Black tie ball for cancer charities at Central Hotel a great success

Ballintra builder Tony Walsh delighted with response

Matt Britton


Matt Britton


For many years the Central Hotel in Donegal Town has been deservedly regarded as one of the top hotels in the county and it was great to see it restored to its former glory last weekend when it played host to up on 300 guests at the black tie banquet in aid of Target Lung Cancer and the Marie Keating Foundation.
From early evening the red carpet greeted the many guests arriving in their ball gowns and tuxedos who were treated with champagne and warmly welcomed by Tony Walsh and his fellow organiser, Eddie McCafferty.
Indeed the hotel resembled days of a bygone area with an atmosphere that did such a worthwhile occasion proud.
Like so many others in Donegal, Tony had fallen victim to cancer. The Ballintra man, after the initial shock of his diagnosis, was not for giving in and used everything at his disposal to fight the disease “tooth, nail and comb”
Tony told the Democrat: “Today I am fine, thank God, but I am a realist and am totally aware that I must always be on my guard for any signs in the future.”
The grand ballroom in the Central was reminiscent of the old days of the Candle Light dinners, and Caroline and her team and Chef Marco all did a tremendous job.
Tony had also organised a charity auction to raise even further funds for the cancer charities and it really highlighted changing times when a pair of rugby tickets for the Scottish match outsold two All Ireland hurling tickets.
Tony added: “Little did I think a few weeks ago that people from all over the county would come out in such numbers to show their support.
“It really exemplifies the strength of community in Donegal but unfortunately also highlights the common occurence of cancer in our midst.
“To thank any one person would be fruitless, so many people gave of their time and indeed, financially. To date we have raised up on €19,000 which far exceeds my wildest dreams. To each and everyone, a heartfelt thanks.”