Donegal has won yet another All Ireland title with a Ballybofey man named as Ireland’s Friendliest Butcher and what better person to present the trophy than a 1992 All Ireland winner?
Proprietor of McConnell’s Meats in Ballybofey, Shane McConnell is Ireland’s Friendliest Butcher and on Friday morning last Matt Gallagher of Donegal’s first All Ireland winning team in 1992 presented a delighted Shane and his team with the trophy.
The competition - which ran in conjunction with the first-ever Craft Butchers ‘Relish Your Meat Week’ with Goodall’s – was launched a number of weeks ago and called on the public to nominate their friendliest butchers via Email, Twitter or Facebook.
Hundreds of nominations were submitted and the butchers who received the largest volume of nominations were named as finalists.
Shane McConnell explains: “When we got the phone call informing us that I had been nominated for Ireland’s Friendliest Butcher, it was just amazing! I was thrilled that the nominations had been submitted by customers and I was really humbled that they thought that I was one of Ireland’s friendliest butchers.
“McConnell’s Meats is situated in the centre of Ballybofey and over the last few years, both my father and I have received enormous support from the local community. So when the opportunity arose to potentially become Ireland’s Friendliest Butcher, our store really got behind it. We kept our customers updated on Facebook, appeared in newspapers and on radio shows and also printed leaflets. It’s thanks to the huge support that we’ve received that I have won this award.”
Shane continued, “I would like to sincerely thank Ireland’s Goalkeeper, Shay Given, Donegal GAA player, Mark McHugh and Freemantle Construction, who lent their support and, between them, encouraged their 303,000 twitter followers and employees to vote for me. I would like to thank every customer, business and organisation, from the Finn Valley, Donegal and beyond, that voted for me and also asked their friends to vote. I’d also like to thank my fiancée, Ciara McMenamin, sister, Caroline McConnell, Goddaughter, Lauren and nephew, Evan who have all campaigned non-stop!
Most of all, I would like to thank my parents - they taught me everything I know and I feel that this award is rightfully theirs as well.”
Shane was originally nominated for the competition by many of his customers, one of whom said, “Service is fantastic. I am on a diet where I need to eat lean meat, Shane prepares all the meat to suit my requirements and always with a smile!”
Hopefully a good omen for our lads in green and gold when they take on Tyrone next month just behind Shane’s butchers on Main Street!