The Donegal Association Dublin held their annual mass for deceased members of the Association and their families, on Sunday last at the Regency Hotel.
A large crowd attended which was celebrated by Fr. Michael McCullagh.
Afterwards, the fourth Fr. McDyer Memorial Lecture was delivered by Róisín Shortall TD. Róisín Shortall is an Independent T.D. for Dublin North West. She was first elected to the Dáil in 1992 and was re-elected at every election since.
Mrs. Shortall began by saying how honoured she was to address the Donegal Association given her own strong connections and how Donegal held a very special place in her heart.
Her mother Sally, a Lifford woman, was both secretary and President of Cumann Thír Chonaill. Roísín herself attended many of those meetings with her mother as a young child. She recalled many of the different events that the Association organised during her childhood with great fondness. She noted that while her mother had lived away from Donegal for most of her life, the love for her home county never left her. When Sally joined the Donegal Association, it allowed her to retain her strong bond with her native county.
While that was many years ago, Róisín commented that we face a similar situation now. Many people are living away from home due to the current economic crisis and while doing so, many seek out fellow county people to connect them with home. For our young people, who face uncertainty and emigration, with approximately 51,000 emigrating from Ireland last year! She spoke of the need to foster strong community spirit through our sports clubs, parishes, community centres and simple acts of kindness! We need to focus on restoring belief in ourselves and to rediscover our positive innate qualities. She believes that we can take our lead in this area from the spirit of Fr. McDyer and his strong belief in a sense of community. If we draw inspiration from Fr. McDyer’s beliefs & qualities, Róisín feels that we can come through these difficult times and have a bright and hopeful future for everyone especially our young people.
Following Mrs. Shorthall’s talk there was a question and answer session, whereby she showed her true grit and independence of mind which makes her such a capable and impressive T.D for Dublin North West
Martin McGettigan thanked Roísín for her comprehensive lecture and Cathaoirleach, Sorcha Ní Dhomhnaill presented her with a Donegal Pen, handmade by Ronán and Conor Mc Garvey in Loch an Iúir so that she will always remember ‘youth and initiative’ in Donegal.
A final reminder that our closing date for the receipt of nominations for Donegal Person of the Year is 30th November! You only have a number of days left to get your nomination to the association.
Anyone or any group may nominate someone – the main criteria being that the person nominated should have made a significant contribution to the promotion of the county at local, national, or international level. Nominations should set out the reasons for the nomination and include supporting documentation and endorsements from individuals and groups.
Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Association’s website www.donegalassociation.ie or by request from The Secretary, Donegal Association, c/o Teachers Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
You can also contact Marie Ryan on 087 243 9317 or Sorcha Ní Dhomhnaill on 087 918 4072 to receive an application form. Alternatively, you can send your nomination directly to us by letter outlining the reasons for your nomination which we look forward to receiving.