Hugh O'Flaherty was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. A Kerryman who loved sport, he was cheerful and full of energy. He was in Rome in 1939 when the Second World War broke out and when Mussolini sided with Hitler. From his safe base in the Vatican, he developed a network of contacts, including donors of money and food, to help escaped prisoners of war and others whose lives were in danger. But the work was very dangerous, especially when he ventured out in disguise. This earned him the nickname 'the Pimpernel of the Vatican'. The Gestapo chief in Rome ordered that he be killed or captured but Hugh was never caught. When the Allies freed Rome, Hugh had helped over 6,500 people to escape imprisonment or even death. He was awarded many high honours for his bravery and courage, and retired to Kerry in 1960. He died in 1963 and is buried in Caherciveen.