Char­ity hero Tim gets UL’s top award


The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS - By DÓ­NAL NOLAN

AN ex­tra­or­di­nary suc­cess story in busi­ness and al­tru­ism was recog­nised in Lim­er­ick this week as Bal­ly­heigue na­tive Tim Kenny be­came just the fourth Kerry per­son to re­ceive the Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment UL Alumni Award.

It’s the high­est hon­our the univer­sity be­stows on for­mer grad­u­ates and in Tim’s case it sure was well-earned - prin­ci­pally for his role in found­ing and head­ing a char­ity that today is the sec­ond largest fun­der of chil­dren’s can­cer re­search in the States af­ter the US Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

The St Baldrick’s Foun­da­tion was born in 1999 as Tim and two of his friends considered what they might do to give back thanks for their suc­cess in life. It started with a head­shave on St Patrick’s Day 2000, rais­ing over $104,000.

To date it has raised an in­cred­i­ble $300 mil­lion plus; in the process con­tribut­ing to cut­ting-edge can­cer re­search that has re­sulted in at least two hugely promis­ing ther­a­pies for neu­rob­las­toma and leukemia treat­ment.

That’s just the char­ity side of things – con­sider Tim’s busi­ness acu­men. He grad­u­ated in ‘81 from UL (then NIHE Lim­er­ick), started out with in­sur­ance com­pany QBE in Shan­non, be­fore leav­ing with just £200 to his name for the US in 1987.

By 1994 he was back with QBE, in the US, work­ing his way up to be­come its CEO in North Amer­ica and steer­ing it to mind-bog­gling growth: In his time at the helm its rev­enues in seven North and South Amer­i­can coun­tries sky­rock­eted from $100 mil­lion to over $4.5 bil­lion. UL was de­lighted to hon­our the Bal­ly­heigue man with the award this week, with Tim joined by three of his for­mer Cause­way Com­pre­hen­sive class­mates and close pals, John Lu­cid (also his brother-in-law hav­ing mar­ried Tim’s sis­ter Kath­rina, who was also present at the event), Tim Ryan and Mau­rice Walsh.

If that wasn’t all, the lads’ for­mer Prin­ci­pal John O’Re­gan was also there for the proud oc­ca­sion – a man they credit with hav­ing steered them on the path to suc­cess in those for­ma­tive years in the Com­pre­hen­sive sec­ondary.

Main photo by Keith Wise­man

Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment UL Alumni-award holder Tim Kenny - one of just four Kerry peo­ple to have re­ceived the hon­our and, be­low, with Cause­way Com­pre­hen­sive pals Tim Ryan, John Lu­cid (his brother-in-law), Mau­rice Walsh and the man who kept them on the...

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