Donegal’s greatest ambassador and a man who has previously been voted ‘Donegal Person of the Year’ will be accorded the county’s highest honour at a Civic Reception in Lifford tomorrow (Friday).
Music legend Daniel O’Donnell will be awarded the Freedom of the County at a Civic Reception being hosted in his honour by the Mayor and members of Donegal County Council at the County House, Lifford at 3pm.
The Mayor of the County, Cllr. Noel McBride, elected members and staff of the council will be joined by members of the O’Donnell family and invited guests at the special event. The Civic Reception is in recognition of Daniel’s contribution to music at local, national and international level and the ambassadorial role he performs to great effect in the promotion of County Donegal.
Mayor Noel McBride says he is delighted that one of his final acts in his term as Mayor will be to confer this honour on Daniel “in recognition of his great achievements in music and as a wonderful ambassador for the county.”
”I trust that this award will adequately reflect the great esteem in which Daniel is held by the people of the county for the entertainment and joy his music has given us and the marvellous work he continues to do.”
Daniel will be the fifth recipient of a badge and pin specially commissioned by the council. The badge (and lapel pin) is reserved exclusively for those on whom the Freedom of the County is conferred.
The badge, crafted by Geraldine Hannigan, Designer Goldsmith, Letterkenny, and mounted on a background designed by Fionntan Gogarty, Artworks, is a silver replication of the county badge granted to the Council by the Chief Herald of Ireland as part of a Grant of Arms to the county. The badge comprises the O’Donnell Cross enfiled by an Iunula.
The Iunula on which it is based was discovered at Trentagh and dates to the period 1500 -2,000 B.C. It is on display in the National Museum.
Recently Daniel told of how two of the most memorable moments of his life were back in 1989 when he was named as Donegal Person of the Year and then three years later when he watched Donegal capture the Sam Maguire.
No doubt he will have another treasured memory after tomorrow’s ceremony in Lifford and one that could possibly be added to by yet another appearance of the boys in green and gold in Croke Park in September.