Donegal Sports Star Awards October Review

Donegal had October sporting stars

Successes in soccer, horseracing, motorsport, triathlon, gymnastics, darts, GAA, cycling and hurling all feature in the Donegal Sports Star October Review as the countdown continues to the big 40th Awards celebrations. So it’s important now that all the 2015 sporting achievers get their nominations in by Friday week November 27th.  Donegal soccer hit the headlines on the last weekend of October when second half goals from Nathan Boyle and Josh Mailey gave Finn Harps a 2-1 home second leg victory over UCD that secured Ollie Horgan’s side a place in the promotion/relegation play-off against Limerick F.C. The previous week Ciaran Coll’s early goal had given Harps a 1-0 win at Belfield for a 3-1 aggregate victory.

 

There was very good start to the month for a former Donegal Sports Star Award winner Martin Harley as the Trentagh jockey had big wins at Longchamp in France and at Kempton Park in the UK. On the Sunday, Harley steered Goldream to a Grade One win in Longchamp in the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp for Robert Cowell. Then on the Tuesday evening at Kempton the Trentagh man had two firsts. He rode Hugo Palmer’s Nessita to victory at 10/3 odds and was then on 25/1 shot Sir Jack Layden who won in the 32red handicap at Kempton. At the end of that same week Harley had two more winners at a race meeting in Wolverhampton. The Trentagh native rode 7/2 shot Devon Drum to victory followed by Sheila’s Treat  at odds of 20/1.

 

In Motorsport Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore took the title in the modified section of the Irish Tarmac Championship after winning the two-wheel category in a Toyota Starlet. Later in the month Gallagher and Moore finished third in the Fastnet Rally in Bantry which gave the Donegal crew the Modified section of the National Championship and 4th overall. Early in the month Aidan Callaghan from the Letterkenny 24/7 Club member was named overall winner of Triathlon Ireland’s Super Series. Callaghan had finished in ninth place at the Pulse Port Beach Triathlon in Clougherhead, Co Louth in September but his triumph was only confirmed after his nearest rival Chris Mintern (Cork Triathlon Club) was disqualified meaning he didn’t finish the obligatory four races needed to be considered for overall classification.

 

In the middle of October the young Finesse Gymnastics Senior Display Team based in Letterkenny won silver medals for their overall outstanding performance at the London Festival of Gymnastics. The team performed alongside 52 teams from all over the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

 

In darts 16-year-old Newtowncunningham schoolboy Jordan Boyce put up a great performance coming back from 3-0 down against the experienced Tony ‘Silverback’ O’Shea to level before eventually losing 5-3 at the Grand Slam of Darts qualifiers in Hull. It was the biggest match of the young Deele College student’s career against O’Shea, who was the beaten finalist in the BDO World Championships in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Later the same week Boyce secured his place at the Lakeside in January after qualifying for the BDO World Youth Championship final. Boyce will meet England’s Josh Richardson in the World Youth finals after winning six qualifying games at City Hall in Hull.

 

14-man Naomh Conaill had a thrilling 0-11 to 0-10 victory over St. Eunan’s in the Donegal Senior Football Championship Final and the club completed a memorable seven days by winning the All-Ireland Gaeltacht senior title for the first time by defeating Kilcar in the rescheduled final in Ardara by 1-11 to 0-6. In cycling Dunlewey girl Amanda Gallagher had a fantastic international result winning her first junior race in the Netherlands. Amanda, a member of the Errigal Cycling Club, was with the Irish Ladies 2020 Talent Team. The 15-year-old was actually elevated from the U16’s category to race at the higher standard junior level. Burt’s Ronan McDermott and Jamsie Donnelly (McCumhaills) were named on the Nicky Rackard All-Star hurling team of the year.

 

On the first weekend of the month Letterkenny AC’s Kieran Doherty and Fionnuala Diver won their respective male and female categories at the Donegal Master’s Cross-County Championships in Carndonagh. A fortnight later Finn Valley’s Mark McPaul and Letterkenny AC’s Nikita Burke won the respective male and female Donegal Novice Cross-Country Championship categories in Stranorlar. Finn Valley won the men’s team section while Letterkenny were first in the female team category. Letterkenny AC’s Ann-Marie McGlynn won the women’s 8k race at the Autumn Open Cross Country at the Phoenix Park in a time of 29:24.

 

Twice in October Chloe Magee lost international quarter-finals. First the Raphoe woman went down to Dane Line Kjaersfeldt at the Dutch Open 2-1 and then at Badminton’s Super Series in France, Chloe lost to the world number four from Japan 21-14 21-5. At the end of October, Letterkenny brothers Sean and Padraig McGettigan were presented with their international caps at an awards ceremony in the National Basketball Arena after representing Ireland earlier in the year.  Sean was on the international U17 side while Padraig wore the colours of the Irish U15 team.

 

In boxing Carrigart B.C.’s Meave McCarron took gold following her third round TKO against Enniscorthy’s Jenny Carlyle in a National Intermediate Boxing Championship Final at the National Stadium in the 81+ category. Finn Valley’s Austeja Auciute had to settle for runner-up in her final. The Donegal U15 camogie team made history by winning the All Ireland Tier 2 blitz Shield Final at Trim, Co Meath defeating Roscommon in the decider. Over in Leeds there was a big Donegal connection as Edinburgh’s Dunedin Connolly’s retained their title as All-Britain Intermediate GAA champions thanks to a 3-12 to 2-8 win over John Mitchels (Liverpool). Ex-St Eunan’s forward, Angie Callaghan scored a first half goal while Rathmullan native Caolfhionn Deeney converted a penalty just after the interval. Also on the Dunedin side was former Cloughaneely and Donegal player Karen Feeney as Connolly’s took their third British title in a row having won the Junior section in 2013. Former St Eunan’s player Jonathan Foley was a member of the backroom team.

