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Packie Bonner among those receiving Tip O’Neill award tonight

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

US political commentator Chris Matthews to receive award this evening

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was initiated in 2012 in memory of the late Tip O'Neill whose maternal grandparents were from Buncrana and Clonmany.

This year’s recipients of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award will receive  their award at the gala Tip O’Neill Award ceremony in An Grianan Hotel in Burt tonight.

Packie Bonner, Barbara Koster, Fraser Doherty and Marty Meehan are receiving the award.

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was initiated in 2012 in memory of the late Tip O'Neill whose maternal grandparents were from Buncrana and Clonmany.

Well known sportsman and inspirational speaker Packie Bonner,who is originally from Kincasslagh in Co. Donegal had a long career as goalkeeper with Celtic Football Club and with the Irish team and has had many memorable performances for both teams.  In this conversation with Prof Moore, Packie will share the story of his life in what promises to be a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity for anyone with an interest in the life and times of this fine sportsman.

Barbara Kostner is the chair of Pramerica Systems Ireland Ltd and is one of the founding members of Pramerica along with noted Irish Americans Bill Friel and Bob Golden.  Barbara’s commitment to Pramerica in Donegal has been steadfast for over 17 years since it was first launched in 1999.  Pramerica now employs over 1,400 staff in its campus in Letterkenny.  In this audience, Barbara Kostner will share her insights on what makes for successful inward investment and she will undoubtedly draw on her own experiences with Pramerica.

The remarkable story of entrepreneur Fraser Doherty MBE is not only inspirational but compelling and is one that must be heard by any budding business person.  Frazer Doherty MBE is the founder of the 100% fruit jam company – Super Jam.  He started his business at the age of 14 using his Donegal grandmother’s recipe and has gone on to sell millions of jars through thousands of stores around the world.  Fraser loves business and loves to inspire those who are starting out.

Marty Meehan was appointed President of the University of Massachusetts in 2015 and is no stranger to the north-west region.  He served in the United States Congress from 1993 until 2007 and was deeply involved with the Northern Ireland peace process.  During his time at UMass Lowell, he established the Centre for Irish Partnerships fostering collaborations and partnerships with educational institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Letterkenny Institute of Technology is a partner of the Centre for Irish Partnerships.