You’ve had your say. The votes are in and counted, and we can now announce the eight nominees who are through to the next stage in the Donegal Democrat’s All Time Greats competition.
The polls for online voting in the ‘Round of 16’ were due to close at 9am on Friday morning. However, because the battle for votes between Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh and Paddy Harte were still level at that stage, we kept the polls open until 3pm, by which stage, Mairéad had garnered enough votes to win through.
We’ve had a tremendous response and a big thank you to everyone who took time out to vote in each of the eight first round pairings.
Here’s how the votes went
In match #1 two legends of Gaelic Games in Donegal were paired together with Brian McEniff up against All-Ireland winning captain Anthony Molloy.
We knew this would be a close battle, but in the end it was Brian McEniff who attracted the most votes and he makes it through to the next round.
In match #2 it was a battle of two names from the world of entertainment with Ballyshannon’s Rory Gallagher meeting Moya Doherty. Not only did Rory Gallagher win this tie, but he polled the second highest number of votes out of our 16 nominees.
Match #3 saw singing legend Bridie Gallagher face off with Michael Murphy and while Bridie polled well, it’s Michael who took the most votes to advance to the next round.
In match #4 there was a real ding-dong battle between Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh and former Donegal TD, Paddy Harte. We watched their votes all week and it was close all the way right up to the close of poll. But after extending the poll, Mairéad just about had enough votes to advance to the next round
Match #5 saw Fr. James McDyer up against Moya Brennan and again this was a very close tie with Moya just about taking enough votes to win through.
In match #6, the poet Francis Harvey was paired with soccer legend Packie Bonner and it was Packie who won the day to advance to the next round.
Match #7 brought together two popular nominees with Daniel O’Donnell up against the late Jim White. Daniel, not surprisingly, polled extremely well and while Jim also drew a large number of votes, it’s Daniel who goes through to the last eight.
Finally, match #8 saw the meeting of Enya and Margo O’Donnell, two more huge names from the world of entertainment. Both did well but it was Enya who polled best, attracting an impressive vote to advance to the next round.
So the winners in the 'Round of 16' are: Brian McEniff, Rory Gallagher, Michael Murphy, Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh, Moya Brennan, Packie Bonner, Daniel O'Donnell and Enya.
What happens next?
On Tuesday, February 5, the draw will take place in our ‘Round of 8’ and you can watch the video on our Facebook page.
Once the draw is complete, the polls will open again on the Donegal Democrat’s website in our All Time Great’s section, and you will be invited to vote in each of the four pairings.
The polls will remain open until Friday morning, February 8.
A huge thank you to our sponsors, Britton's Pharmacy, Abbey Central Hotels, DMG Motors, Dillons Hotel, Warehouse (Letterkenny), the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny and Watson's Menswear, Letterkenny