 

Early in the month Termon’s Geraldine McLaughlin, Treasa Doherty (Carndonagh) and Ciara Hegarty (Moville) are among 45 players nominated for the Ladies Gaelic Football Association TG4 All-Stars Awards. There was some consolation for St. Michael’s as Eddie Harkin’s won the club’s first ever league Division 1 league title. Bundoran were very easy winners of the Donegal Intermediate Football Championship Final defeating Naomh Colmcille 4-17 to 0-4 but the Termon Ladies failed in their bid to retain the Ulster Senior Football title losing 0-14 to 0-7 to Monaghan’s Donaghmoyne in the final played in Killyclogher. However, the club did have some success as the Termon senior men’s team won the Division 2 league title and secured promotion to the top flight following a 2-11 to 2-5 victory over St. Nauls in Convoy.

 

The Three Rivers returned home from the ONAKAI National Championships with martial arts silver medals for Emma Dolan and Natasha Doherty and bronze for Ryan Doherty, Jamie-Lee Simpson and Ciarán Crawford. Convoy’s T.J. McMenamin won gold and silver medals in the no-gi (shorts & vest) and gi (martial arts uniform) at the IBIJF London International Open Championship. T.J. is a member of the Rilion Gracie Academy in Letterkenny.

 

In motorcycling 17 year old Caolán Irwin  from Kilmacrennan made his debut on the Aprilia 550cc at the prestigious Adelaide Masters Championship, Mondello Park securing an incredible second place in the Supertwin 650cc Class despite giving away 100cc engine power to the more competitive 650 bikes. Caolán followed that up with the best race of his young career in Cadwell Park, England at the British Championship finishing in third place in the 450 cc class. He then went on to surpass all expectations in the Supertwin Class on the more powerful 550cc Aprilia, where he was giving away 100 cc of power to the bigger 650 bikes securing another strong podium finish.

 

Later in October, Caolan and his younger brother Rhys had further success. Caolan had 2nd and 3rd places and Rhys (two second places) at the prestigious International Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt hosted by the Hillsborough Club.

 

Staying with motorcycling Richard Kerr the 15-year-old from Kilmacrennan had two very good days on the penultimate round of the championship at Silverstone. Richard finished Race 1 on the Saturday in 13th position and three valuable points in the bag. In Race two on the Sunday and Richard held off a strong six-man pack in the closing stages to claim 11th position and score four more valuable points.  Kerr finished the BSB season with a 16th place finish position at Brands Hatch. That placing also secured him 16th overall in the Motostar Championship. Kerr ended the 2015 short circuit racing with a brace of victories at the prestigious Sunflower Trophy races at Bishopscourt.

 

At the Cork 20 International Rally Donagh Kelly won his section having previously secured the Irish Tarmac Championship title. Declan and Brian Boyle were victorious in the Donegal Harvest Stages Rally 2015. Letterkenny Rugby Club’s Joseph Dunleavy was named in the Irish U18 squad for next year’s international series while in Shinty, Setanta’s Shane Gallen was named in the Ireland U21 squad for a Shinty-Hurling International in Inverness. Ballybofey’s Johnny Dunleavy captained Cork City to a place the FAI Cup final after the Leesiders managed a narrow 1-0 win over underdogs Bray Wanderers the Carlisle grounds.

 

There was disappointment for Seamus Coleman as the Republic of Ireland lost 2-1 to Poland meaning no automatic ticket to the 2016 World Cup Finals. Shay Given who went off injured in the win over Germany missed the game in Warsaw.  It was a memorable month for Rathmullan’s Zoe Green who played a full part as the Republic of Ireland Women’s U17s won all three matches in the UEFA European Championship qualifiers in Turkey. In the middle of October there was a unique achievement by the three McNamee brothers from Ramelton who all scored on the same day for their respective clubs in League of Ireland football. First youngest sibling Shane (16) was on the mark for the Derry City U16s in a 4-0 home win over Drogheda Utd. Later in the evening at the Markets Field oldest brother Barry (23) got a vital second goal for the Derry City senior side for a 2-0 victory over hosts Limerick FC. And then in a night time fixture the middle member of the McNamee trio Tony converted a first half penalty which set Finn Harps on their way to a 4-1 win over First Division champions Wexford Youths. The Harps victory was also special for 17-year-old B.J. Banda who scored twice on his full debut for Ollie Horgan’s side. In the middle of the month Ramelton lad Kyle Callan-McFadden completed his move to US Major League Soccer side Orlando City on a three-year contract.

 

For further information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to the website donegalsportsstarawards.ie, on Facebook at Donegalsports Starawards or at Twitter DonegalSportsStars.

