Donegal Person Of The Year Award
What a weekend of celebrations! On Saturday night 5th March, the Donegal Association held their annual Donegal Person of the Year Gala Ball. Having attended this wonderful event for the past five years, little did I know or ever imagine that I would be the recipient of this most prestigious accolade. I can hardly express the sense of surprise, delight, pride and joy I felt at being honoured as the 2015 Donegal Person of the Year.
It was a most amazing night. The hardworking Donegal Association committee did a super job in making sure that the entire evening ran according to plan. It certainly was a proud moment being piped in to the grand ballroom of the Regency Hotel to a standing ovation. We enjoyed a delicious dinner served by a wonderful banqueting team. The entertainment that followed was full of surprises and was enjoyed by all. Big thanks to Noel, Eamonn, Jody and Roly for the lovely songs and the trips down memory lane and of course to Paul and Mary B who had the dance floor heaving until the wee hours. The ‘icing on the cake’ was the presentation of a massive birthday cake at the stroke of midnight by my darling children, Carl, James and Christina. The big birthday had finally arrived!
The next morning, I had early breakfast with Noel and Carl who were driving back to Donegal for the busy Mother’s Day Lunch. I felt a bit guilty not going with them but I knew that Harvey’s Point was in good hands. Around lunchtime, we said fond farewells to family and friends who were heading home. I was looking forward to an evening by the fire with Marc and the kids. Around 7pm, my cousin Danny from Scotland rang to say he was in Donegal Town. I was delighted to hear from him and we arranged to meet in Sean Mc Caffertys pub for a drink. We were enjoying a creamy pint of Guinness when suddenly all the Mc Glone clan arrived. I was shocked but over the moon to see everyone. After a short while, we were ushered out of the pub and then a piper escorted us down the street to Dom’s Pier 1 bar. To be honest, I thought we were just going for another drink until the doors were opened to loud cheers from a huge crowd of familiar faces. It was only then I realized that this was a surprise party to celebrate my 50th birthday. Now this was an emotional moment to beat all emotional moments! What an amazing feeling to be celebrating such a special occasion with so many special people! The theme for the evening was ‘Country & Western’ and there was no shortage of cowboys and cowgirls around! The room was creatively decorated with a distinct nod to the Wild West. Thank you to Eilis, Sheila and all who played their part in planning a fantastic night and their genius in keeping it a wonderful surprise. Thanks to Michael & Ger of Pier 1, Simply Devine for their assistance with the decorations and Jody, Eileen and Stephen for the great music. There was some serious and not so serious jiving and line dancing by young and not so young. Watch this space – country dancing is coming to a venue near here soon:-)
I will never forget this weekend. I will always treasure these memories that will last a lifetime. My heartfelt thanks to the Donegal Association, the media, my family, friends, neighbours, industry colleagues and team members at Harvey’s Point. I sincerely appreciate all the kind wishes, gifts, support and love that you have bestowed upon me.