Donegal Sports Star Awards November 2015 review

Memorable November for Coleman

Monday the 16th of November is a date that Seamus Coleman won’t forget in a hurry as the Killybegs man and the other players with Donegal links ensured Republic of Ireland will be playing at the European Championships next summer after a 3-1 aggregate win over Bosnia at the Aviva Stadium on a wonderful night for Irish soccer. On the previous Friday the Irish had drawn 1-1 in Bosnia before securing qualification with that 2-0 victory in Dublin. That was one of the big highlights of the Donegal Sports Star Awards November review.


Also right up there was Letterkenny’s Mark English who was named Irish Under-23 Athlete of the Year at the annual AAI awards at the Crown Plaza in Santry while the bronze medallists from the Women’s Senior Team European Cross Country Championships captained by Ann Marie McGlynn and trained by Teresa McDaid from Letterkenny Athletic club, were also recognised. And also honoured was Finn Valley AC who won the Development Club of the Year.



It was a good month for the most part for Letterkenny AC’s McGlynn who won the 6km race at the British and Irish Masters Women’s Cross-Country Championships in Santry. And she was also a member of the Irish Masters winning team, which included her LAC colleagues Natasha Adams (2nd) and Fionnuala Diver who came third in the Over-35 race. And at the Podium 4 Sport Seeley 10K Road Race in Ormeau, Belfast on the last Saturday in November, McGlynn went someway to making up for missing out on qualification to the European Cross-Country in France with a PB of 34.19 on her way to winning the women’s event. The previous week her Euro hopes were dashed when she lost a shoe in Santry at the Irish Cross-Country Championships.


It was also a November to remember for young Gortahork girl Ciara Doogan who was named as Cycling Ireland’s Junior Female Rider of the Year at the annual awards ceremony in Dublin. Ciara had finished in 58th place at the Women’s Junior Road Race at the UCI World Road Championships in Richmond in Virginia, USA, in September and just a month before that the 17-year-old UCD student 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 champion


Raphoe’s Mike Kelly won two bronze medals in the Galley Rifle category at the World Shooting Championships in Leitmar, Germany. Competing for Ireland against 114 others from around the world Kelly took his first bronze in the individual Galley Rifle 1500 Class finishing just a point behind the winner and level with the second placed. His second bronze medal was in the team event for his country.


Rathdonnell’s Gavin Harley had his biggest win of the season when taking first place on Undertone Van de Kapel at the Autumn at Oliva Nova in Spain. Brussels based Harley has had a good year culminating in the high profile victory in Oliva Nova where he was up against over 60 over riders which included some very big names.


The 2013 Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Jason Quigley extended his winning start to his professional career to nine but it was the former Finn Valley BC’s man toughest fight to date as he overcame Marchristopher Adkins in Las Vegas by a unanimous decision on all the judges scorecards. Quigley’s task was made a little more difficult after he suffered a nasty cut over his left eye. It was the first time that the Twins Towns man had been taken the distance since turning professional last year.  In the middle of the month 102-year-old Jack Hannigan received the ‘Services to GAA’ award at the Ulster GAA Writers annual banquet in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran. Termon’s Geraldine McLaughlin was presented with the Ladies Player of the Year while Ardara won the 2015 Club Ground Award.


There was national success for three young Raphoe Hockey Club players Luke Witherow, Alexander Tinney and Ben Wallace who were part of the victorious Ulster squad at the U18 Hockey Inter-provincials in Cork with four wins from their four outings. In the 8-2 win over Munster, Tinney, Ulster’s vice-captain, got one of the goals. All three were nominees for the Donegal Sports Star Awards last year. On the first day of the month Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney and Teresa McGloin of Finn Valley were the respective winners of the Donegal Senior Cross-Country Championships in Stranorlar. It was McKinney’s seventh title and an eighth for Doherty.


