Donegal World Boxing silver medallist Jason Quigley returned home to a rousing welcome on Monday night at the Finn Valley Centre.
The Finn Valley ABC boxer defeated Russian Artem Chebotarev, in Friday’s semi-final of the championship in Kazakhstan. In doing so he etched his name in Irish boxing history by becoming the first Irish boxer to capture a World Boxing Championship silver medal.
Up to 800 supporters from right across Donegal and even further afield braved the wind and the rain to welcome home their hero.
“This is fantastic, the turnout here tonight and it really brings home to me what I have achieved and what it means to the people the local area and from throughout Donegal and even further away,” said a clearly overwhelmed Jason.
“When you are far away in a place like Kazakhstan, it can be lonely, and one can get down a little but when you come home and see the turnout we have here to night, it is a massive boost to me and is proof to me what my success means to so many people.”
Mayor of Donegal, Cllr. Ian McGarvey, told Jason that he was a great example to all young people, and you are living proof what can be achieved by hard work and dedication.
“You have proved that with hard work and dedication and continuously looking after yourself that anything is possible. I launched a book recently and written on the cover was, ‘who do you think you are,’ and it made me think and I address this to all young people present, ‘who do you think you can be’?”said Mr. Cllr. McGarvey.
“After what Jason has achieved and his efforts and the efforts of his support team over the years on winning a silver medal at the World Boxing Championships, he deserves the greatest applause for the great honour he has brought to his local area, Donegal and indeed Ireland.”
Other members of the reception party that spoke were Joe Hennigan from Mayo - Chairman of the Connacht Council of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, and Ireland team manager when Jason won a European gold medal earlier this year; Cllr. Frank McBrearty, Peter O’Donnell, PRO Donegal Boxing Board; Maeve Scully, Principal of St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar; Jason’s father, coach and mentor, Conor Quigley, and Jason himself.
Patsy McGonagle of Finn Valley AC was master of ceremonies. Jason was also accompanied on the platform by his mother Muriel and sisters Jade and Holly; grandmother Faye Quigley and uncle Billy Quigley, chairman of Finn Valley Boxing Club.
Also among the attendance were boxing club members from boxing clubs from around Donegal. Former boxing champions William McLaughlin, Illies Golden Gloves; Paddy Doherty, Ballyshannon Boxing Club; the Anderson brothers from Ballybofey, Brian and Peter, and Eamon Coyle, Letterkenny, were also present on the night.