Cumann Thír Chonaill - Baile Átha Cliath

Donegal Association - Dublin

Donegal Person Of The Year

Moya Doherty, a native of Pettigo, has been named Donegal Person of the Year for 2014.

Moya was born in Pettigo and lived there until she was seven years old with her parents and four brothers & sisters. Her parents were both teachers and taught locally in the area. All the family moved to Dublin in 1964, however, they spent every summer in Dungloe with her cousins. Both her parents worked very hard to succeed and Moya credits her Donegal roots with giving her a very strong work ethic and determination to succeed.

Moya started work in RTÉ initially as a secretary, however she went on to hold a number of roles ranging from broadcast assistant to researcher/presenter and she eventually came back to work as producer/director after having spent some working in London during the 1980s. In this role as producer she excelled showing her ability to foster and grow an idea and really bring it to life. She has been involved in theatre, radio and television production and presentation, both in Ireland and internationally during her career. She has fronted a number of RTÉ arts, features and documentary programmes. As executive producer, Moya produced a number of charity telethons, the Eurovision Song Contest and the televising of the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics 2003.

She was also director of Tyrone Productions, one of Ireland’s leading independent television production companies. She was a founding member of the popular Today FM radio station. Most recently, she was appointed as chair of the new RTÉ board.

Moya was the creator and commissioning producer of Riverdance, the worldwide acclaimed theatrical phenomenon, which premiered in Dublin’s Point Theatre. Riverdance originated as an interval performance during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. It was an immediate success and received a standing ovation on the night. That was only the start of its success. Later that year, the BBC commissioned a repeat performance of the act for the 1994 Royal Variety Show.

Shortly afterwards husband and wife production team John McColgan and Moya Doherty expanded it into a stage show, which opened in Dublin on 9 February 1995. The show ran for five weeks and was a sell-out with ticket sales of over 120,000.

During the second half of 1995 Riverdance performed a four-week season at The Apollo at Hammersmith before returning to the Point Theatre Dublin for another six-week sellout season before again returning to The Apollo at Hammersmith for another six-week season which again was a sell out. After successful runs in many other European cities,  Riverdance travelled to New York City to perform at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in March 1996, marking the start of an eight-week sell out season there. This was the first time the show had been performed in America. Riverdance continues to be performed all over the world to this day and is still a huge success.


Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, a native of Gleann Cholmcille, was named Donegal Person of the Year for 2013. The announcement was held in Dublin’s Mansion House on Monday 20th January much to the delight of the gathered audience. Liam has received many awards and praise for his dedication and effort in promoting the Irish language and his locality of Gleann Cholm Cille. He works tirelessly to promote both at every possible opportunity. Through his work, he has created employment in his hometown and surrounding areas and helped generate much needed revenue for the area.

Liam attended the announcement with his wife, Anne, family and many close friends. He said he was over-whelmed to receive such an accolade. He was truly grateful to be honoured as Pearsa Thír Chonaill, an award that is greatly valued by people in Donegal. He said that he would like to accept this special award on behalf of everyone who is involved in strengthening and promoting the Irish language, especially those in Gaeltacht regions throughout Ireland.

Liam Ó Cuinneagáin was inaugurated as The Donegal Person of the Year 2013 at the Annual Gala Ball on Saturday 1st March in the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

Jim McGuinness was awarded Donegal Person of the Year 2012.

A packed Mansion House in Dublin’s Dawson Street hosted the event with McGuinness, joined by his wife Yvonne, thanking the Association for the honour bestowed on him.

In a moving acceptance speech, Jim McGuinness said he was deeply honoured and accepted the award on behalf of the Donegal players and management team.

Paying tribute to Jim McGuinness, the Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, revealed that for the first time ever, the Donegal flag had flown over the Mansion House on September 23rd after Donegal’s victory.

Martin McGettigan, President and Sorcha Ni Dhomnaill, chairperson, of the Donegal Association in Dublin, paid tribute to Jim McGuinness and to the 2011 joint winners.


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