McKinney also won the Men’s O-50 category while Ciaran Doherty was third in the O-40s at the British and Irish Masters Cross-Country Championships in Santry. At the end of November Stranorlar native Gary Murray (2005 Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner) was first across the line in the men’s race in a time of 31 minutes and six seconds at the Podium 4 Sport Seeley 10K Road Race in Ormeau, Belfast. Finn Valley AC’s Arlene Crossan won a special achievement award at the Ulster Athletics presentations in Monaghan and 91-year-old Hugh Gallagher picked up the International Achievement after winning three gold and a silver medal at the World Masters Championships in Lyon. Cranford AC’s Oisin Kelly also received an Ulster All Star Award.


In boxing Rosses native Michael McShane defeated Ben Mulligan from Tyrone in lightweight contest at Ayr Town Hall in Scotland but at the end of the month there was no joy for Donna Barr (Twin Towns BC) and Maeve McCarron (Carrigart BC) who lost their respective Irish Elite Women’s Boxing Championship Finals at the National Stadium. Barr’s defeat was somewhat controversial as she was pipped on a split decision by reigning champion Lauren Hogan of Edenderry B.C. McCarron lost a unanimous decision to Diane Campbell from the Garda Club in Dublin. On the first day of November Milford clinched their place in Division 2 of the All-County League thanks to a 1-7 to 1-3 victory over Letterkenny Gaels at the Glebe while Kilcar easily disposed of the challenge of Ardara to reach a third Donegal Under-21 Championship final in a row with the help of second half goals from Ryan McHugh and Chris Doogan.


Kilcar’s Paddy McBrearty was a member of the Irish team that won 58-52 in International Rules Test against Australia at Croke Park. There was massive disappointment for the Bundoran club who lost the Ulster Intermediate Final against Loughinisland on a bizarre final scoreline of 4-1 to 0-7. Gortahork native Charlie McGeever managed Clonmel Commercials to a first Munster senior club title in 21 years overcoming Cork’s Nemo Rangers thanks to a late goal and there were three Donegal players on the Tirconaill Gaels side that won the London Senior County Championship title at Ruislip. Adrian Hanlon (Dungloe) and Seimi ‘Nanny’ Friel (Fanad Gaels) scored two first half goals in the 3-10 to 1-12 victory over St. Kieran’s while Kilcar’s Ashely Carr was a second half sub.


Donegal hurlers Jamsie Donnelly and Ronan McDermott were presented with their Nicky Rackard All-Star Awards in Dublin. In the middle of the month Larissa Muldoon and Nora Stapleton were part of the Ireland team who lost out to a late England try in an International at Twickenham. Muldoon from Cappry, was scrum-half, while Fahan native Stapleton came on at out-half just after the hour-mark. Katie Norris from Moville was also part of the replacements. There was heartbreak for Ballybofey man Johnny Dunleavy, captain of the Cork City side, who lost 1-0 after extra-time to Dundalk in the FAI Senior Cup Final at the Aviva.


In the middle of November a late goal from sub Ryan Doherty made sure that reigning Oscar Traynor champions Inishowen advanced to the knockout stages again in a 2-1 win over the Donegal Junior League. Former Kilmacrennan Celtic Ladies star Julie Anne Herrity (Donegal Sports Star Soccer Award winner 2009) was named South Atlantic Player of the Year following her performances for the Carson-Newman Eagles in Jefferson City, Tennessee. The Letterkenny woman scored 16 goals and was named South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week three times.


Burnfoot native Paul McLaughlin, a Garda based in Monaghan, was named PFAI Referee of the Year.


The Donegal Youth League drew 0-0 with Mayo in Castlebar in their opening FAI Inter-League group game and the Lagan Harps U18s advanced to the semi-finals of the Ladies National Cup with a 5-0 away win over Castlebar Celtic with Amy Boyd and Caoimhe Walsh getting two goals each with other scorer being Amanda Callaghan. Gweedore Celtic’s Mark Walsh came on as a sub for the Republic of Ireland U15 side who were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Poland in a friendly international at Rock Celtic FC. And at the same venue two days later Walsh started for the Irish and won a penalty which saw his side take the lead. He then scored the third goal in the 3-1 victory over the Poles in that second friendly.