 

 

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Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Conference Photo Special

Friday 9 October 2015 in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny

Check out the presentations from the conference here

Seamus Neely, Chief Executive with Donegal County Council delivering opening address

Seamus Neely, Chief Executive with Donegal County Council delivering opening address

 

Attendees at  Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Attendees at Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

Audience member enjoying the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Audience member enjoying the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

Brian Harte from Tourism Ireland addressing the conference

Brian Harte from Tourism Ireland addressing the conference

 

Speakers at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference in the Clanree Hotel on Friday last left to right: Seamus Neely, Chief Executive Donegal County Council, Helen Haworth, Portsalon Luxury Camping, Stephen Cotter, CIE Tours International, Kathrin Chambers, Failte Ireland, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cathaoirleach Donegal County Council, Joan Crawford, Failte Ireland, Brian Harte, Tourism Ireland, Deirdre McGlone, Harveys Point Hotel

Speakers at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference in the Clanree Hotel on Friday last left to right:
Seamus Neely, Chief Executive Donegal County Council, Helen Haworth, Portsalon Luxury Camping, Stephen Cotter, CIE Tours International, Kathrin Chambers, Failte Ireland, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cathaoirleach Donegal County Council, Joan Crawford, Failte Ireland, Brian Harte, Tourism Ireland, Deirdre McGlone, Harveys Point Hotel and Cllr. Gerry McMonagle Mayor of Letterkenny MD.

 

 

Councillors and Council staff at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference in the Clanree Hotel on Friday last left to right: Barney McLaughlin, Donegal County Council, Cllr Bernard McGuinness, Cllr. Martin McDermott, Cllr. Nicholas Crossan, Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District, Seamus Neely Chief Executive, Cllr. Paul Canning and Paddy Doherty, Donegal County Council.

Councillors and Council staff at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference in the Clanree Hotel on Friday last left to right:
Barney McLaughlin, Cllr Bernard McGuinness, Cllr. Martin McDermott, Cllr. Nicholas Crossan, Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District, Seamus Neely Chief Executive, Cllr. Paul Canning and Paddy Doherty.

 

 

Mary Daly and Iga Lawne in the frame at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Mary Daly and Iga Lawne in the frame at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

 

 

 

Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council being interviewed at the conference

Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council being interviewed at the conference

 

Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Mayor of Letterkenny MD being interviewed at the conference

Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Mayor of Letterkenny MD being interviewed at the conference

 

Mayor of Letterkenny MD, Cllr Gerry McMonagle being interviewed by Donegal TV during the Wild Atlantic Way Conference

Mayor of Letterkenny MD, Cllr Gerry McMonagle being interviewed by Donegal TV during the Wild Atlantic Way Conference

 

 

Joan Crawford, Failte Ireland being interviewed during the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Joan Crawford, Failte Ireland being interviewed during the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

 

Selfies at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Selfies at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

Joan Crawford, Failte Ireland and Shane Smith Discover Bundoran in the frame at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Joan Crawford, Failte Ireland and Shane Smith Discover Bundoran in the frame at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

Deirdre McGlone, Harvey's Point Hotel addressing the conference

Deirdre McGlone, Harvey’s Point Hotel addressing the conference

 

 

Helen Haworth, Portsalon Luxury Camping speaking at the conference

Helen Haworth, Portsalon Luxury Camping speaking at the conference

 

 

Brendan Diver enjoying the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

Brendan Diver enjoying the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way conference

 

Stephen Cotter, CIE Tours International speaking at the conference

Stephen Cotter, CIE Tours International speaking at the conference

 

 

Darragh Doyle Online Audience Strategist sharing his experience and knowledge at the conference

Darragh Doyle Online Audience Strategist sharing his experience and knowledge at the conference

 

Fionn Davenport Travel Writer sharing words of wisdom with those attending the conference

Fionn Davenport Travel Writer sharing words of wisdom with those attending the conference

 

Minister for State Joe McHugh TD speaking at the conference

Minister for State Joe McHugh TD speaking at the conference

 

 

Afternoon speakers at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference in the Clanree Hotel on Friday from left to right: Paddy Doherty, Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, Donegal County Council, Darragh Doyle, Online Audience Strategist, Fionn Davenport, Travel Writer and Seamus Gallagher, Ireland By Bike.

Afternoon speakers at the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference in the Clanree Hotel on Friday from left to right: Paddy Doherty, Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, Donegal County Council, Darragh Doyle, Online Audience Strategist, Fionn Davenport, Travel Writer and Seamus Gallagher, Ireland By Bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall in love with reading and all the fun it can bring at Wainfest 2015

Your Council Your Service

Karen Sheehy, Donegal County Council Library Service

Karen Sheehy, Donegal County Council Library Service

 

In it’s 19th year Wainfest, Donegal’s Arts and Book Festival for Children is continuing to grow from strength to strength.

And like any successful event, there is always a team of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly behind the scene to make it happen and Karen Sheehy is one member of this team in Donegal County Council’s Library Service.

Karen, a native of Buncrana, has been involved in Wainfest for the last 3 years and her enthusiasm and excitement for this years event is infectious.

“Wainfest is the pinnacle of the year for us in the Donegal Library Service and this year we have a wonderful mix of events and activities including authors, storytellers, artists, designers and scientists.

We are delighted with the response from schools around the county to this years programme with most of our school events booking out on the first day. There may be a few places left, so I would advise contacting your local library for more information”.

Karen also explains that as well as the school programmes this year’s Wainfest includes an exciting family programme.

Family enjoying storytelling at Wainfest 2015 launch at Glenveagh Castle

Family enjoying storytelling at Wainfest 2015 launch at Glenveagh Castle

“This year we have expanded the family programme for Wainfest as we firmly believe that a child’s love for books and reading is not only nurtured at school but also in the home.  On Saturday 10th October in association with Crafty Kids we will be having ‘Monster Parties’ in selected libraries around the county where children will be treated to an early Halloween experience with storytelling, games and other special treats”.

