Moya Doherty is presented with the Donegal Person of the Year Award by Mr Martin McGettigan, President of the Donegal Association in Dublin and Sorcha Ni Domhnaill, Chairperson of the Donegal Association.
SPECIAL REPORT BY C.J.McGINLEY
PICTURES: DECLAN DOHERTY
MOYA Doherty, producer, entrepreneur and the co-founder of Riverdance has described her Donegal Person of the Year Award as one of the biggest achievements of her life.
Up to 600 people from all over the and further afield joined with Moya (58) her family and friends as she became the 37th receipent of the prestigious award.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Ms Doherty, who is regarded as one of the richest women in the country, said it was a huge honour for her, the Doherty, Mulhern families, and all her friends and colleagues.
“Everybody understands and recognises that being honoured by your own is truly special,” she said.
“I was overwhelmed walking in here tonight to see the number of family, first cousins and friends who are out in forcre here tonight.. There must be nobody left in Dungloe tonight.” Moya added.
“All the Sweeney’s, the Boyle’s, the Mulhern’s and the Mullis families are from Dungloe are here in full force. Some distant relations from Magheraclogher , Gaoth Dobhair on my father’s side are here as well. I’d love if my parents were here tonight,” she said.
“It is really emotional for me.I’d love if my parents were here with me. I never thought that I’d be honoured in this way, but I’m so delighted and look forward to the year ahead,” Moya said.
“It means the world to me,” she added
She dedicated the award to her late parents, Patricia (Mulhern) and Daniel (Doherty) , both from Dungloe, who she said would be so proud of her being chosen as the Donegal Person of the Year.
“Tonight is their night, the Mulhern’s and Doherty’s, to Patricia and Daniel adn the clans. This is their night I’m only a part of the big family !” she said emotionally.
“It is a huge honour for me at a certain stage of my life. I think when you come to my age you have a greater sense of appreciation and understanding of your roots and heritage, and relationships and community and sense of place and space,”
“If this award had been bestowed on me 20-years ago, I might not have had the same sense of fulfilment from it. Maturity, for me brings a certain perspective on life,” she added.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be Donegal Person of the Year,” she added.
Moya, was joined for the special night by her husband business partner, Mr John McColgan, from Strabane, their two sons, Mark and Danny and members of her extended family.
They included her brothers and sisters Niamh, Nuala, Pauric and Sean as well as many cousins, extended family and many friends the length and breadth of the country and from abroad.
“Most of my first cousins on the Mulhern and Doherty sides of the family are here from Dungloe.
Born in Pettigo, where she lived until the age of seven, Moya spent most of her childhood summers in Dungloe and the Rosses and notably there was a large and representative contingent from the west Donegal area for the gala presentation.
Her parents, Daniel Doherty and Patricia Mulhern hailed from Dungloe and were both teachers.
Their families also owned the well known pubs ‘Beady’s and the Corner House on the Main Street in Dungloe.
See Donegal News on Monday and Friday for full reports and pictures.