Jim McGuinness has been confirmed as the 2012 Donegal Person of the Year.
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.
Donegal Persons of the year 2011
The Donegal Association has parted with tradition by honouring two people with the title of Donegal Person of the Year 2011. Multi-millionaire New Zealand-based entrepreneur, Hugh Green, will share the honours this year with long-distance swimmer, Anne Marie Ward.
Mr Green (80) emigrated to the southern hemisphere in 1950 where he worked as a cattle drover before building up a large fortune in a range of sectors including construction and property.
He has been a regular visitor to his native Raphoe, Co Donegal, over the years and has been benefactor to many charitable causes through his Hugh Green Charitable Trust. The trust has donated millions over the years to medical research, hospices and charities helping the poor.
He donated 200,000 euro last year to a special training academy at Letterkenny General Hospital.
Ms Ward from Portnablagh made history in 2010 when she became the first Irish woman to swim the north channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
A disability services manager with the HSE, the 45 year old was named World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year 2010 at a function in New York.
Mr Green and Ms Ward were announced as recipients of the honour at a function tonight in Dublin’s Harcourt Hotel.
The awards will officially be presented to them at a gala dinner in March.
Donegal Association assistant PRO, Liam McDermott, said both recipients were “very worthy” of the honour.
“Hugh Green deserves this recognition for his many great achievements and because he has given so much back to Donegal,” said Mr McDermott.
“Irish sportswomen don’t get the recognition they deserve. Anne Marie Ward is not only a great ambassador for sport in Donegal but for Irish sport generally.”