“On Saturday 17th October Letterkenny will become awash with books, stories, games, arts & crafts and much more as the Wainfest Family Fun day arrives in town” laughs Karen.

“We are delighted with the support we have received from businesses in the town for our first Wainfest Family Fun Day in Letterkenny”.

“The Courtyard Shopping Centre will be a hive of activity with a children’s mini market and a story writing competition on the ‘Wimpy Kid Wall’ with a prize for the funniest ‘day in the life’ story.  Universal Books at Church Lane will reliving the experience of a child at a Hiring Fair and Easons in Letterkenny will be hosting in-store colouring competitions, story telling and Lego demonstrations”.

“Crafty Kids will also be joining the mayhem with arts and crafts workshops, in-store treasure hunts and to top it off you can pop into the County Museum for some scary stories to get you in the mood for Halloween”.

“Donegal County Library will also be hosting two ‘not-to-be-missed’ shows in the Regional Cultural Centre in association with Easons, The Dinosaur that Pooped a Show and The Wimpy Kid Show.  These interactive fun events will bring the books to life and keep you and your child enthralled for hours with live drawings, games and exclusive clips”.

“All in all we are set for a wonderful week of fun and excitement at each of our libraries around the county and our aim is to simply help your child fall in love with reading and all the fun that it can bring” says Karen.

Wainfest 2015 Programme

Wainfest 2015 Programme

Facts

Wainfest 2015 takes place from 10 – 17th October 2015

Over 100 events and activities throughout Donegal including Family Fun Day in Letterkenny on 17th October

Children are never too young to be introduced to books. We have a range of board books suitable for infants. By age 5 a child has developed approximately 70% of their vocabulary. Therefore the more a child reads the more words they will have by the age of 5.

Donegal County Council Library Service does not charge for overdue children’s books

If children see parents reading they will copy, so lead with example.

For more info on Wainfest 2015 visit www.donegallibrary.ie or follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @donegallibrary

Get your Wainfest 2015 Programme here

 

 

Donegal Sports Star Awards September Review

Super September for Donegal sport

by Declan Kerr

Brett McGinty silver medal winner at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa

Brett McGinty silver medal winner at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa

Success in Donegal sport was in plentiful supply in September with some marvelous achievements at home and abroad. All of these successes will be expected to feature in the nominations list for the 40th Donegal Sports Star Awards, which will take place at the end of January. Among the highlights last month were Brett McGinty’s silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa; Sinead Jennings reaching the qualification in rowing for the 2016 Olympic Games while Mark English’s return to form continued as the Letterkenny man set new Irish records at both the 500m and 600m distances in the space of a week.

Sinead Jennings who reached the qualification in rowing for the 2016 Olympic Games

Sinead Jennings who reached the qualification in rowing for the 2016 Olympic Games

Gymnast Patrick Quinlivan followed up his Olympic success in Los Angeles by winning two silver medals at the 2015 Disability British Championships while Raphoe’s Rachael Darragh picked up gold in both the women’s singles and doubles at the Irish U19 Open Badminton Championships.

Raphoe’s Rachael Darragh who picked up gold in both the women’s singles and doubles at the Irish U19 Open Badminton Championships.

Raphoe’s Rachael Darragh who picked up gold in both the women’s singles and doubles at the Irish U19 Open Badminton Championships.

Among the other high achievers in September were John Joe McGee (draughts), Ciara Doogan (cycling), Roma McLaughlin (soccer), Triona McMenamin (surf-lifesaving and Triathlon), Pauric McKinney (athletics), Oisin Orr (horseracing), Donegal’s five Ulster GAA All-Stars and Finn Harps who secured their play in the promotion play-offs.

In early September the reigning Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Mark English set a new Irish 600m record after finishing second in a time of 1:15.71 at the Flame Games in Amsterdam. A week later the Letterkenny man broke the one-minute mark for 500m at the Great North City Games in Newcastle clocking 59.58 seconds for the distance. In the middle of the month Pauric McKinney set a new national Over 50 record for the 5k with a time of 15.31 at the Donegal senior 5k road championships in Letterkenny where the Inishowen AC man finished second overall.

At the beginning of the month Raphoe’s Rachael Darragh won gold in both the women’s singles and doubles at the Irish Under-19 Open in Baldoyle, Dublin. Darragh – a niece of double Olympic badminton player Chloe Magee – defeated Holly Newall from Scotland in the women’s singles final with a magnificent display to win 21-18, 21-5. Rachael then teamed up with Sara Boyle to defeat Sweden’s Tilda Sjoo and Ella Soderstrom over two games in the women’s doubles decider (21-15, 21-13). Rachael also won silver in the mixed doubles.

Rachael’s uncle Joshua Magee was selected as part of Badminton Europe’s Future Stars Project. The aim of the project is to help players bridge the gap between Junior and Senior badminton. Three Letterkenny Blaze Basketball Club members Kathleen Kelly, Eilis Dolan and Laura Kealy were members of the Northern Ireland squad who played the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Scotland.

St. Johnston boxer Brett McGinty reached the 69kgs final at the Commonwealth Youth Games by defeating Australian Jack Gipp on a unanimous decision at the Tuana’Imato Sports Facility in Samoa. And while there was subsequent disappointment the following the day after narrowly losing out to English fighter Mohammed Harris Akbar, McGinty had still secured a super silver medal. At the beginning of September Raphoe woman Hazel Magee captained Strabane Saints to an historic double when the club captured the North West League title. The club had already won the NWCU Ladies Cup.

