The 39th annual Donegal Sports Star Awards Night, sponsored by Donegal County Council, will take place in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, tomorrow night.
The gala presentation ceremony will begin at 7.30 pm sharp, with special guest being the well known RTÉ broadcaster, Sean O’Rourke.
This year there are 164 nominees listed for awards in 40 catagories. With the nominations submitted earlier this month, the county’s sporting public has been scouring through the list of the nominees trying to pick winners for the prestigious awards.
Looking ahead to the night, Donegal Sports Star Awards PRO, Declan Kerr said up to 500 people are expected to attend.
“We are appealing to those who are thinking of coming along to book their tickets through the hotel as soon as possible. We are all looking forward to what has become the biggest social occasion of the year in terms of sport,” he said.
Explaining the committee’s decision to opt for Sean O’Rourke as this year’s guest speaker, the PRO said “Sean is a very high profile media person who has worked with RTÉ for the past 30 years and is currently presenting on Radio 1. We are delighted he has accepted our request to be our special guest.” Sean is a frequent visitor to Donegal and has great knowledge of all sports in the county.
A lot of work has been done behind the scenes as the clock ticks down to tomorrow night, as Declan explained.
“A lot of tough decisions had to be made with 164 nominees received for 40 awards. There was very little between a lot of the winners and those who missed out. To be nominated is an acheivement in itself.
“The overall winner was very difficult to decide upon and for the first time, this year will see a Young Sports Star of the Year Award being presented. The nominations are Ryan McHugh, Karl Griffin, John Kelly and Rachael Darragh.”
Declan was high in his praise for Donegal County Council who are the main sponsors of the event. “It wouldn’t be possible to bring it all together without their help.”
Chairman Neil Martin said that with a huge number of presentations to be made this Friday night’s function in the Mount Errigal Hotel will start at 7.30 sharp. The first five awards will be presented prior to the dinner. “We are asking all our guests to be in the hotel by 7.00 so as can have everyone seated for 7.30 sharp when the first award winner will be announced.” Tickets are still available from the Mount Errigal Hotel by dropping in or ringing 9106700.
The Sports Star Awards Committee is made up as follows.
Chairman, Neil Martin; Vice Chair, Paul Callaghan; Secretary, Grace Boyle; Recording Secretary, Mae Logue; Joint Treasurers, Bartley McGlynn and Patrick McLaughlin; PRO, Declan Kerr.
Committee Members - Chris Ashmore, Fr Michael Sweeney, Gerry Davenport, Michael McGeehan, Myles Sweeney, Paul McDaid, Seamus Curran.