The Donegal GAA Training Fund Committee launched its Night with Donegal GAA Greats Banquet, to honour former player and manager, Brian McEniff, in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, on Tuesday morning.
The banquet, which will take place in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Friday, February 15th, 2019, is the first major event being organised by the Donegal GAA Training Fund Committee since it was set up six months ago.
Speaking at the launch, Donegal GAA County Board Chairman, Mick McGrath, said the committee had been formed to help meet with the major demands of running a successful senior team and development teams.
“There’s quite a lot of capital required there on an annual basis,” the county chairman commented.
“The evening itself will be recognising the legend that is Brian McEniff. This is also an opportunity for businesses in the county who are connected to sport and who want to be connected to sport. We are a vibrant organisation – there’s a connection there and we want to make that connection more available. Hopefully the clubs will show their support to the event as well,” he added.
Donegal senior football team manager, Declan Bonner, told the launch that while Donegal would be playing in Division Two in next season, the aim was to return to Division One.
“It does take money and there is a lot of expense, but we want to be up there. It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy but we all have the one goal. Football is in a good place in the county at the moment and we need to take it to the next level now,” the manager said.
1992 All-Ireland winning captain and Donegal GAA Training Fund Committee member, Anthony Molloy, said it was great to be part of the committee.
“I’ve been part of the team all my life and I feel I still have something to offer. I’m delighted to be working alongside a mixed group of people. We have to keep pushing on and I do know that takes money. Once upon a time success bought money, now you need money to buy that success,” he added.
In his address, Donegal captain, Michael Murphy, said the banquet is a great idea.
“I do believe we have the raw materials within the county, but in order to bring them together and push them in the one direction, that does require finance. As a senior team we are ambitious and we are as ambitious as the Dublins, the Mayos and the Kerrys. All we want to see is ambition across the whole board,” he commented.
“The banquet is a great idea and it’s up to the whole lot of us to get behind it now and back it. I have no doubt we will do that. Once we do that and get on the one wave length we will be stronger and more successful,” he added.
The banquet will be confined to 50 tables of ten people, with each table priced at 1,000 euro. Tickets can also be purchased individually from the Mount Errigal Hotel.
MC for the launch, Charlie Collins of Donegal Sports Hub, said events such as the banquet were very much about the “feel-good factor”.
“I think I can say without fear of contradiction that when our senior team are doing well, there’s a real feel-good factor within the county. Going back to 1992 we had it and a it lasted a long time. We had it in 2012 and it’s still there. It puts pressure on Declan, Michael and the squad, but when our senior team is doing well, everyone in the county enjoys that, regardless of what their main sport is,” he added.
The banquet will be co-ordinated by Paul Byrnes of Paul Byrnes Event Management and Media.