The award winners at Thursday night's event in Letterkenny
Four months on from the announcement of the 2021 Donegal Sports Star Awards, the various category winners were presented with their awards at a special reception in Letterkenny’s Mount Errigal Hotel on Thursday evening.
Like so many community events, the January awards presentation was held as a virtual event due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
However, many of the award winners gathered together along with members of the Sports Star Awards committee and special guests at a special function on Thursday.
The 2021 Donegal Sports Star of the Year, Milford athlete Brendan Boyce was not able to attend, but his parents Mandy and Margaret collected his awards on his behalf.
Committee chairperson Grace Boyle, addressing the awards ceremony, said it seemed a bit strange to be honouring last year’s winners four months on.
“But we have been living in strange times for over two years,” she said.
Georgie Kelly, winner of the Brendan McDaid Memorial Special Achievement Award, pictured with Donegal County Council Chief Executive John McLaughlin PICTURES: GERALDINE DIVER
“This is the 46th awards presentation and everyone of the winners here this evening will go into the Sports Star record book along with the hundreds of names that have been honoured since the first function in the Milford Inn on November 26, 1976.
“It’s also an evening to remember past committee members and winners who are no longer with us. Suaimhnes sioraí orthu uilig.
“While 2021 did by no means have a full sporting calendar due to Covid there were still sufficient sporting successes to be able to have an excellent cross-section of winners.
“As well as the winners I want to commend all those who took part in sport last year and some of those who came very close to being on the presentation stage this evening.”
The chairperson extended a special welcome to Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Jack Murray and Chief Executive John McLaughlin both of whom also addressed the event.
“The support that the council provides annually gives us the platform to make the Donegal Sports Star Awards an event that does justice to the achievements of individuals and teams from the county,” Ms Boyle said.
Nakita Burke and Christine Russell, members of the Donegal Senior Cross Country Team, pick up the Team Award from Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Jack Murray
“I hope you don’t mind if I mention the two people who are receiving awards for long service and volunteerism in sport - namely our Hall of Fame winner Eamon Giles and Sadie Duffy the winner in the Appreciation category.
“Eamon and Sadie have been a credit to their respective clubs Cranford AC and Illies Golden Gloves and it is fitting that they are being honoured for their dedication to athletics and boxing over many years.”
A number of the award winners were not able to attend on Thursday night, and their awards were accepted on their behalf by family members and friends.
2021 Donegal Sports Star Award
Olympic Recognition Award - Brendan Boyce, Eilish Flanagan, Mark English, Mona McSharry, Teresa McDaid, Daniel Magee, Michael Black, Dr Sharon Madigan
Professional Sport Achievement - Jason Quigley (Golden Boy Promotions)
Team Award - Donegal Senior Women’s Cross Country Team
Club Award - St Eunan’s GAA Club
Primary School Award - Dromore National School, Killygordon
Secondary School Award - Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Béal Átha Móir, An Clocháin
Coach/Manager Award - Teresa McDaid (Letterkenny AC)
Para-Athlete Award - James Boyle, Dungloe
International Achievement Award - Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley AC)
Hall of Fame Award - Eamon Giles (Cranford AC)
Brendan McDaid Memorial Special Achievement Award - Georgie Kelly, Tooban
Special Recognition Award - Geraldine McLaughlin (Termon and Donegal)
Sporting Acknowledgement - Dylan Browne-McMonagle, Letterkenny
Appreciation Award - Sadie Duffy (Illies Golden Gloves)
Youth Award - Adrienne Gallen (Lifford-Strabane AC)
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