Young people, parents and youth club leaders gathered in An Grianán Theatre on Thursday the 24th of November for the Donegal Youth Service 2016 Celebration Event.  This annual event is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the diversity of the work which takes place within Donegal Youth Service projects and youth clubs throughout the county, and to recognise the clubs and individuals making a huge impact in their communities.

The evening was hosted by Donegal Youth Service Board member Happymore Mutyoro of the local hip hop group Phat Kiidz, who gave everybody a warm welcome, and joked he would like to work at DYS.

The first award of the evening was the ‘Special Recognition of The Year Award’ which was won by Maria McLaughlin of Glengad Youth Club.  DYS Regional Director Lorraine Thompson then announced the award’s name change to the ‘Orla O’Reilly Special Recognition Award’ in honour of their much beloved and continuously missed colleague Orla O’Reilly who died tragically last year.

The ‘Young Person of the Year Award’ is presented annually to recognise the young people who triumphed over adversity, dedicated themselves to participation, social enterprise, volunteering and altruism.  The recipient of this year’s award is Marina Coll, Club Óige Chríost Rí.

The ‘Fair Play Award’ from Youth Work Ireland is presented to just one club nationally and Donegal Youth Service were delighted to be in a position to accept the award for the third year in a row. This year’s winner is Planet Youth, Ballybofey.

Other awards given out on the evening were ‘DYS Volunteer of The Year’ which was won by Karen Conlon from DYS HQ, and Anthea McNulty of Planet Youth, Ballybofey.                                Club Óige Chríost Rí in Magheroarty received the ‘Youth Initiative of The Year Award’. The final presentation of the evening was the ‘DYS Youth Club of the Year Award’.  This award is presented to the club which participates in the most DYS activities, events and training, with Club Óige Chríost Rí taking that award home as well.

DYS Chairperson Marina Carlin took to the stage to give an inspiring speech, and to tell the young people present that “you are why we are all here”.

This year’s European Voluntary Service volunteers Marika, Francesco, Irene and Gabi were given Donegal jerseys as a token of appreciation for all their hard work and contribution to the overall work of DYS.

The crowd were treated to various performances throughout the evening from some of the incredibly talented young people from DYS’s wide ranging youth clubs.   The evening kicked off with lively Irish dancing from Club Óige, and a beatiful rendition of ‘Halleluljah’ by Annie Meehan also from Club Óige Chríost Rí.  Singer Sinead Doherty from Planet Youth sang beautifully, and Malin Head Youth Club performed a traditional tune.  Finally, host Happymore was joined on stage by Phat Kiidz bandmates Jay Kay and Doda for a surprise performance to end the evening.

Donegal Youth Service would like to extend its warmest thanks to all of the staff of An Grianán Theatre, all of the volunteers and staff from all of the DYS youth clubs all over Donegal, all of the performers, young people and everyone else who made this evening so special.

For more information or to contact us please call: 074 91 29630                   


Planet Youth Fair Play Award Recipients


Volunteer of The Year Karen Conlon and Young Person of The Year Marina Coll.  Also pictured Young Person of The Year runners up Conor Wright, Stephen O’Donnell, Carina Brady with DYS staff member Sinead Murray-Lynch.


Young Carer of The Year recipient Aiden Curran pictured with DYS staff Frankie McGreevy and Jimmy McKinney


EVS Volunteers receiving their jerseys.  Irene, Marika, Gabi and Francesco.  Pictured with Cameron and DYS Youth Information Manager Gareth Gibson.


Club Óige Chríost Rí – Youth Club of The Year and Youth Initiative of The Year Award


Special Recognition of The Year Award Recipient Maria McLaughlin.  With runners up Jimmy McKinney and Eugene Drumm.


Obligatory staff photo

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