The 2019 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award recipients were unveiled today by Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Nicholas Crossan.The four notable members of the diaspora set to receive this prestigious award in September are author and playwright Frank McGuinness; Dublin based businessman Pat Doherty; US-based attorney Patrick C. Dunican Jr, and; US-based businessman Daniel J. Hilferty.Speaking today Cathaoirleach Cllr. Nicholas Crossan said he was delighted that Donegal County Council working with the Tip O’Neill Awards Committee is recognising four members of the broad Irish Diaspora for their achievements and their interest in, and support of the Irish community. He said “each year the award recipients are always deserving of recognition for their achievements and this year is no different. All four recipients have found success at the top of their field, and this year is particularly special for me with fellow Inishowen men being recognised by Donegal County Council.“Their achievements speak for themselves and I am delighted that we in Donegal County Council, through the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award, are in a position to honour the outstanding contributions made by all four worthy recipients.”He added, “I would also like to pay tribute to the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award Committee who give of their time so willingly to ensure that we can honour these people who have such strong links with Ireland and indeed Donegal.”Frank McGuinness Frank McGuinnessA native of Buncrana, author and playwright Frank McGuinness is best known for his plays including The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and Dolly West’s Kitchen. He was educated locally in Buncrana and studied Pure English and Medieval Studies at University College Dublin. Professor McGuinness retired last year from University College Dublin where he lectured in English. He is celebrated as one of Ireland’s greatest living writers.Pat DohertyPat DohertyEmploying over 500 staff across the local community and generating over €100M in revenue in Donegal over the last 10 years, Pat Doherty “The Donegal Man” has never forgotten his roots returning to Buncrana regularly. He takes great joy in reinvesting in Donegal with substantial redevelopment projects such as the Letterkenny Shopping Centre, Redcastle Hotel and Spa and in more recent years in the only five-star Hotel in Donegal, Lough Eske Castle.Patrick C. Dunican JrPatrick C. Dunican JrPatrick C. Dunican Jr is Chairman and Managing Director at Gibbons Law Firm, based in Newark, New Jersey. He is recognised not only as a leader in the legal industry but also as a community leader in the United States. Elected Managing Director in 2004 at the age of 36, he has transformed Gibbons into a major force in the Mid-Atlantic legal market. Mr. Dunican’s four grandparents emigrated to the United States from Counties Donegal, Sligo, Offaly and Mayo. Daniel J. HilfertyDaniel J. HilfertyDaniel J. Hilferty is Chief Executive Officer of Independence Health Group, parent of Independence Blue Cross, one of the leading health insurers in the US. Since becoming CEO in 2010, the company has tripled in size, expanding through its affiliates to 25 states and the District of Columbia, and serving nearly 8 million people across the US.All four will be honoured at the Gala Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards Ceremony in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Buncrana on Friday September 27th.Chief Executive Seamus Neely said that he was very much looking forward to welcoming these special guests to Donegal in September saying “the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards ceremony is a very important highlight in the Council’s calendar of events. These awards were introduced as a fitting tribute to honouring on of Donegal’s most illustrious sons ‘Tip O’Neill’ and have become an important way for us to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding achievements and contributions made by the Irish diaspora across the globe. “I am very much looking forward to welcoming this year’s recipients to Donegal and I am delighted that they are in a position to accept this award honouring and recognising their outstanding achievements as prominent members of our diaspora”.The Tip O’ Neill Awards weekend, which will include the Tip O’Neill Golf Challenge on Saturday September 28th September at the award winning Ballyliffin Golf Course, will kick start the first ever “Donegal Connect” initiative. Donegal Connect is aimed at encouraging Donegal Diaspora to come to Donegal to find out for themselves why it is a great county to grow up in, be educated in, work and invest in or retire in. The programme will run for 10 days beginning on September 27th until October 6th and will have something for everyone. Further information is available on www.donegalconnect.comTickets for the Gala Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards Ceremony in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Buncrana on Friday September 27th are available for sale at www.localenterprise.ie/Donegal.Four members of the Donegal diaspora to receive 2019 Tip O’Neill Award was last modified: June 18th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
The Indian Air Force is planning to fly ace shuttler and Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal in its Kiran Mk II jet trainer at its officers’ training academy in Didndigul in Andhra Pradesh next week.During her proposed visit next week, Nehwal will also play matches with the best of badminton players of the Air Force Academy there, IAF officials said here.The plan is to take her on a sortie in the Kiran Mk II aircraft, which is being used by the Air Force to train its rookie pilots before they move to fly other fighter and transport aircraft, they said.The visit is aimed at inspiring the young cadets at the academy to do hard work to achieve their goals in life in the service of the nation, they said.Saina’s visit to the cradle of the IAF coincides with the sports week of the academy.In recent years, the IAF has been honouring sportspersons for their achievements in their respective fields and has granted them honorary ranks also.Champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar was made an honorary Group Captain by the IAF last year for his achievements and along with Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was offered a sortie in frontline fighter aircraft SU-30MKI.However, the offer made by the then IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik has not been availed by the two cricketers so far.