Team Donegal Oil members Sean McFadden, Arthur McMahon, Gavin Harris and Michael McGarvey finished in fifth place overall after the Race Around Ireland cycle. A second two-man Donegal team of Eunan Quinn and Ted McCafferty Rentwise/ Ted’s Bike Shop were sixth overall. Gerard Callaghan and Michael Russell were members of another Donegal team, Tír Conaill Wheelers who also completed the marathon around Ireland cycle.  Gortahork girl Ciara Doogan finished 28th at the Junior Women’s Individual Team Time Trail at UCI World Road Championships in Richmond, USA. Doogan’s time for the 15k was 23 minutes and four seconds. Meanwhile Errigal CC members Conor Halvey and Shauna McFadden had very good outings at the British Cycling UK Inter-Regional Road Championships in Nottingham. Letterkenny lad Halvey was 18th in the Street Sprint and played his part in Ulster winning the team event. Shauna McFadden also from Letterkenny was 14th in the 55k Individual Road Race. Shauna won the B section and was fifth overall.

Sean McFadden was third in his age group at the National Triathlon Series race in Lough Key, Co. Roscommon. Sean was also third overall at the Groomsport half ironman in Co. Down. His time for the half marathon was 1.41.16, which he did after a 25min 04sec swim and a 2h 32m 28sec cycle. Sean was also first in the 35-39 category. In the middle of September a 2014 Donegal Sports Star Award winner Buncrana man John Joe McGee took the Northern Ireland Draughts Open Championship at the Greenvale Hotel Cookstown. While there were players from all over Europe taking part it turned out to be an all Inishowen final with McGee defeating fellow Buncrana man Billy Kelly in the decider. John Joe is the reigning All Ireland Senior Champion.

There was further success for Letterkenny gymnast Patrick Quinlivan as he won two silver medals at the 2015 Disability British Championships in Bolton. The 31-year-old faced very stiff opposition including the winner of three golds at the Olympics in Los Angeles. Patrick won silver medals in the Vault and Rings. And he was also very proud of the fact that he featured on the front cover of the official programme for Sunday’s finals. At the start of September five Donegal players Paul Durcan, Neil McGee, Neil Gallagher, Ryan McHugh, and Michael Murphy players were named on the Irish News All-Stars Team of the Year for 2015 at a gala banquet in the Armagh City Hotel. On the same night Termon Ladies star Geraldine McLaughlin won a Special Merit Award.

Termon’s Olive McCafferty and Karen Feeney (Falcarragh) were on the Scotland side that defeated Derry 1-13 to 2-5 in the TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship semi-final at Fingallians in Dublin. In the middle of the month the Termon Ladies won the Donegal Senior Football Championship Final with a 4-13 to 1-11 victory over Glenfin in Convoy to make it four titles in a row.  On the last weekend of September reigning champions St. Eunan’s secured their place in the County Final with a comfortable 2-15 to 0-11 win over St. Michael’s to set up a meeting with Naomh Conaill who had an equally untroubled passage to the decider thanks to a 4-10 to 0-11 victory over Kilcar.

Ballybofey & Stranorlar Golf Club became the first team from the county to win the J.B. Carr Diamond Trophy Tournament. Representing Ulster the team defeated Tullamore and Tuam in the semi-final and final respectively at the Woodenbridge G.C. in Wicklow. Raphoe Hockey Club players Alexander Tinney, Ben Wallace and Luke Witherow were all members of the Ulster team who won gold at the U18 Sainsbury School Games in Manchester. Wallace was among the goalscorers while Tinney was vice-captain of the provincial team.

In horseracing young Ballyare jockey Oisin Orr continued his excellent start in the saddle by winning at a big race meeting in Naas. The teenager rode the Eddie Lynam trained Louis Leroy to victory with just a half a length to spare. It was the fifth victory of his career to date. On the hurling Burt lifted their fifth successive Donegal Senior Hurling title with a hard earned and narrow 2-7 to 0-12 win over McCumhaills at the O’Donnell Park.

In Martial Arts 10-year-old Ciaran Crawford from the Three Rivers Shotokan Karate Club in Lifford won a silver medal in the U12 section at the British International Open Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. There was further success for Ciaran who won another silver in the U12 Kumite section at the first ever CIKA Ireland International Open Championships held in Dublin. And at the same championships there was a bronze medal for Three Rivers Natasha Doherty in the U12 Kunite section. At the end of September Ramelton man Brian Coyle won a bronze medal at the World Masters Jiu Jitsu Championships in Las Vegas. Coyle came third in the brown belt Master Light Featherweight Division 1.

Kilmacrennan’s Richard Kerr had a mixed weekend at round 10 of the Motostar Championship outing at Oulton Park in Cheshire but still managed a 13th place finish to secure three valuable points.

On the first Saturday in September, Letterkenny woman Sinead Jennings and her partner in the lightweight women’s double sculls, Claire Lambe took a giant step towards qualification for next year’s Olympic Games by finishing third in the World Rowing Championships B final at Aiguebelette in France. Three Letterkenny RFC players Joseph Dunleavy (wing-forward), Daniel Faulkner (centre) and Peter Scott (full-back) started on the Ulster U18 team who lost 15-8 to Connaught in an opening Intro-provincial developmental match at Rainey RFC in Magherafelt.

