FINN VALLEY AC honoured their international achievers last night at a function in the Finn Valley Centre.
Over the last 12 months, 19 Finn Valley athletes competed in 18 countries with a range of success stories.
Pictures by Dermot McGranaghan
Brendan Boyce finished sixth at the recent IAAF World Championships in Doha. Boyce was represented by his parents, Mandy and Margaret, at last night’s event.
In March, Finn Valley had joy at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Toruń. Noreen Bonner won individual bronze and team gold, with Mark Connolly winning gold with Ireland and Kay Byrne taking a team bronze.
They were joined in Poland by Catriona Devine, sixth in the women’s 1,500m, Sonead McConnell who set a new Irish record in the 3000m walk and Kieran Carlin, ninth in the men’s 1,500m final.
At the European Masters in Vienna in September, Brian Ó Domhnaill won a team gold and a team bronze, while also setting a new Irish Masters 10k record. Also in Vienna were Noreen Bonner and Gloria Donaghy, who helped Ireland to a bronze in the half marathon team.
High jumper Sommer Lecky was fifth at the European U20s, while ultra-distance runner Eddie Gallen was honoured for his win in April and other promising starlets like Michaela Byrne, Daniella Jansen and Lauren Callaghan were among those honoured.
Neil Martin, Irish team manager at the 2019 World University Games, and Dermot McGranaghan, a coach for the Irish team at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, were also acknowledged.
“Everything is a different challenge, experience and honour,” former Irish Olympic team manager Patsy McGonagle said.
“It is important to acknowledge these people, who are competing above normal club stuff and competing out of their own environment. That is always a big deal. I always warn athletes not to take competing internationally for granted.
“We, as a club, are proud and delighted when people get selected on various teams.
“They competed in 18 countries over the last 12 months. That’s an interesting statistic for a rural club from Donegal. It’s now all about aiming to come back and be better.”
Those honoured were: Brendan Boyce, Sommer Lecky, Catriona Devine Kay Byrne Shane Irwin Lauren Callaghan, Daniella Jansen, Aoife McGrath, Brian Ó Domhnaill, Kieran Carlin, Teresa Doherty, Mark Connolly, Sinead McConnell, Noreen Bonner, Gloria Donaghy Eddie Gallen, James Kelly, Michaela Byrne, Neil Martin, Dermot McGranaghan.