Letterkenny Institute of Technology booked their place in the CUFL quarter-final with a 1-0 win over IT Tallaght thanks to Paul McVeigh’s 27th minute strike at the Port Road Campus. Towards the end of November Milford woman Amber Barrett was in top form for NUI Maynooth hitting a hat-trick against UCD in a win 3-1 win to ensure top spot in the group in the Premier North Division of the Women’s Colleges League. Finn Harps U19s made a tame quarter-final exit from the National League competition losing 7-1 to Cork City in Bishopstown. On the last Sunday of the month the Donegal Junior League secured their place in the knockout stages of the Oscar Traynor Cup thanks to an impressive second half display that gave Brian Dorrian’s side a 5-2 win over Sligo/Leitrim at The Moss in Drumoghill.


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





Getting ready for Council Budget 2016

Garry Martin, Director of Finance with Donegal County Council

Garry Martin, Director of Finance with Donegal County Council


Donegal County Council’s annual Budget meeting is one of the most crucial the authority holds each year. Its decisions determine the level and extent of services that the Council is going to provide over the next 12 months.


The process is primarily led out by the elected members. They are responsible for the final decision to strike a rate and therefore adopting the Budget which basically determined what money is to be spent in different areas.


They are assisted in this by Director of Finance, Emergency Services and Information Systems, Garry Martin who is in turn supported by the staff in the Finance section, the council’s management accountant and a small team of key staff assisted by lead personnel within each individual service and directorate.


It all culminates on Budget day, which this year is on Wednesday, November 18 and while it is governed by strict legislation, statutory regulations, requirements and processes, this meeting basically decides what happens in 2016.


The work of the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team throughout the year has steered the local authority towards the targets set out in last year’s Budget and of course the Council’s ongoing aims are already clear in the Corporate Plan 2015-2019. This focuses on areas such as economic development, job creation, infrastructure, services, ongoing supports for arts, culture, environment, heritage and languages, the promotion of sustainable and inclusive communities and the support and development of the Council’s organisational capacity to achieve its objectives.


Like every other year, the 2016 Budget will present new challenges. Last year it took in excess of €131 million to run the county. The work to arrive at the new budget figures has been ongoing for some time now.


On Budget day itself the Director of Finance’s presentation will outline the council’s performance for the year to date and its estimated outturn.


This takes into consideration the material adjustments from the previously adopted budget including things like additional grants, unexpected areas of expenditure and even unexpended areas that might have been budgeted for.


“This gives the councillors an understanding of the performance of the last budget, and what the trending issues are before they consider the adoption of next year’s budget.”


Garry Martin, the Director of Finance explains that in the context of preparing the Budget for 2016 the process began mid-year with engagement with the Council’s Corporate Policy Group outlining to them what was known at that stage in relation to policy changes; any major material adjustments, availability of budget or stemmed areas and take advice from them on how these issues might be looked at or addressed.


There were also formal meetings and workshops with councillors at county, municipal and individual levels to deal with some of the major issues, taking in their feedback on their priorities and providing clarification.


Another part of the process involves gathering data internally from August onwards.

“This involves a fairly extensive process with the individual services identifying what the likely outturn for the current year is and then, more importantly, trying to get an understanding of what the primary incomes sources are for the following year and also then identifying what the expenditure demands are.


“Then we align these with demands coming from councillors, new policies adopted through the Strategic Policy Committees, new demands from central government and new national initiatives.


“We blend all these together to identify what the final demand is for each of the individual services, match that with the overall available income and match affordability with demand,” he said.


He describes it as an ongoing engagement process with all the key stakeholders so that the Council can continue to deliver services, supports and activities in the most efficient and effective way for the people of a Donegal.


Key Facts


  • The operational budget for Donegal County Council in 2015 was just in excess of €131 million.  You can download the Councils 2015 Budget here.
Sources of Income: Comparison from 2014 to 2015

Sources of Income: Comparison from 2014 to 2015