At the beginning of September Leitirmacaward’s Carl McHugh scored the winner for Plymouth Argyle in the Football League Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at AFC Wimbledon in a 3-2 victory. It was a good month for Rathmullan’s Zoe Green, who played two the full 90 minutes in back-to-back international friendlies against Scotland. In the first match the Irish defeated Scotland 1-0 but lost the second 3-0. Shay Given, Seamus Coleman and Ciaran Clark were members of the Republic of Ireland starting 11 that defeated Georgia 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium to keep alive their hopes of qualification for next year’s European Championships.

Ballybofey’s Johnny Dunleavy captained Cork City to a 3-0 replay win over Derry City at Turners which secured the Leesiders a place in the FAI Senior Cup semi-final against Bray Wanderers. Greencastle’s Roma McLaughlin featured at stages in all three games as the Republic of Ireland U19 Ladies secured a place in the UEFA European Championship Elite Phase qualifiers after three group games in Slovenia. Fanad woman Maz Sweeney was a member of the Irish U19 coaching staff.  The Donegal team won the National Special Olympics Soccer League for the seventh time in nine seasons by defeating Sporting Fingal 6-2 in Killygordon.

On the last Friday of September, Finn Harps made sure of second place in the League of Ireland First Division play-offs with a 3-0 win over UCD in Ballybofey. It was a result that also meant Ollie Horgan’s side would have home advantage in the second leg of the play-offs.

Amber Barrett scored twice as her new team Peamount United came from behind to clinch a place in the FAI Women’s Senior Cup semi-finals at the weekend. The Milford woman saw her side fall behind 1-0 before she swooped with two late goals to win the quarter-final for the Dublin outfit. Also in the Peamount squad was Greencastle’s Roma McLaughlin who is a current Republic of Ireland U19 international.

Former Kilmacrennan Celtic striker Julianne Herrity was named the South Atlantic Conference’s AstroTurf Player of the Week after twice scoring winning goals for Carson-Newman Eagles in Jackson, Tennessee.

At the European Lifesaving Championships in Spain, Letterkenny woman Triona McMenamin won gold in the Board Race and Ocean Woman, silver in the Beach Flags and bronze in the Surf race in the 30-35 age category. Ballyshannon’s Sara Meehan had silvers in the Ocean Woman and Surf Race and bronze in the 200m Obstacles Race, 50m Manikin Carry and Surfski Race in the 50-55 age category. In the 35-40 age category Letterkenny’s Paddy Bond won a silver medal in the Line Throw with Seamus O’Neill from Ballyshannon. Bond also had three 5th place finishes in taplin relay, 100m manikin tow with fins and the 100 manikin carry with fins.

Triona McMenamin was a coach to the Irish Junior Team that won gold in a number of categories and finished sixth overall.

McMenamin was also the highest placed member of the Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon club finishing fifth and first in her age group at the National Series race in Lough Key, Co. Roscommon.  Jack Brennan and Orlaith Fogarty were also successful in the age group categories. Jack was first in his age group while Orlaith was third in her category.

For more information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to donegalsportsstarawards.ie or visit Facebook .

August moments for Donegal

Donegal Sports Star Awards August Review

by Declan Kerr

 

Ramelton Man Kieran Murray one the headline grabbers in August

Ramelton man Kieran Murray one the headline grabbers in August

August produced many memorable moments in Donegal sport with the headline grabbers including Kieran Murray, Ciaran Doherty, Avril McNamee, Mark English and Hugh Gallagher who all performed on the world stage doing their county and country proud. Ramelton’s Kieran Murray won two golds in the 5k and 1,500m while also taking a bronze in the 800m at the World Transplant Games in Argentina. Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty claimed a silver medal in the World Masters Steeplechase in Lyon, France. Also in Lyon 91-year-old Carrigart man Hughie Gallagher won three golds in the Hammer, Weight Throw and Weight Pentathlon and a silver in the Javelin.

Avril McNamee from Ballybofey reached the semi-finals of both the Women’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ singles at the World Handball Championship Calgary, Canada. It was a busy month for the reigning Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Mark English who won the 800m Final at the National Track & Field Championships in Santry. Later in the month he missed out on a place in the World Athletic 800m Final in Beijing finishing fifth in his semi-final in a time of 1.45.55, which ranked him 10th overall. However, there was still great news for English who was also a member of the Irish 4x400m relay team that set a new national record in Beijing but failed to qualify for the final when finishing 8th in a heat in Beijing.

In the middle of the month Raphoe Boxing Club’s Peter O’Donnell, managing the Irish senior team for the first time, saw two of his fighters win gold at the European Championships in Bulgaria. Belfast’s Michael Conlan won his 56kg final bout while Westmeath’s Joe Ward was triumphant in the light heavy-weight decider. Right at the end of August another former Overall Donegal Sports Award winner Letterkenny’s Sinead Jennings and her partner Claire Lambe posted the fastest time of the round to qualify for the quarter-finals of the lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France.

Kilmacrennan’s Richard Kerr took his first podium in the BSB Motostar Championship at Caldwell Park in Lincolnshire. The youngster on a Honda produced a fantastic final lap to take third place. Kerr had previously finished 16th and 15th respectively in two races at the Truxton Track in the UK. Another talented young lad Ronan Whyte, from Ardara, won all five of his games for the Irish U16 team at the Home International Snooker competition held in Leeds. Ronan, a member of the North West Snooker Club in Letterkenny, was part of the Irish team that had wins over Scotland, Belgium, Northern Ireland and Wales. The only defeat was against England.

