Patsy McGonagle, Irish Athletics Olympic manager, is to be the special guest at this year’s Donegal Sports Star Awards.
The Finn Valley AC coach a was confirmed by Neil Martin, chairman of the Donegal Sports Awards Committee, at the official launch of this year’s awards, the 41st running of the event, in the Mount Errigal Hotel, on Monday night.
Speaking after the announcement, the veteran of five Olympics, four of them as Irish Athletics manager, McGonagle said that it was a great privilege and honour for him to be asked to be the special guest at the Donegal Sports Star awards.
He also said that what was special about the Donegal Sports Star awards was that it recognised all sports.
“It is for all sports, “ he said.
“It acknowledges all sports. It acknowledges small sports and people involved in those sports. They are not small sports,” he added ,as he went on to say that there were no small sports.
“There are sports that get more attention but that is a fact of life but there are no small sports.”
Barry O’Neill, vice-chairman of the Donegal County Council, and Seamus Neely, the chief executive of Donegal County Council and main sponsors of the awards, also spoke at the launch.
Among the other special guests at the launch were Danny Ryan, his daughter Alanna and sons Jordan and Keane, finalists in Ireland’s Fittest family.
The 2017 Donegal Sports Star Awards were officially launched by Buncrana Pier hero Davitt Walsh, who saved a young baby in last March’s drowning disaster.
Awards of appreciation were presented to 20 past winners at the launch and two special awards were presented to the first award winners in 1976, Veronica McAteer and Ed Moore.
The 2017 Donegal Sports Star awards are on Friday night January 27th, in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.
Tickets for the event, which has become the biggest night in the Donegal sporting calendar, went on sale on Tuesday morning in the Mount Errigal Hotel, which is the only outlet for tickets for the gala event.