Over 350 people attended the Donegal Person of the Year Gala Ball in the Ballsbridge Hotel on Saturday night.
The event, which is attended by people from across Dublin and Donegal is the biggest event in the Donegal diaspora’s calendar in Dublin.
The centrepiece of the event is the awarding of the prestigious Donegal Person of the Year award.
In January the Donegal Association announced that global endurance athlete, Jason Black, would receive the Donegal Person of the Year award for 2018
Hugh Harkin, President of the Donegal Association Dublin highlighted Mr Black’s continuing efforts to work with young people.
Speaking at the event Mr Harkin said: “I want to refer to Jason’s tireless efforts with groups of people, particularly young people all over the county and indeed the country, struggling with mental health issues.
“He is ideally placed by his status as a successful endurance athlete, to talk to young men in particular and help them in dealing with their difficulties. He draws on his own life experiences and as I’m sure you know he is very open about the difficulties he has experienced himself.”
Mr Harkin also paid tribute to Mr Black for using his voice to highlight the issues of mental health and domestic violence in Donegal something which led to his choosing the charity partner on the night as the Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service.
In his speech, Mr Harkin added: “We still surround these issues with a stigma, which adds to the effort required of the people coping with these difficulties.
“I think it really is high time that we open the window on the issues of mental health and domestic violence against women in Co Donegal.
“And I would like to pay tribute to Jason Black for helping to open that window by proposing the Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service as the charity for tonight.”
The funds raised from the charity raffle on the night will be used to support the work of Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service.
Kevin McFadden, the current chairperson of the Donegal Association Dublin said: “I’d like to thank all those who attended and supported the annual gala ball and to Jason Black for being such an inspiring award winner.
“The event could not happen without the generosity of our sponsors and supporters and the volunteer committee who help organise it year in year out and I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all.”
Concluding Mr McFadden urged people to sign up and become active members in the Donegal Association Dublin.
“The Donegal Association Dublin has a long and important history and we want to see it go from strength to strength. I would encourage members of the Donegal diaspora in Dublin to become members and get involved in our events and activities.”