The 2013 Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Jason Quigley continued his unbeaten start in professional boxing with a second round win over Michael Faulk in California. In the middle of August Donagh Kelly won the Irish Tarmac Championship Drivers title after crossing the line first in the Ulster Rally in Enniskillen. Donagh and navigator Kevin Flanagan have now completed the double after winning the National Rally Championship earlier in the summer. Ardara’s Declan Gallagher and co-driver Ryan Moore finished in a fine third place at the 4×4 Exporter Galway Summer Rally.

Letterkenny man Sean McFadden finished second in his age category at the Copenhagen Ironman Triathlon. Earlier in the month McFadden had won the final race in the 100 mile Chain Driven Cycles Ultra TT series from Sligo to Longford and back in a time of 4.19.44.

Tirconaill AC’s Mary McLoone won two gold medals at the National Track & Field Championships in Santry. The Doochary woman won her 10th Triple Jump title as well as taking first place in the Long Jump. Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney won the Male Over 50 gold medal at the National Half Marathon Championships in Dublin crossing the line first in a time of 1:12:26. And on the first day of the month James Kelly of Finn Valley AC set a new Celtic Games record as he won the U-16 Shot Putt throwing 17.68m in Glasgow. The previous record of 17.56m was set by his brother John.

16-year-old Courtney Greene from Meenmore, Dungloe won the Working Hunter Ponies Competition at the Dublin Horse Show. Staying with the equine sport Letterkenny jockey Dylan Browne-McMonagle became the youngest ever winner of the famous Dingle Derby on the horse Lets Go owned by his uncle Adrian Browne. The 12-year-old also won two other races in a memorable weekend at the Co. Kerry racecourse. Young Oisin Orr had the biggest win of his career to date riding Balmont Mast to victory at Dundalk.

It was a good month for cycling with Adam McGeever from Gweedore, a member of the AAA club, winning three gold medals at the National Youth Cycling Championships in Westport. He also won both the U11 road race and time trial in Omagh. Dunlewey’s Amanda Gallagher made it back-to-back wins in the time-trial at the Irish National Cycling Championships in Westport. Amanda also took silvers in the Road Race and the Criterium. Meanwhile Ciara Doogan of Errigal Cycling Club won both the time trail and the road race at the Junior National Cycling Championships in Cong, Co Mayo. The previous week the 17-year-old had produced a fine ride to finish 25th in the Women’s Junior Road Race at the European Road Championships in Tartu, Estonia. It was her first major international road race championships.

The reigning Young Donegal Sports Star Award holder town Karl Griffin finished third in a time of 1:48:13 at an international meeting in Ninove near Brussels while at the start of the month Finn Valley’s Janine Boyle was third home in the U-18 100m at the Celtic Games in Glasgow in a time of 12.21.  Staying with athletics Anne-Marie McGlynn took silver in the 3000m Steeplechase at the National Track & Field Championships in Santry and at the same venue Brendan Boyce was second in the 10k Walk. Young Lifford AC member Tom Mullen of rounded of a great season by winning in the Ulster U15 Combined Events Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.

In the middle of August Carndonagh fighter Labhaoise Clarke was most unlucky to lose by a majority decision to a Belarussian opponent in a European Junior Quarter-Final in the 54kg category. On the GAA front Donegal’s dream of a second All-Ireland title in the space of three years after losing heavily to Mayo on a score of 2-13 to 0-11 in an All-Ireland Quarter-final at Croke Park. While there was also heartbreak for the Donegal senior ladies who lost 2-13 to 2-11 Armagh in an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-final in Clones. But, one of their star players Yvonne McMonagle was honoured for her outstanding performances in the historic championship run by being named the Ladies Gaelic Football Association’s July ‘Player of the Month’.

In golf Kyle McCarron, Keelan Quigg, Garrett Mallon, Ryan Gribben and Kyle McCarron were members of the North West G.C. team from Buncrana that won the Ulster Final of the AIG Barton Shield at Knock Golf Club in Belfast defeating Warrenpoint. The team was captained by John O’Donnell. There was martial arts success for Lifford’s Three Rivers Shotokan Club at the Rene Small International Cup in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare with golds for Ciaran Crawford and Emma Dolan, Natasha Doherty (silver) and bronze for Jamie-Lee Simpson.  In the middle of the month Loughros Point Rowing Club took second place in the Men’s Open Classic at the All-Ireland Rowing Championships in Kerry.

On the last Friday in August Finn Harps moved back up to second in the League of Ireland First Division with a 3-2 away win over Cabinteely. Two Kevin McHugh goals and one from Nathan Boyle had Harps 3-0 up at the break but the hosts came back with two second half goals. The previous week Ollie Horgan’s side had recorded a crucial 1-0 win over Shelbourne in Ballybofey after losing their place at the top of the League of Ireland First Division to Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park at the beginning of August.  Ex-Letterkenny Rovers lad Dale Gorman played his first full 90 minutes for Stevenage FC in their 2-0 home win over Hartepool. Gorman had made his competitive debut the previous week as a sub in the 2-1 defeat by Ipswich Town in a Capital One Cup game at Portman Road.

Gweedore Celtic’s Marc Walsh and Bonagee Utd’s Connor O’Reilly were members of the the Republic of Ireland Development squad who defeated St Josephs Boys 3-1 in the first game of the Hibernia Cup. Both lads also featured in the 2-1 loss to Sunderland. Walsh scored the first goal in the 3-2 third/fourth place play-off against Northern Ireland.  Leitirmacaward’s Carl McHugh was on the Plymouth Argyle side that had at 4-1 victory over Carlisle in English League Division 2.

