Big weekend of celebration for Donegal

The All-Ireland success of Donegal will be celebrated on the double this weekend with two major functions in Bundoran and Letterkenny.

The All-Ireland success of Donegal will be celebrated on the double this weekend with two major functions in Bundoran and Letterkenny.

On Friday night the Ulster GAA Writers’ hold their annual banquet and apart from the players who will be picking up awards, the Sam Maguire and Anglo Celt cups will be loaned by Donegal for the night.

On Saturday night, the Donegal GAA banquet takes place in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, where the All-Ireland medals will be distributed.

On Friday night, the Ulster GAA Writers’ banquet will celebrate their 25th anniversary and apart from the usual awards, they are selecting Silver Jubilee teams in hurling and football, for which the nominations have been made from players who received monthly awards during the last 25 years. There are six Donegal players nominated in the list of 51 - Anthony Molloy, Martin McHugh, Tony Boyle, Matt Gallagher, Michael Murphy and Karl Lacey.

The list includes the cream of Ulster football over the last 25 years and the final selection to be unveiled on the night is bound to create lots of interest.

Other nominees are - Armagh: Ger Houlahan, Aaron Kernan, Diarmuid Marsden, Oisin McConville, Stevie McDonnell, Kieran McGeeney, Paul McGrane, Ciaran McGurk, Benny Tierney.

Derry: Paddy Bradley, Fergal Doherty, Henry Downey, Sean Marty Lockhart, Anthony McGurk, Kieran McKeever, Enda Muldoon, Anthony Tohill.

Tyrone: Brian Dooher, Peter Canavan, Sean Cavanagh, Paul Devlin, Conor Gormley, Kevin Hughes, Cormac McAnallen Kevin McCabe, Finbarr McConnell Brian McGuigan Owen Mulligan, Stephen O’Neill.

Down: Greg Blaney, Brian Burns, Benny Coulter, Conor Deegan Dan Gordon Mickey Linden, Paddy O’Rourke.

Fermanagh: Ray Gallagher, Martin McGrath, Barry Owens.

Cavan: Dermot McCabe, Bernard Morris.

Monaghan: Fergus Caulfield, Paul Finlay, Tommy Freeman, Nudie Hughes.

There will be big Donegal interest in the annual awards with the Player of the Year, Personality of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year likely to have a Donegal interest. Karl Lacey (who won it last year), Frank McGlynn and Colm McFadden will again by vying for the player award while Michael Murphy and Jim McGuinness should be in contention for the Personality of the Year award. Patrick McBrearty could pick up the Young Achiever award for the second year in-a-row.

Donegal Banquet

On Saturday night all roads will lead to the Mount Errigal Hotel where the Donegal players will be presented with their All-Ireland medals.

Ulster Council President, Aoghan Farrell, will be the special guest and MC for the night will be Charlie Collins of Highland Radio.

The award winners to be presented on the night will include Karl Lacey being presented with the Player of the Year award, to add to his fourth All-Star and GPA Player of the Year awards.

Awards Winners 2012

Gaeltacht Award: Cloich Ceann Fhaola.

Non Gaeltacht Award: Iorras.

Cultural Award: Grace MacCarron, Malin.

Grounds Award: Convoy.

Hurler of the Year: Joe Boyle Burt.

Services to refereeing: Paddy McGonigle, Buncrana.

Lady Footballer of the Year: Nicole McLaughlin, Termon.

Senior Club of the Year: Naomh Adhamhnáin.

Intermediate Club of the Year: An Tearmann.

Junior Club of the Year: Na Dúnaibh.

Footballer of the Year: Karl Lacey.

Overseas Award: Jimmy Houghton, Malin and Leeds.

Appreciation Award: Danny Harkin.

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