor of the Holocaust.

Holocaust survivor is keynote O’Flaherty speaker

Mr Reichental, 79, was incarcerated in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He has lived in Dublin since the 1960s and was the subject of a recent television documentary, Close to Evil.

The 2014 memorial programme begins on Thursday, October 30, with a series of events to mark the 51st anniversary of the monsignor’s death, including the opening of an extended exhibition in Killarney Library.

On Friday, November 14, Close to Evil will be screened in the Killarney Plaza Hotel.

The 2014 Hugh O’Flaherty Humanitarian Award will be presented on November 15 to Dr John Beavis who, for the past 21 years, has devoted his life to providing medical and humanitarian aid in many disaster-hit parts of the world.

His work has taken him to Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Lebanon, and, more recently, to Gaza.

Dr Beavis was formerly a top orthopaedic and trauma surgeon in the British health system, but was forced to retire after suffering serious coronary problems in 1993.

Other programme events include:

- An O’Flaherty Trail coach tour on Saturday, November 15;

- An extended memorabilia exhibition in Killarney Library, running from October 30 to November 15;

- A commemorative Mass at 10.30am in St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney, on Sunday, November 16;

- The Hugh O’Flaherty Perpetual Cup Golf Competition, Killarney Golf Club, Sunday, November 16.

Mons O’Flaherty, who died in 1963, helped save the lives of thousands of Jews and Allied prisoners of war in Rome during the Second World War. A memorial has been erected to him in Killarney.

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