Two Donegal girls Nicole Gordon (Greencastle) and Zoe McGlynn (Raphoe) started for the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly that ended 1-1 against Scotland in Listowel. Sarah Jane McDonald (Greencastle) came on as a second half sub. McGlynn also started and it was from her corner that the equalizer arrived in the second 1-1 draw against the Scots. McDonald and Gordon both came on as subs. In triathlon on the first day of August Letterkenny 24/7’s Siobhan Gallagher was third woman home in the Omagh Tri Lough Sprint Triathlon.  The following day Siobhan was first in the Velocity Man Triathlon in Moville.  Meanwhile her club colleague John Cannon won a gold medal at Dublin’s Ironman 70.3. John had previously taken gold at the National Championships in Athlone in his age group. In the middle of August another 24/7’s Triona McMenamin won the women’s race at the Lough Neagh Sprint Triathlon in Ballyronan, Derry and another club member Aidan Callagan finished fourth in the senior men’s category.

For further information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to donegalsportsstarawards.ie or on Facebook

 

 

 

Getting ready for Fire Safety Week in Donegal

National Fire Safety Week 2014

 

‘Smoking at home can cause fatal fires’ is the theme for this year’s National Fire Safety Week which takes place from October 5 – 12.

It is aimed at preventing fires caused by smoking in the home. Many fires start when cigarettes are left in ashtrays, when hot ashes/smouldering butts are dumped into the rubbish bin, or when someone falls asleep while smoking. The tragedy is that these fires were all preventable.

 

Glenn Hamilton Acting Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer

Glenn Hamilton, Acting Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer

And according to Glenn Hamilton, A/ Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer based at the Letterkenny Fire Station, fire safety is something we all have to take seriously.

“As well as fighting fires and helping in emergency situations, the Fire Service is also involved in promoting fire safety awareness and educating the general public to be aware of the risk of fire. Fire is a societal risk and we are endeavouring to improve fire safety culture through various annual safety campaigns”.

Glenn, who comes from Ramelton, has worked in the fire service for 12 years and is a qualified Fire Safety Engineer.

“Our aim is to prevent the outbreak of fire, and in doing so protect life and consequential damage to property and the environment. We also work at regulating fire safety in public building to ensure minimum fire safety standards are being met,” he said.

National Fire Safety Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 8, 1871. The former American President, Calvin Coolidge, proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week in 1925 in memory of those who perished in that Fire. Since then, in early October, it has been observed each year in countries around the world.144 years on, the message regarding fire prevention and fire safety is as relevant today as it ever was.

Glenn reveals that the county’s 150 firefighters who make up the 16 brigades will be very busy promoting fire safety throughout Fire Safety Week.

“The programme of activities for this year’s Fire Safety Week throughout Donegal includes the erection of fire safety signs at each station; a presentation on fire safety to local communities; bringing fire brigades to a public location to distribute leaflets and engage with the public in passing on the fire safety message or an open night within the station; a fire safety poster competition for primary school children with the prize for the winner being a visit to the local fire station for their class as well as a fire safety presentation and fire extinguisher demonstration on Arranmore Island involving the local crew.”

He added they wanted everyone to play their part during National Fire Safety Week by checking on elderly neighbours and relatives. People could also check out more fire safety information at http://www.donegalcoco.ie/services/fireservice/firesafetyathome/ and find out how you can help to prevent and detect fires in your home. It could save your life one day!

 

Key Facts

  • There are still homes with no smoke alarms.
  • Vulnerable members of our community should not be overlooked.
  • Most people who die in fires, die from smoke inhalation and not from burns and it can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation.
  • A routine fire safety check only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death.
  • Have a fire escape plan, teach it to your family and practice it regularly.

Farewell to Margaret

Margaret Norris’s last day with the HR Section, Donegal County Council. Margaret is seated front. Back row, left to right: Patsy McHugh, Bernadette Quinn, Mary Frances Doherty, Donna Rodgers, Edel Shalvey, Rosaleen Walsh, Samantha Mahon. Missing from photo: Patsy Lafferty (HR Manager), Rosemary McClafferty, Teresa Gibson, Paul Gallagher, Lorraine Bonner, Brenda Blake, Amanda Doherty, Leeann Wallace. Photo courtesy Eugene McCosker.

Margaret Norris’s last day with the HR Section, Donegal County Council. Margaret is seated front. Back row, left to right: Patsy McHugh, Bernadette Quinn, Mary Frances Doherty, Donna Rodgers, Edel Shalvey, Rosaleen Walsh, Samantha Mahon. Missing from photo: Patsy Lafferty (HR Manager), Rosemary McClafferty, Teresa Gibson, Paul Gallagher, Lorraine Bonner, Brenda Blake, Amanda Doherty, Leeann Wallace. Photo courtesy Eugene McCosker.

With the exception of a few Thursdays over the past six years,  Margaret Norris from the Rehab, Lifford has been helping the staff in the Human Resources (HR) Section of Donegal County Council with general administrative duties, duties she carried out with dedication and pride.  Alas, Margaret’s final day in the HR Section was Thursday last, 24 September 2015.

During her time in HR, Margaret has been a very valued member of our team, and indeed her great humour and personality have been tonics that we looked forward to every Thursday. The staff celebrated with Margaret on her final day and made a presentation of card and flowers to her.

We wish Margaret good health and happiness into the future.

We’ll miss you!