Shay Given is 2017’s Donegal Person of the Year

Shay Given, who was announced Donegal Person of the year on Friday night with his partner Rebecca Gibson, Donegal Association President, Hugh Harkin, Marietta and Stephen McCahill and Elaine Caffrey, Donegal Association Chairperson.


Well known sportsperson Shay Given from Lifford, has been named the Donegal Person of the Year for 2017. The announcement took place in The Black Door Piano Bar on Harcourt Street in Dublin on Friday, 19th of January.


Shay is well known locally, nationally and internationally for his soccer career and many people enjoyed learning more about Shay through his autobiography ‘Any Given Saturday’ which was shortlisted as the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year 2017. Shay was born in 1976 and is the son of Séamus and the late Agnes Given. Shay’s mother Agnes sadly passed away when he was five years of age. Shay started his soccer career with Lifford Celtic and at the age of 15 he moved to Glasgow Celtic and later to Blackburn, Swindon, Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Stoke City. At the age of 19 Shay was called up by Mick McCarthy to play for the Republic of Ireland, this kick-started Shay’s international career which lasted 16 years. He followed in the footsteps of former Donegal Person of the Year, Packie Bonner in taking his place in the Republic of Ireland goals.

Shay has spoken in the past of the fact that he owes a great debt of gratitude to his upbringing in Donegal. Shay has said that some of the highlights of his youth include catching fish, using jumpers for goalposts, building bonfires for Halloween and gathering potatoes for his Dad. He has spoken of the many wonderful qualities of the county including the beautiful landscapes to the accents to the people themselves. In Shay’s recent Late Late Show appearance he spoke about Donegal in glowing terms and was proud to promote our county to wider audiences. Shay was awarded the Freedom of Donegal in 2006.


Jamesie O’Donnell and friends enjoying the night.

Committee members with Shay Given and his partner Rebecca Gibson.

Seamus Neely, Chief Executive Donegal County Council, Shay Given and Cllr Gerry McMonagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council.

Cr—na N’ÊDhonaill, Elaine Caffrey, Shay Given, Siobhan Shovlin, Marian Caffrey and Peggy Stringer.


Neil Kelly, Paddy McGlynn and Eddie Boyle at the announcment of the 2017 Donegal Person of the Year at The Black Door Piano Bar, Harcourt Street on Friday night.

Donegal Person of the year 2017, Shay Given with his scroll presented by Dinegal Association, Chairperson Elaine caffrey and President, Hugh Harkin.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland