There was cause for double celebration for Bundoran surfer Richard Fitzgerald last weekend.
Last Friday night he not only took top honours in the surfing category at the Donegal Sports Star Awards, but 12 hours later his wife, Briohny, gave birth to their first child named Ella.
Richard who was nominated in the surfing category with Easkey Britton, Meadbh McCloskey and Conor Maguire expressed his thanks to those who chose him as the winner and sent his apologies for being unable to collect his award in person:
“I would have loved to have been there to collect the award however my obligations were in the labour ward with Briohny. We are delighted with the arrival of baby Ella and would like to thank all our friends and family for their messages of congratulations. Myself and Briohny would also like to thank the hardworking staff, mid wife and doctors in Sligo General Hospital”
Richard’s award on the night was collected by Neil Murphy from Bundoran who represented Ireland last year at the world junior surfing championships in Peru.
Eileesh Buckley, Chairperson of the Irish Surfing Association added: “It’s great to see our national surfing representatives gaining recognition in their local communities. Richie has represented Ireland at the highest levels over the years both as an individual and as a member of the national team. The Irish Surfing Association would like to congratulate him on winning this award and also to extend our congratulations to himself and Briohny on the birth of baby Ella”.