A crowd of more than 400 jammed into the Letterkenny Community Centre on Sunday evening to celebrate a successful season for the Donegal Women’s League.
The attendance showed how the women’s game in Donegal and, by consequence, the Donegal Women’s League, is going from strength-to-strength.
Photographer Brian McDaid was in attendance, and as you can see from his spread of photos in our gallery, there was a busy night of presentations.
“Our teams and our League are our strongest assets,” said Donegal Women’s League Chairman Dessie Kelly.
“The managers and coaches put in so much work and they deserved the highest praise.”
The Mayor of Donegal, Councillor Gerry McMonagle, was among the special at the function.
“I must say, I was surprised to walk into the room and see so many people,” he said.
“It just goes to show and highlight the strength of the League. I want to commend everyone from the managers, the parents and the footballers.”
Cllr. McMonagle pledged the continued support of the Council to the promotion and development of women’s football in Donegal.
He said Zoe Green, the Republic of Ireland U19 international, who was one of the guests, was ‘an example and an inspiration’ to the young players in the League.
FAI Grassroots Co-Ordinator Trevor Scanlon and Development Officer Shane Barr spoke of the importance of the Soccer Sisters programme, which has really blossomed in Donegal lately.
Head of Sport at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Paddy Gallagher, said the IT’s sports scholarship programme was something for the girls to think about in the years ahead.
Ladies football has made its return to LyIT this year again with the likes of Green included on the team.
Liam McLaughlin, who was later named as the Donegal Women’s League Referee of the Year, represented the local referees and said the crowds at games highlighted how popular the Women’s League is.
He added: “I would encourage more to get involved - all we are missing is a female referee!”
Ulster Schools Inter-Provincial managers Bridgeen Harley and Emma Duffy were also in attendance as special guests as the DWL toasted a busy and successful campaign.
DONEGAL WOMEN’S LEAGUE - 2017 AWARD WINNERS
U8 and U10 Teams: Bonagee Utd, Illistrin FC, Gweedore United, Lagan Harps, Glen Rovers, Swilly Rovers, Mulroy Academy, Raphoe Town, Kilmacrennan Celtic, Finn Valley, Milford Utd
U12 Bumbleance Charity Shield: Runners up - Raphoe Town, Winners - Finn Valley, Player of the Match - Sarah Conaghan (Finn Valley)
U12 Plaque: Runners up - Gweedore Utd, Winners - Finn Valley, Player of the match - Abigail Temple Asokuh
U12 Rosebowl: Runners up - Kilmacrennan Celtic, Winners - Bonagee, Player of the Match - Hannah Hopkins (Bonagee Utd)
U12 Plate: Runners up - Gweedore Celtic, Winners - Swilly Rovers, Player of the Match - Emily Irwin (Swilly Rovers)
U12 Port Bingo Shield - Mulroy Academy, Player of the Match - Iseult Ni Mhathuna
U12 Highland Bakery Cup: Runners up - Illistrin FC, Winners - Lagan Harps, Player of the Match - Niamh Sweeney (Lagan harps)
U12 League: Runners up - Illistrin FC, Winners - Lagan Harps, Player of the Match in League play-off - Aoife Sweeney (Lagan Harps)
U12 League Top Goal Scorer: Harriett McCrossan (Lagan Harps) 24 League Goals
U12 Player of Year: Erin Doherty (Lagan Harps)
U14 Plate: 3rd place - Bonagee Utd, Runners Up - Raphoe Town, Winners - Mulroy Academy, Player of the final - Meghan McLoughlin (Mulroy Academy)
U14 Paddy McBride Shield: Runners up - Swilly Rovers, Winners - Lagan Harps, Player of the Match - Kelsey McAteer (Swilly Rovers)
U14 Terry Leyden Cup: Runners up - Finn Valley, Winners - Illistrin FC, Player of the Match - Orla Corry (Illistrin FC)
U14 League: Runners up - Illistrin FC, Winners - Lagan Harps, Player of League final - Courtney Gallagher and Shannon Cunningham (Lagan Harps)
U14 Top Goal Scorer: Jessica Leese (Lagan Harps) 23 League goals
U14 Player of Year: Sinead McBride (Illistrin FC)
U16 plate: Runners up - Bonagee Utd, Winners - Swilly Rovers, Player of the match - Aisling Irwin (Swilly Rovers)
U16 Arena 7 Shield: Winners - Lagan Harps
U16 Dessie Kelly Cup: Runners up - Mulroy Academy, Winners - Kilmacrennan Celtic, Player of the Match - Ciara McGarvey (Kilmacrennan Celtic)
U16 League: Runners up - Lagan Harps, Winners - Mulroy Academy
U16 League: Top Goalscorer - Bronagh Gallagher (Lagan Harps) 19 League Goals
U16 League Player of Year: Keri Sweeney (Mulroy Academy)
Certificates of Recognition to the 2007 and 2006 Donegal Squad who participated in the Ballnamallard Tournament, the FAI Fingal Tournament and winners for the Foyle Cup
Certificates of Recognition to the 2003 and 2004 Donegal Squad who participated in the Inishowen Tournament, the FAI Fingal Tournament, FAI Interleague Tournament, Foyle Cup
Certificates of Recognition to the 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999 Donegal Squad who participated in the Viking Cup, FAI Gaynor Cup, and FAI U18 Interleague
Donegal Women’s League Referee of the year: Liam McLaughlin